Citation and Reference


Citation is a reference to a published or unpublished source. More precisely, a citation is an abbreviated alphanumeric expression embedded in the body of an intellectual work that denotes an entry in the bibliographic references section of the work for the purpose of acknowledging the relevance of the works of others to the topic of discussion at the spot where the citation appears.

Citations and references

When you use information from a source you must always indicate it with a citation. This can be done in different ways depending on which referencing system you are using. The most important thing is that it is always made clear what parts of the text are your own argumentations or results, and what parts derive from a source. You must make both in-text citations and a reference list at the end of your work.


  • that your citations are written in accordance with your chosen referencing system
  • that your reference list is complete and without mistakes.


Sometimes you may use quotations. This means writing down a certain passage from your source, word-by-word, placing it within quotation marks, and citing the source.


  • that your quotations are transcribed correctly
  • that your quotations are cited correctly and include a page reference.

Paraphrase  presenting the ideas and information you have read in your own words - is an important academic skill. By translating content from your research into your own words, you demonstrate to your reader that you've understood and are able to convey this content.

It is important to be very thorough when you paraphrase. Paraphrasing is not simply taking what someone has written and changing a few words to make it your own. It is about translating another person's ideas into your own words and in reduced form. You must change the words a lot so they are no longer similar to the original. Even if you use an in-text reference to show where the idea came from, a lecturer may decide that what you have written is plagiarism if your wording is still too close to its source.

Ten useful steps
Follow these ten useful steps when you are attempting to paraphrase an author's argument or idea:

  1. Read the source
  2. Understand the source
  3. Highlight any technical words that you cannot change
  4. Put the source aside
  5. Write the main idea or point in your own words
  6. Re-read the source quickly to ensure you've included what is important
  7. Put away the source again
  8. Re-read your paraphrase and edit further if needed
  9. Check for correct sentence structure and grammar
  10. Incorporate the paraphrase into your assignment wherever it belongs.

Summarizing is not verbatim, is put into your own words, including only the main points or main ideas, provides a broad overview, often shorter than the original text, not in quotation marks, and needs attribution to the source. Summarizing is the final form of incorporating other people’s ideas or information into your writing. Summarizing is meant to condense and distill long passages or whole texts; to outline someone else’s main ideas or main points in your words leaving out details and examples; to briefly give examples of several different ideas, arguments, or points of view on a topic; to use fewer words than the original text; to provide further evidence or examples.

Synthesis contains combinations of different information and ideas to develop your own argument.

How to synthesize other people's work?

  • group sources in a category, for example, authors with similar views or research results
  • write about it in your own words, do not discuss each author separately
  • add a reference

General Citation Requirements  

  • the text of the quotation begins and ends with the quotes, is given in the grammatical form in which it is presented in the source, with the preservation of the features of the author's text

  • the citation should be complete, without shortening the author's text and without distortion of the author's thoughts

  • passage of words, sentences, paragraphs in the citation is allowed without distortion of the author's text and is indicated by three dots

  • each citation is necessarily accompanied by a link to the source

  • with indirect quotation (the translation, presentation of the opinions of other authors in their own words) should be accurate in teaching the author's thoughts, correct in evaluating its results and give relevant references to the source

  • the quotation should not be neither excessive nor insufficient, because it reduces the level of scientific work: excessive quotation creates an impression of the compilation of labor, and insufficient - reduces the scientific value of the material

  • if it is necessary to determine the attitude of the author of scientific work to separate words or thoughts from the cited text, then after them in brackets put an exclamation mark or a question mark

When quoting other people's work, check if:

  • used in the text direct citations from the sources
  • provided a complete quotation, without any reduction of the author's text and without distortion of the author's thoughts
  • took the quoted text in quotation marks, indicated the reference to the source
  • indicated in parentheses the name of the author after the presentation of the main idea, if not used a quote
  • removed certain snippets to avoid long quotes and marked with a triplet
  • provided explanations that break the text of the quote, in square brackets
  • grammatically agreed with the author's text quotes that are incomplete sentences.

