School of
Information Technology and Electrical Engineering

Below is some information for students to help them reference correctly when undertaking University assessment.

Direct Quotations

When directly quoting text, you must use quotation marks and a footnote or endnote symbol. Here is an example:

Referencing demonstrates that the student has read widely, is aware of authoritative scholarship in the field and has based his/her ideas on earlier research or evidence. This is central to research-based learning. Failure to reference appropriately will be considered unethical academic behaviour and could result in allegations of misconduct.” [1]

The text inside the quote comes directly from the University's Library of Policies and Procedures. The [1] symbol at the end of the quote refers to the first entry in a list of references, usually shown at the end of your work under a heading ‘references’ or ‘bibliography’. It would thus be shown:

[1] The University of Queensland, Policies and Procedures Library, Policy Number 3.60.04, Student Integrity & Misconduct, The University of Queensland, November 2012

Paraphrasing

When you paraphrase or use someone else’s ideas without directly quoting them, you still acknowledge them by an endnote. Here is an example using an idea taken from a textbook:

Unlike their analogue counterparts, digital computer based controllers make their control decisions based on sampled data. The key design issue with respect to sampling is the rate at which samples must be taken [2].

The entry in the reference table is:

[2] Curtis D. Johnson., Process Control Instrumentation Technology, Fifth edition, Prentice Hall., 1997.

The actual words in the book are:

Digital computer based controllers operate differently from their analogue equivalents when making control decisions; they rely on sampled data. In designing digital controllers, engineers need to consider a number of issues. The primary one of these with respect to sampling is how frequently samples must be taken.

The idea that has been taken from the book is that the rate of sampling is an important design issue.

If you are paraphrasing words, avoid the temptation to merely change a few words using a thesaurus. Not only could you be accused of plagiarism but you could risk changing the original meaning or argument. You could then be accused of misquoting, also without academic merit.

Referencing

Important detail on how to correctly reference the work of others is available from the University of Queensland Library. This site provides information about referencing from books, theses, journal articles, multi-media materials, standards, patents and electronic sources.

Training resources in plagiarism and referencing are also available from the Library and from Student Support Services.

Some of the work done in the School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering will involve reference to non-traditional sources, such as the web, CD-Rom and computer files. Just because the original work is not printed, does not mean it is not subject to proper referencing by students in their assessment.

Similarly, not all work submitted is text-based. Much of it is computer code, hardware devices or schematic or built models. The work you do must, where applicable, be accompanied by a reference list. For a design this could be done in an addendum. References for code could be added as comments. In general we expect that you would produce your own code, devices and drawings but in some circumstances you may be allowed to copy code or designs.

For example, if you are required to produce some code and you are unsure what to do, it is a good idea to begin by doing some research on the internet to find similar solutions. Let’s suppose you find something close to what you are looking for – don’t just copy the code from the website as this could constitute plagiarism (if is not referenced) or as work with no academic merit. Instead, read the code on the web and use this as the basis to build your own interpretation, it is likely to differ significantly from the code you found on the web, and therefore has academic merit. To avoid any plagiarism accusation, reference the website you used for your inspiration (i.e. “This code is inspired by an example found at ......”)

Don’t leave it to the end - create your list of references as you do your work. Don’t wait until you have finished the assignment. It is not sufficient just to have a list of references at the end – the references must be made or correctly cited in the body of your work.