This section explains the importance of citations and why you need to use them in your essays. Please use the documentation below to improve your understanding of citations. The College has policies on plagiarism and your own department might provide advice on citations and bibliographies, so please check these as well.
Why do I need to cite?
You should provide references when you are:
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.
There are various citation styles, but they normally fall into two categories:
The most important thing to remember when referencing is to be consistent
There is no standard definition of the Harvard referencing system and many variations have evolved. For a simple guide we recommend:
Pears, R. and Shields, G. (2013) Cite them right: the essential referencing guide. 9th edn. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan
Print copies are available in the library, and we also have access to the online edition.
Whilst you can keep notes of the sources you use by hand, there is software available that can make managing your references simpler. This is particularly time saving if you're dealing with large numbers of references. We recommend all postgraduate students use online referencing software.
Zotero is free open source software and once you download the plugin for your Internet browser, you'll be able to directly capture references from catalogues, databases and websites. There is also a plugin for Word that allows you to create in-text citations and bibliographies. If you would like help using Zotero, please contact your subject librarian.
See also ZoteroBib for their Zotero citation generator.
Other software includes EndNote Web and Mendeley, which are similar to Zotero and perform the same functions. We do not provide training for these software, but there are many screencast tutorials and videos on Youtube that are available.
The videos below will guide you though installing Zotero, collecting references, and adding these references to your word document.
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.
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 the University of Leicester.
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.
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 Research 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
|Playing or broadcasting music or music videos in public