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Visual Cultures: Referencing

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Citing and Referencing

"Citation is how we leave a trail of where we have been and who helped us along…"  — Sara Ahmed

Ahmed, S. (2015) 'Feminist Shelters' Feminist Killjoy, 30 December Available at: (Accessed: 7 September 2020)

Referencing in Visual Cultures

The referencing style for Visual Cultures' assignments is usually Chicago (notes and bibliography style). If you are not sure please check with your tutor.

Referencing and Captioning Images

When you refer to visual sources in your assignments you will need to reference these too. If you are not including an actual reproduction of the image, follow the Cite Them Right guidance: list the source as a footnote and bibliography entry. If you include reproductions of images in your essay it is good practice to add captions and corresponding information in an image or illustration list. 

Captions and illustration list 

  • Usually images are inserted in the main body of the essay or dissertation after the paragraph the image is first mentioned in. 
  • Include a caption under the image with brief details. 
  • Label images in the order they appear in your work using Figure 1. or fig.1, fig. 2...etc. If you have divided your work into chapters you can number images to correspond with chapter numbers e.g.: fig. 1.1, 1.2, 2.1, 2.2, etc. 
  • Include an illustration list that gives full information about the source of the image
  • The illustration list appears at the end of your assignment with images listed in the order they appear in your writing. 

Example Poster

A giant pink face is open mouthed over a spoon of breakfast cereal. The poster is green and pink and says 'The New Misandry'

 Fig. 1. Chia Moan, The New Misandry, 1980 (poster exhibited at Empowered Printwork by Sisters in Print, 2015).

Illustration list 
Moan, Chia. The New Misandry. Poster exhibited at Empowered Printwork by Sisters in Print (Ego Ahaiwe Sowinski and Aida Wilde). 2015. In the Women’s Art Library, London. Available at: (Accessed: 19 January 2024). 

*In this example, the image of the poster is available online. Therefore, the reference is built using Cite Them Right guidance for a 'poster', combined with guidance  for 'photographs from the internet'. The most information possible is conveyed with this method.


Tips on Keeping Track of Useful Sources

You could:​

  • Write down information about your sources as you find them. ​
  • Use the pinning function in Library Search
  • Save references as bookmarks with meaningful titles
  • Download and save or print journal articles as you find them.
  • Take pictures on your phone
  • Email yourself links of websites, online articles, online databases, etc. that you’re thinking of using in your assignment.​
  • Use a reference management tool e.g. Zotero

Reference Management & Zotero

Reference Management and Zotero

Reference Management Systems

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


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Jessa Mockridge
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Subjects: Art, Design, Visual Cultures

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