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If a student submits an assignment that contains work that is not their own, without indicating this to the marker (acknowledging your sources), they are committing ‘plagiarism’ and this is an offence
Referencing is when you acknowledge other peoples’ work and allow the reader to locate the sources you have used. Referencing is one aspect of developing good academic practice, an essential skill to learn at University. Referencing your sources also means you can avoid plagiarising the work of others.
You should 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.
Most modules are using house style, referred to as "The OU Harvard" referencing style. 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.
From October 2019, The Open University is piloting an externally provided, online resource for referencing called Cite Them Right as a replacement to the OU Harvard style.
As Cite Them Right is an online resource, it is regularly updated to reflect the variety of sources that can be referenced in academic work and gives detailed referencing guidance for a wide range of sources and includes an extensive help and support section.
The Cite Them Right version of Harvard is widely available in reference management tools, enabling you to automatically create reference lists if you use one of these tools. The Library has a Quick guide to Harvard referencing for use with Cite Them Right, this includes advice on referencing OU module materials and which sections of Cite Them Right you might want to use when referencing physical and online module material.
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.
Cite Them Right has a 'Basics' section, which includes information such as:
The OU Library has developed Being Digital, a collection of short easy to follow activities. Being Digital provides resources to help you to avoid plagiarism and show you how to include in-text citations and reference lists within your written work. For example:
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