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Referencing and plagiarism

Home Help and Support Referencing and plagiarism

The OU Harvard guide to citing references (requires login) provides practical advice and examples to help you create references in the Open University (OU) Harvard style. The PDF version of the OU Harvard guide does not require login.

Referencing styles used at the OU

Always refer to your module materials to check which referencing style to use for your assignment, or ask your tutor for advice if you're not sure. Listed below are some guides which show you how to use referencing styles common in OU modules.

Additional guidance is available for disabled students on referencing accessible formats.

The Bibliographic Management page will tell you about tools you can use to track and organise your references.

Why is referencing important?

As a student, you are required to reference your sources using an appropriate referencing style. When you reference your sources, a reader of your work can find those sources and see what you have based your argument on. Referencing correctly involves using appropriate in-text citations, and including a complete reference list.

Identifying your sources helps you avoid plagiarism by attributing the contribution of others to your work.

“Plagiarism is using the work of other people to gain some form of benefit, without formally acknowledging that the work came from someone else.”  (The Open University , n.d.)

The Being digital website provides a number of resources to help you to avoid plagiarism, and shows you how to include in-text citations and reference lists within your written work.

Useful links