The use of other people's ideas, the actual material, the citation without reference to the source, borrowing is a violation of copyright and is regarded as plagiarism, appropriation of another's authorship, the issuance of someone else's work or invention for their own. Translation of non-verbal author text does not require quoting but provides a reference to the source.

Reference – consists of the information about the original source that is required in order for the reader to easily find that source. Different branches of learning tend to prefer particular referencing systems. Each system indicates how to use citations in the text and how to make a reference list.

  • reference allows you to check the reliability and accuracy of the above quotations, formulas, statistics, facts, and information drawn from other publications
  • reveal and find these primary sources
  • get acquainted with the literature on the subject of the study, in particular those works in which any issue is covered in more detail than in this publication, or another reason is given and argued.

References in scientometrics help to determine the relevance and significance of the publication, its impact on the development of research in a particular industry.

Correct use of quotations and design of references in scientific works is an important part of adherence to the principles of academic integrity and promotes the qualitative integration of Ukrainian researchers into the world system of scientific communication.

The submission of bibliographic information is determined by the State Standards of Ukraine:

DSTU 8302: 2015 "Information and documentation. Bibliographic references. General provisions and rules of composition"

DSTU GOST 7.1: 2006 "A system of standards with information, statistics and publishing. A biblographic record. A biblographic description. General requirements and rules of formation"

In Ukraine, recommended for use are the following international citation styles:

Examples of bibliographic descriptions for international citation styles

Citation tools (also called bibliographic management tools or citation managers) help scholars to create and manage their lists of references for research projects. Most tools are designed to organize citations into specific formats for the preparation of manuscripts and bibliographies.

EndNote the paid bibliographic information management system used to manage links and bibliographies and allows you to format them according to numerous citation standards. The company-developer - Clarivate Analytics (formerly known as Thomson Reuters). For the SumDU community, EndNote is free, because the university has access to Web of Science.

Educational videos

Zotero is a free and open-source reference management software to manage bibliographic data and related research materials.

Training materials

Mendeley is a free reference manager and academic social network that can help you organize your research, collaborate with others online, and discover the latest research.

Video and tutorials

Postgraduate Student of Zaporizhzhya National University created a plugin for designing a bibliography in Mendeley in Ukrainian DSTU 8302:2015.

Action Algorithm:
1) Download Mendeley
2) Bookmark View – Citation styles – More Styles
3) Open the Get more Styles and in line Download style insert the link to the plugin:

The plug-in is free, it is very easy to automatically convert a bibliography from the style of DSTU to any international citation style and vice versa.


Service for the automated registration of bibliographic references according to DSTU 8302: 2015. a free portal dedicated to simplifying the procedure for designing scientific sources in accordance with the requirements of the Higher Attestation Commission (HAC) of Ukraine. How to arrange the sources according to the requirements of the Higher Attestation Commission of Ukraine through the portal


BibMe a free citation generator that allows you to create lists in 4 styles: MLA, APA, Chicago, Turabian. 


CiteFast is a free APA citation generator. Generate and manage your references, in-text citations and title pages in APA 6th edition.


CiteMaker automatically generates citations in MLA, APA, Harvard and Oxford styles for websites.


Citation Machine a works cited generator that accesses information from across the web, drawing the relevant information into a fully-formatted bibliography that clearly presents all of the sources that have contributed to your work.


Citethisforme is a free link generator that allows you to work with many styles.


ResearchoMatic is a citation program for all major citation styles including IEEE, MLA, APA, Chicago and Vancouver. 


MyBib – is a free link generator in APA, MLA, Chicago, Harvard styles.


If you have questions regarding the citation tools, please contact us Central Library's Information and Bibliographic Department and its affiliates.


If you have questions regarding the bibliographic descriptions, please contact us:


Central Library

Contact person: Head of the Department Inna Bulyha

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Medical Institute Library

Contact person: Chief Librarian Natalia Dudchenko

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Library Branch

Contact person: Head of the Branch Larisa Oniksimova

  +38 (0542) 66-51-06

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Congress center  (r. 248)

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Sumy State University Library
Rymskoho-Korsakova str., 2,
40007, Ukraine, Sumy

  +38 (0542) 33-10-39

When using materials from the site of the Library of the SumDU, the reference to the resource is necessarily!