Monday, June 29, 2009

Art of Dissertation Reference Citations Notes Bibliography


Reference Citations

[ Citations, Footnotes, Endnotes, References, Bibliography ]



Art of Dissertation – Part 2 – Citations

Whenever you use any words, ideas or information from any source in your dissertation, you must cite and reference those sources to acknowledge the contributions of others in your dissertation work.


Reference Citations may be included in the following forms:

Footnote Referencing in the text at the foot or bottom of the page.
Endnote Referencing or Citation-Sequence System collated and listed chronologically at the end of the text.

Citations serve inter alia the following purposes:

Establish credibility of the research.
Enable assessment of the quality and timeliness of the research.
Acknowledge the contributions of others and sources of information in your dissertation work.
Provide identification of material used in your research or quoted in your dissertation report.
Facilitate inclusion of material of supplemental value.
Intellectual Honesty.

Referencing [Footnotes and Endnotes]

In your dissertation you can do referencing using either Footnotes or Endnotes.

A Footnote is a bottom-of-the-page citation, whereas Endnotes are collected at the either at the end of the dissertation or at the end of each chapter.

Footnotes and Endnotes serve the same purpose. However, they are two different systems, so be consistent and use one of the two methods throughout your dissertation.

The advantage of footnoting is that readers can simply cast their eyes down the page to discover the source of a reference which interests them, but now-a-days Endnotes [References] at the end of the dissertation seem to be preferred.

References are to be sequentially numbered throughout your dissertation starting with 1, indicating the relevant number [note identifier] at the end of the pertinent sentence in the text, superscripted, or in brackets, and amplified by the citation either at the bottom of the page [footnote] or at the end of the dissertation [endnote]. The citation should provide the following bibliographic information:

1. Author(s) surname(s), first name(s) or initials
2. Name of the article, book or journal
3. Editors (if applicable)
4. Publishers Name and Location
5. Volume and Issue Number or month of publication (in case of a journal)
6. Year published
7. ISBN (if applicable)
8. The exact page numbers if your reference is a direct quotation, a paraphrase, an idea, or is otherwise directly drawn from the source. [p – page, pp – pages]

Titles of publications should be italicised, article titles should be enclosed between single quotation marks, and commas must be used to separate each item of the citation and end with a full stop.



1. Wilson B, ‘Systems, Concepts, Methodologies and Applications’, John Wiley and Sons, USA, 1984, p 29

Journal [article]

2. Steiner CJ, ‘Educating for Innovation and Management’, IEEE Transactions on Education, Vol 41, No. 1, Feb 1998, pp 1-7

Conference Proceedings [paper]

3. Sriram S and Karve VW, ‘Systems Cybernetic Re-engineering for Empowering Human Performance: A Soft Systems Dynamics Approach’, Proceedings of the International Conference on Cognitive Systems, Dec 1998, pp 723 – 739.

Internet Citations must include:

1. Name(s) of Author (s) / Editor (s)
2. "Title of Article, Web page or site" in quotation marks.
3. Name of sponsor of site or Title of Journal
4. Date of article, of Web page or site creation and latest update.
5. Access date (the date you accessed the Web page or site).
6. Complete Uniform Resource Locator (URL) in angle brackets.


Karve VW, ‘Ethics, Values and Technology’, in Cognitive Systems Review, July 2008, viewed on 21 August 2008

Some Abbreviations in Referencing

ibid is used in consecutive references that refer to the same work, whether to the same or different pages.

Example: [the digits 1,2,3 are the footnote or reference numbers]

1. Karve V, ‘Appetite For A Stroll’, Cinnamon Teal, India, 2008, ISBN 9788190690096, p 15.

2. ibid [Please note that this refers only to page 15 of the above book and not to any other page of that book]

3. ibid, pp 29-34. [This still refers to Karve, but to pages 29-34]

op. cit. is used with non-consecutive references that refer to the same work but to different pages.

loc. cit is used with non-consecutive references that refer to the same work and to the same page or pages of that work.

Examples: [the digits 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 are footnote or reference numbers]

4. Senge P, ‘The Fifth Discipline’, Currency Doubleday, USA, pp 75-76.

5. Twiss BC, ‘Managing Technological Innovation’, Longman, UK, 1974, p 33

6. Senge, op. cit., pp 101-110 [Note that the footnote reference numbers to Senge are not consecutive and that different pages in his work are being cited].

7. Karve V, op. cit., pp 117-120. [Different pages of Karve (reference at serial 1 above) are being cited]

8. ibid [This refers to Karve, pp 117-120]

9. Twiss, loc.cit. [The reference is to Twiss page 33. Citation of any other page or pages would have entailed the use of op. cit, followed by the page number(s)]

When references are made to two or more books or papers of the same author, the abbreviations op.cit. and loc. cit. are not used in subsequent citations, in order to obviate confusion.

In referring to material contained in other pages of your own dissertation you may use the following abbreviations followed by the appropriate page number:

cf (confer) – compare
cf,ante (confer ante) – compare above
cf, post (confer post) – compare below
supra (above) – cross-reference to preceding matter
infra (below) – cross-reference to succeeding matter
et passim (and here and there) – matter referred is scattered in the dissertation


A bibliography should generally contain all the sources cited in the dissertation and any other important references [books, journals and internet websites] that you have consulted during your research or used in preparing your dissertation.

Systematically list the various sources of information consulted or used in your dissertation [books, journals, internet websites, previous research work / dissertations] separately in alphabetical order of authors’ surnames in the same style as references.

The distinction between references and bibliography is that whereas references [footnotes and endnotes] cite authority for specific statements, the bibliography gives descriptions of entire works.

If a reader wants to consult a work referred to in a footnote, he turns to the bibliography for a full description of that work.

[to be continued]


Copyright © Vikram Karve 2009
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.
Post a Comment