Quality of references reveal the merit of the research : Journal of Indian Society of Periodontology

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Quality of references reveal the merit of the research

Kumar, Ashish

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Journal of Indian Society of Periodontology: Nov–Dec 2022 - Volume 26 - Issue 6 - p 519-520
doi: 10.4103/jisp.jisp_410_22
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Every research publication always has a foundation in the previous research. Anything which is considered novel will have some research on associated topic done earlier. The fact that academic writing is rarely an act of individual contribution but depends heavily on the ideas and contributions of other researchers, makes referencing all that important.

Referencing remains one of the most important aspects of scientific writing. The use of correct referencing is important not only for the credibility of the manuscript but also of the author. Despite this, many authors pay negligible attention while compiling the references of an academic research work.

Referencing is required to a) demonstrate the author’s thoroughness and knowledge of the research and its related background; b) stamps the author as “well-read and informed”; c) it also provides its due credit to the authors whose original ideas have been used to built up the research and respect the intellectual rights of that author; d) helps the reader to understand the contents and its background better; e) it demonstrates the ability of author to find related research to built on the argument and justification for their own research; f) it gives readers an idea how the author’s argument and justifications stands in front of the similar research conducted by the experts in that field; g) allows the readers to refer to the original documents if need be; h) helps the readers in judging the quality and authority of material referenced in the research (in terms of journals and authors); i) it helps the author to demonstrate to the readers what is original and what is not (citations would have been provided for such work) in the research paper; j) and most importantly helps the author in avoiding plagiarism and maintain their academic integrity.

References can be given from books, journals, websites and other electronic resources, newspapers, films, brochures or any other source which has been used in academic writing and is not original. References should also be provided for using someone else’s words e.g., in quotes or paraphrasing or summarizing.

There are two components utilized in referencing: a) citation (also called in-text citation) and b) references. The citation also called “in-text citation” just provide enough information within the text of the article to find the source in the list at the end of the text. This can be done by mentioning numbers, author names etc., depending upon the system followed by the publishing authority. The references at the end of the text give the readers a complete information about the source (the author’s name, the title, the year of publication, and source location). This list can be arranged numerically, alphabetically depending upon the method followed by the publishing authority.

There is also difference between bibliography and references. Bibliography refers to wide range of resources read and consulted during the research to broaden the knowledge base about the area of research but specific information has not been used from these sources and therefore the authors need not mention these sources in the text. References, as mentioned above, are the resources from which information has been used in the text of the author and therefore needs a mention.

There are many referencing styles used across various streams. The authors should read the instructions carefully before submitting the article. The correct citing and referencing style (of the journal) should be followed by the authors.

Paying attention to details while mentioning the author names, title, year of publication, page numbers and journal name demonstrates the author’s attention to detail and enhnce the researcher’s reputation amongst readers, reviewers and editors.[1]

Mistakes in citing and references is considered to be a sign of vague writing, thinking, and also academic lethargy.[1] If the most prominent papers in the area of the research in question are not cited and referenced, these are signs of both deficient knowledge, and literature review and may result in rejection of the manuscript for publication.[1]

References are also looked at to check whether the most recent references have been refereed or not. Inclusion of latest references signifies up to date review of the literature.[1] If authors tend to use their own references, it is suggestive of self-plagiarism, self- advancement, and selective citations of papers to justify their own research.[1]

Many applications are available which help the authors in creating citations and references e.g., Citationsy, Citeshare, Formatically, JabRef, Mendeley, Refworks, Endnote, Paperpile, Zotero, Citavi and many more. Technology can help to create references without errors and correctly give due credit to authors and researchers who deserve it.

“Giving credit where credit is due is a very rewarding habit to form. Its rewards are inestimable.”

- Loretta Young


1. Santini A The importance of referencing J Crit Care Med (Targu Mures) 2018 4 3 4
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