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History: Referencing

A guide to library resources for History, including an overview of databases, advice on referencing, a support page for researchers and contact details for your department's Subject Librarian.

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Why do I need to cite?

You should provide references when you are:

  • directly quoting from the text of another work
  • paraphrasing someone else's work, theories or ideas
  • using someone else's work when developing your own ideas and arguments
  • indirectly referring to the text of other works
  • using illustrations, diagrams, tables or figures from other sources

If a fact is regarded as common knowledge, e.g. dates, events, (The Battle of Hastings was in 1066), you would not be expected to provide a reference. If in doubt, provide a reference.

Referencing for History

All submitted work in the Department of History must use citations which follow either the Modern Humanities Research Association (MHRA) or Chicago format. Please consult with your tutor if you are unsure about which style to use.

Print guides to referencing are available in the Library. You also have access to Cite Them Right and other online guides (see links below) to help you.


Online Guides

Reference Management & Zotero

Reference management systems are time-saving tools that allow you to:

  • Collect and store references for the resources you read as you go
  • Manage and organise your references for different assignments or modules
  • Quickly add in-text citations into your assignments
  • Automatically generate a reference list from these in-text citations

Zotero is an example of a freely available reference management system, and is supported by Goldsmiths Library.

The three videos below will guide you though installing Zotero, collecting references, and adding these references to your word document.

Zotero Tutorials

Plagiarism

Plagiarism is cheating and can be defined as "to copy (ideas, passages of text, etc) from someone else’s work and use them as if they were one’s own” (Chambers 21st Century Dictionary, 1999)

It is a serious offence whether accidental and unintentional e.g. careless use of copying and pasting or intentional e.g. using essay writing services. Goldsmiths has clear guidelines about plagiarism.  At the very least, a student found guilty of plagiarism can expect to receive a fail for the piece of work, but other, more serious punishments may be given, including dismissal from College in extreme cases.

Avoiding plagiarism

Plagiarism can initially be difficult to understand and many students might not realise what constitutes plagiarism and what doesn’t.

For your assignment you will have done plenty of background reading to help you formulate your own ideas.  When writing, you will discuss what you have learned from your background reading to show how this has influenced your views and arguments. 

To avoid plagiarism the sources you use and refer to must be correctly cited and referenced.  Although plagiarism is not just words (it includes ideas, images, etc), paraphrasing/summarising is an important area to consider. Substituting words in a quotation with synonyms, rearranging the words in a quotation and changing the order of sentences are all examples of plagiarism if references are not provided.

More help on avoiding plagiarism is available from Plagiarism Advice (established by JISC) and the University of Leicester

Copyright

Copyright is an Intellectual Property Right along with Trade Marks, Patents and Designs.  For detailed information, see the IPO's website. UK copyright law is mainly set out in the Copyright, Design and Patents Act (1988), though this has been substantially amended by more recent Acts and European Copyright Directives that aim to harmonise copyright across the EU. 

Copyright gives economic and moral rights to the creators of works, and provides a legal framework for such works to be used fairly by others.

Copyright is infringed where a whole or ‘substantial part’ of a work has been used without permission and no exceptions to copyright apply.  A ‘substantial part’ of a work is not defined in law and may be quite small. 

Copyright for student work

Students at Goldsmiths own copyright in their own work.  Some colleges and universities do make a claim to copyright in student work and ask students to agree to this when they enrol.

MA course work held by the library is non-published work under the CPDA 1988 and no copying is permitted. They are also not available for use by members of the public. MA theses held by the library include a cover sheet which states that no copies can be made and is usually signed by the author. 

PhD theses are made available to both students and members of the public in both print and electronic format, held in the library and on the repositories, Goldsmiths Reasearch Online (GRO) and EThOS. For information on the use of copyright material in PhD theses and the copyright itself of a PhD thesis, see here

Further advice on copyright

Advice can be requested from any organisations that represent copyright holders (many also collect royalties on behalf of members). For example, in the following areas:

Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA) Books, journal articles, etc.
Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT) Illegal recordings and use of film and broadcasts
Motion Picture Licensing Company (MPLC) Public broadcasts of films
Performing Rights Society Public performances of music
PPL/VPL Playing or broadcasting music or music videos in public

 

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