We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

Durham University

University Library

Referencing and Plagiarism

Guidance for research students

If you are returning to academia, or just need a refresher, there are plenty of resources available to you to help you understand the basics of referencing and citing your sources appropriately, and understanding what is meant by plagiarism (and how to avoid being accused of plagiarism, or accidentally being guilty of it).

Need help with referencing?

If you need help with referencing, please follow these steps:

  • Check any "Learning Handbook" for your department which will set out any prefered referencing style or guidance available.
  • Speak to your supervisor for guidance as to department preferences for referencing style and writing conventions.
  • Approach the Academic Liaison Librarian for your department, who may be aware of department referencing styles.

Guidance for supervisors of research students

We have attempted to collect below guidance for supervisory teams around supporting research students around an awareness of plagiarism, and managing suspected cases of plagiarism. Please note that your department may have additional, or specific guidance or procedures to follow

At the beginning of a Research Project

Learning and Teaching Handbook: Section 8.1.4

"8. The departmental Induction programme should include: ... plagiarism;"

Learning and Teaching Handbook: Section 8.5.2

"2.f. draw the student's attention to plagiarism awareness training available within the University, and to the nature, unacceptability and consequences of plagiarism."

During the Research Project

Learning and Teaching Handbook: Section 8.5.2

"Regarding Personal & Skills Development, the supervisory team are responsible for:

9. giving guidance on matters including: the nature of research; the standard expected at the level of study; attendance at generic Doctoral Training Programme or other relevant classes; requisite techniques and methods of work; the presentation of data, footnotes and bibliography; the issue of plagiarism; and other ethical and legal issues as appropriate (e.g. copyright, Data Protection);"

Useful information

In addition to any department specific guidance, training and procedures, please refer to the following:

To provide guidance to students on tools to help them manage their references, and to help them create bibliographies to a recognised referencing style:

Guidance for authors

It is worth being aware that most publishers will regularly use plagiarism detection software to verify the originality of papers which are submitted to their journals. Most major publishers are members of Crossref's "similarity Check" service, which uses iThenticate to check against a databases o over 155 million content items, including 49 million published academic works.

It is also worth highlighting that many publishers will not accept, or may subsequently retract articles which have been simultaneously, submitted to multiple journals for consdieration for publication. They may also take similar action if an author is found to have submitted articles which are deemed to similar to previous articles published. This activity may result in "duplicate" or "redundant" publications, or be seen as "self-plagiarism."

Below are some examples of major publisher's policies and guidance around plagiarism:

Your Academic Liaison Librarian

James Bisset

Academic Liaison Librarian
Research Support

0191 334 1589

DU Library Blog

Researcher 1-2-1

Book a consultation

Need help? Drop me an email or request a 30 minute 1-to-1 consultation to scale any brick walls in your way.