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Creating Citations & Avoiding Plagiarism

What are citations?

Citations are addresses. They provide basic information like author, title, publisher and year of publication that allow researchers to locate a particular piece of information.

When we use someone else's ideas, we use citations to tell others exactly where that idea came from.

Beyond giving someone else credit for their ideas, citations are critical for scholarly communication and knowledge creation because it allows researchers to trace the origins of and development of ideas over time.

What is Plagiarism?1

Plagiarism means presenting someone else’s work as your own. Plagiarism is intellectual theft and is regarded as academic misconduct.

Types of plagiarism1

There are different types of plagiarism and all are serious violations of academic honesty.

Direct plagiarism: the word-for-word transcription of part of someone else’s work, without attribution and without quotation marks.

Self-plagiarism occurs when a student submits his or her own previous work, or mixes parts of previous works. 

Mosaic Plagiarism occurs when a student borrows phrases from a source without using quotation marks, or finds synonyms for the author’s language while keeping to the same general structure and meaning of the original. 

Accidental plagiarism occurs when a person neglects to cite their sources or unintentionally paraphrases a source by using similar words, groups of words without attribution. Cases of accidental plagiarism are taken as seriously as any other plagiarism.

Avoiding plagiarism1

Plagiarism can be committed unintentionally. Make sure you always provide proper source references so that others can see which ideas are not your own but found in publications by other authors.

Providing proper source references also enables other people to check these sources.

How to write citations?

Just like addresses, citations have a very specific format, and just like the format for addresses may be different in different countries or regions, different academic disciplines have slightly different ways that they format citations; adopting the format from one of several style-guides.

Please note: FoB uses APA-style citations and FoAD uses Chicago-style citations.


APA-style citations are outlined in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association: the Official Guide to APA Style, but the basic format is: as follows:

Surname of Author(s), Initial of first name of Author(s).(Year of Publication). Title (Edition No.). Publisher. URL


Maesse, J., Pühringer, S., Rossier, T., & Benz, P. (Eds.). (2021). Power and influence of economists: Contributions to the social studies of economics (1st ed.). Routledge.


Chicago-style is outline in The Chicago Manual of Style, but the basic format is: as follows:

Surname of Author(s), First name of Author(s). Title. Publisher, Year of Publication. URL.


Hauke, Petra, Karen Latimer, and Robert Niess, eds. New Libraries in Old Buildings: Creative Reuse. De Gruyter, 2021.

Additional Resources

Purdue OWL (Online Writing Lab)

The Online Writing Lab (OWL) at Purdue University in the US has been online since 1995 and is one of the most comprehensive sources available regarding style and citation. Indeed, it often has more information than the actual style guides due to the large number of examples available.

Citation Generators

If you have the information about an article or book, you can use one of the tools below to put it in the right format.

1Based on a University Library Groningen publication on