Skip to main content

Information Studies: Referencing

Useful books for Information Studies

What is referencing?

Referencing is a practice of acknowledging other peoples works, ideas, sources used in a paper, assignment, report and conference papers in academic writing.

Why reference an assignment?

  • To acknowledge the sources of information you have used just as authors of books and journal articles list the sources they have used
  • It is academic courtesy to acknowledge the work of others – none of us know everything and we we rely on the work of others
  • Your lecturers/readers need to see from where you obtained your information 
  • Your lecturers/readers need to see how widely you have read; whether you have used key sources and how up to date your information is
  • Your lecturers/readers need to be able to verify the information you have used
  • Plagiarism – using someone else’s ideas as if they were your own is unacceptable and a punishable offence.

Referencing styles

A referencing style refers to the way in which bibliographic details are set out in a document and in a bibliography There is no universal style and each discipline has its own preference. Click on this Info Studs link for the department's referencing style guidelines.


UKZN subscribes to the desktop version of the bibliographic management package called EndNote. This package allows you to create and manage a library of references. EndNote contains many different referencing styles. EndNote can be used to create in text referencing in a Word document and create a bibliography.

Endnote X9 is now available from the software repository. A commercial user guide is available.


Turnitin is an internet based tool used to check and detect plagiarism in an essay or any kind of academic related document. Its a licensed based software which universities and school obtain through subscription.

You register as a student at However you will need to have a class ID and password  from your supervisor to enter when you are registering. Athol Leach can advise you.

Need help with Turnitin? Consult the page or go to


All information © 2018 University of KwaZulu-Natal. All rights reserved.