Learn how to reference a scientific article

Understand how to correctly reference your academic work.

One of the biggest doubts of those who are new to the academic universe, or even of those who are beginning the production of the thesis, is the question of the references of scientific articles and other textual productions and images. In this article you will check everything you need to know to reference any content correctly.

What is referencing?

When you introduce any type of content into your academic work, whether in coursework or not, everything should be referenced correctly. In other words, you should explain what the content is about and who the authors are.

You can not do this simply in any way, but you must follow the model established by the set of rules and rules of ABNT. References need to be in the development and in the bibliography and at times in the lists.

These standards are updated periodically to ensure quality standards. The NBR 6023: 2018 is the one that deals with references in the academic works. The previous version was 2011. Nothing was changed in the structure, only new possibilities were added.

Below you can check some items that must be referenced, according to the guidelines of NBR 6023: 2018. NBR’s are the standards that have been approved and are in force, while ABNT is the body that establishes and approves these standards:

  • Any type of image including photos, artwork, illustrations, drawings, etc.
  • Any type of table, graph or similar

Any kind of civil documentation, such as RG, birth certificate, even historical documentations such as discoveries and documents that prove these discoveries, letters, etc.

Letters, telegrams, fax, any type of correspondence, including digital

The digital medium is not left out and is included in the NBR 6023. Any type of online content should also be referenced, such as websites, blogs and even social networks were attached in the 2018 update

Excerpts and citations and any textual output are also included

You must refer, even if they are your own

Always follow the updated ABNT rules and regulations and the new NBR’s. They usually simplify and open up more possibilities for editing and freedom than hinder. You should be careful not to find instructions on outdated standards in your searches.

How to reference images

To do this, you need to know that the references need to be in the development and in the bibliography. In development, it is as simple and brief as possible, all pertinent details should be in the bibliography. Check below:

In development, you should write with the default font above the image, the numbering, (if it is the first image of the text is 1, if the second is 2 and so on) the title and author

The caption should be inserted below the image with font size 10

In the bibliography you will follow in a similar way. It will write the numbering of the image, with the title and authors, with standard font. The difference is that here are extra information that are pertinent, such as date, location, people who are in the photo, for example. If necessary, you must write when you have collected the material

If you choose to make lists of images, keep in mind that they are only recommended if there are 10 or more images. To refer to will be the same as the summary, but only containing the list of images, numbering and the appropriate page

How to make references of scientific articles and other textual contents?

If you want to make references to articles, dissertations and other textual content, there are also explicit rules, according to ABNT. You can check below:

In development, write the snippets or content in quotation marks to differentiate them. Then explain what it is, for example: “Being happy without reason is the most authentic form of happiness”, excerpt from Carlos Drummond de Andrade …

In the case, this can have variations, you can reference before the excerpt with a phrase like: “According to the searches of …” But the excerpt must be enclosed in quotation marks and you must make it clear in the text to whom it belongs. This is valid for all types of textual content

In the bibliography is a little more complex. You should refer to the excerpt, authors, dates, type of document (book, journal, publication, edict) and which institution of the author (if you are an anthropologist, for example, you must specify where you work and where you worked when it was published

In the case of referring scientific articles and other academic contents, it is imperative that you leave the training, date and institution of which the authors of the content are part.

To reference charts and tables

Any type of content similar to charts and tables, that is, containing data, should be referenced as images. In the bibliography you must make explicit what is the research, the year, the place where it was made and those involved.

The only difference is that if there are many tables and graphs, you have the option to create a separate list. It does not have to be included in the list of images, but an exclusive one for tables and one exclusive for graphics and so on. If you prefer, you can include the charts and tables in the list of images.

About references and laws on intellectual property and authorship

It must be made clear that there are specific laws for any production that has authorship and intellectual content. Not referencing content and simply inserting them in your academic work, especially in coursework’s, which are more serious jobs, or master’s dissertations, doctoral dissertations, scientific articles and etc., can harm you judicially.

As if the judicial question were not enough, it is also something unethical and can harm your professional career. If you want to pursue an academic career you can not refrain from referring any content that is not your property, in any way.

Enhance your academic output

Do not get in any doubt about any ABNT rules or regulations, now that you have learned to correctly reference your work! Here in the Academic Project you discover everything you need to know to produce your university work with excellence. Above all, about standards, you also check out the best tips for producing your CBT and scientific content.

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