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Things to consider when referring

When referring to a text you summarize or enter with your own words what someone else has written, which requires that you first have assimilated and understood the original text. The reason why someone makes a reference may be to:

  • avoid plagiarism
  • deepen the understanding of the original source
  • practice their ability to express themselves.

When referencing it is important to differentiate between your own thoughts and the author. It can be monitored through specific ways of writing, such as "According to X (year) ..." or "X (year) means ...".

Finally, it is important to specify the source through a text reference next to the citation and the full reference in the reference list.

To reference

In a report, thesis or other scientific/scholarly text, it must be easy to tell the difference between your own thoughts and conclusions and what is based on other texts. It should also be easy for your readers to find the sources you have used.

Be careful to keep track of your sources, no matter what type the source are. It will save you time and effort at the end of your thesis work. It is important that you refer to your sources in a standardized way. There are several different standards. Check with your teacher which one is recommended in your subject.

To consider when quoting

To quote is repeating what someone else has written or said. The choice to quote instead of rephrasing may be due to:

  • referring to a formulation that is striking or innovative
  • risk of changing the meaning by rephrasing
  • presenting a claim to question and discuss

When quoting, it is important that the source is directly connected to the quote and with a full reference in the reference list as well as a page reference. There are two different ways to quote:

  • Ongoing quotations are made if the quote consists of a few words or sentences. The quote will then be marked with quotation marks and embedded in the text.
  • Block quotations are made if the quote contains several sentences. It is designed as a stand-alone from the surrounding text body, and has an indent on the left and optionally the right side, a smaller font size and line spacing than the rest of the text.

Other reference systems

Links to more reference systems (for systems APA and Harvard view tabs in this guide). Check with your teacher which one is recommended for your subject!:

AMA systemet - American Medical Association


CSE – Council of Science Editors

MLA -  Modern Language Association



ISO 1 (printed sources)

ISO 2 (electronic sources)


In Libris you can create references to books. Seek them out and click on "Cite ", then select the reference management system you use.

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Contact the Library

Phone 0520 - 22 34 10 or e-mail
Chat with a librarian - we are avaliable weekdays between 10 -17 o'clock during spring and autumn semester.