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University of Gloucestershire Library

International Relations: Referencing support

Library resources for students studying International Relations

Referencing video

What is "plagiarism"

Further content around plagiarism is available from Cite them right online.

Referencing styles

Referencing at UoG

Various referencing styles are in use at the university. The international relations course uses the Harvard style. 'Harvard' is a generic term which is used in the UK to refer to author-date styles, of which there are a number. The university uses the Cite Them Right version of Harvard.

Academic work requires you to read widely and to analyse the writings of others. This can add weight to your arguments. When using these works it is important that you acknowledge these sources of information.

Citations and references

What is referencing?

There are two parts to Harvard referencing:

  • The citation - an abbreviation of your reference in the text of your assignment that indicates the source of the idea or research that you are referring to. It usually includes the author(s) and year of publication and sometimes a page number. 

"good critical thinking skills can help us to make much more realistic and accurate appraisals of our own abilities" (Cottrell, 2023, p. 6)

  • The reference - includes full details of the item you have cited and is included in an alphabetical list at the end of your assignment. This information enables those reading your work to easily find what you have cited.

Cottrell, S. (2023) Critical thinking skills. 4th edn. London: Bloomsbury.

Why reference?

Why is referencing important?

Referencing correctly:

  • demonstrates to your academics the breadth of your research

  • gives supporting evidence for your ideas, arguments and opinions

  • allows others to identify the sources you have used

  • helps you avoid plagiarism by making it clear which ideas are your own and which are someone else's

  • prepares you for industry, where you will need to abide by copyright law and intellectual property rights

Generative AI

Generative AI and the challenge of academic integrity

Generative AI tools like ChatGPT are natural language chat bots trained to become familiar with patterns and structures from large data sets. The bots provide answers to questions by synthesising data to generate content.

If used appropriately, Generative AI does have the capacity to help students develop their understanding of subject matter or to become more critical learners. For example students could use it to:

  • summarise their own notes or better structure their arguments
  • synthesize a complex topic or set of issues into a more digestible format

Potential pitfalls 

Generative AI anonymises the original data sources and therefore provides no easy way for the user to assess their credibility, accuracy and bias, or indeed if the response generated has been correctly interpreted and synthesized appropriately. Using anonymised source material also creates an obvious attribution / referencing problem in an assessed or published piece of work, and increases the likelihood of plagiarism.

Advice

If you do use Generative AI make sure that you ask the right questions and carefully evaluate the answers. You will need to cross check any content generated.

Please refer to the University of Gloucestershire Guidance to students on the use of Generative AI in learning

See other sources

Cite them Right online referencing tool

Learn the basics of referencing or work through the tutorial, or jump straight to the content you need. 

UoG Quick Referencing Guide

Endnote Reference Management software

Endnote button - link to UoG downloads, guides and support materials.

Includes software download, guides and support materials.

How to use EndNote 21 in 7 minutes