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Life Sciences

Your first stop for research: a guide to resources for Life Sciences

Referencing and Plagiarism

Referencing is important in academic writing and an essential part of any of your assignments. It:

  • allows you to acknowledge your sources,
  • gives academic credibility to your work,
  • demonstrates your knowledge of a subject area,
  • prevents accusations of plagiarism.

You should always reference a source when:

  • using a direct quote
  • summarising a theory
  • discussing someone else's opinion
  • using case studies
  • quoting statistics or visual data
  • but not when stating your own opinion, observation or experience.

Plagiarism is "the wrongful... publication as one's own, of the ideas, or the expression of the ideas of another" (Oxford English Dictionary)

Referencing style guide

The School of Life Sciences uses the Harvard referencing style.

You can download your referencing guide here, or you can pick up a print copy from the Library.

cover of Harvard referencing handbook

The guide provides examples of different information sources: how to cite them within your text and how to include them in your reference list.

App for Apple (IOS 6.1 +)

App for Android phone (3.0 +)

App for Android tablet (3.0 +)

PDF download


The School of Life Sciences also use the Vancouver style of referencing - you will be told when you need to use this style.

You can download a copy here:

Vancouver referencing guide image



Plagiarism and Referencing Tutorials

Plagiarism tutorial

Harvard referencing tutorial


Reference management software helps you to store and organise your references and generate citations and reference lists. 


RefWorks is available to all students and staff, click here to log in.

To find out more about RefWorks there is online help or you can contact your Academic Subject Librarian.