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CEMS Harvard Referencing Style: Introduction to Referencing and Plagiarism

Introduction to Referencing

Referencing is the systematic and standardized method of acknowledging the sources of information used in academic or scholarly work. It involves citing the references or sources of information within the text and creating a detailed bibliography or works cited page at the end of a document. This can be done manually or by making use of a reference management tool.

Different academic fields require following specific citation styles, like Harvard, APA, MLA, or Chicago. Reference management tools automate the use of in-text citations and the list of references in your chosen citation style and helps your adherence to the necessary citation style.

The College of Economic and Management Sciences uses Harvard and APA 7th edition. Consult your supervisor or lecturer to find out which reference style you must use.

Referencing is important for the following reasons:

Academic Integrity Referencing is a cornerstone of academic integrity. By citing sources accurately, scholars and students demonstrate honesty, giving credit to the original authors for their ideas, research, and intellectual contributions. It establishes a foundation of trust and accountability in the academic community. Facilitating Verification Referencing allows readers to verify and build upon the cited information. It enables researchers to trace the evolution of ideas, follow the development of a field of study, and engage in a scholarly conversation. The transparent citation of sources promotes transparency and encourages intellectual dialogue.
Avoiding Plagiarism Plagiarism, the act of presenting someone else's work or ideas as one's own, is a serious ethical violation in academia. Referencing serves as a safeguard against plagiarism by clearly attributing information to its rightful origin. It distinguishes between the author's original contributions and borrowed material. Acknowledging Diverse Perspectives Inclusive and thorough referencing acknowledges the contributions of a diverse range of authors and perspectives. It helps avoid biases and ensures that credit is given to individuals from various backgrounds and disciplines, enriching the overall quality and diversity of academic discourse.
Building Credibility Accurate referencing enhances the credibility of academic work. Properly citing sources demonstrates that the information presented is well-researched and supported by authoritative references. This, in turn, adds weight to the arguments and conclusions presented in the work.    


The College of Economic and Management Sciences (CEMS) at Unisa uses the Harvard referencing method. This method has been internationally accepted and standardised, and is a widely accepted referencing method in many higher education institutions worldwide.

It is very important that you use the contents of this guide when writing your assignments, research proposals and research reports to add in-text citations where you use another author’s work or idea, and to compile a list of cited references at the end of your document. You will be penalised if you do not use the correct referencing technique and if your list of references is not of a high academic standard.

An author’s idea is acknowledged by adding an in-text citation where you refer to such author’s work and by including the complete reference in the list of references at the end of your document. Sources are acknowledged whether you quote directly from it, summarise ideas from it, or base an argument on it.

Works are cited for the following reasons:

  • to indicate the source of any statements made;
  • to acknowledge authors’ work;
  • to enable the reader to locate and consult your sources. The reader must be able to go to the sources you have consulted to judge whether each source is credible and whether you have interpreted and transmitted the facts and ideas correctly;
  • to add weight to your argument by citing authoritative sources; and
  • most students do not intend to commit plagiarism but may do so unintentionally due to ignorance, because they are in a hurry, or they might have careless study habits. Failure to provide references discredits the integrity of your research and exposes you to a charge of plagiarism.


A bibliography is far more comprehensive than a list of references, as it is an alphabetical list of all materials consulted, in addition to those cited in the text


A line that identifies the source of a statement, and occurs in the body of a paper. It is also called an in-text citation, for example

(Author(s), publication year:pages)

(Palmer, 2010:12)


​A citation style shows the format you need to use when presenting your in-text citations and bibliographies  There are a number of citation styles, e.g. APA, Harvard, Chicago etc. and which one is used can depend on the academic discipline. They all convey the same information,  but they present it differently. 


This method involves name-and-date references in the text, with an alphabetically arranged list of sources

  • Unisa uses the Augmented Harvard Reference Style

  • It is the prerogative of the promoter/ supervisor to prescribe the style to be used

  • Always consult with your supervisor first

  • This presentation is based on the Bibliographic Style & Reference Techniques by Marlene Burger


A list of references is an alphabetical list of all the sources that you cited in the text of your paper. This means that all the publications cited in your work must be contained in the list of references.

The College of Economic and Management Sciences requires a single list of references at the end of the written work that provides accurate details of all the sources cited. It should provide enough information to allow your reader to identify and locate the source that you used and distinguish it from other versions of the same material. An example of a List of References has been included at the end of this guide.


  • Paraphrasing is when you make use of someone else’s ideas, but put them into your own words, and according to your personal style of writing (thus avoiding plagiarism)

  • Generally, it is better to paraphrase than to quote

  • Ensure that you formulate others’ ideas in such a way that it blends in nicely with your own writing style

  • Do not misrepresent the other person’s ideas in order to suit your purposes

  • As with quotations, acknowledge the source of your ideas using the prescribed referencing method



Refers to a specific source that an author has written


When you quote the exact words of an author

  • Use inverted commas (“ “) directly before and after the quoted text

  • Acknowledge the source of the quotation in line with the referencing method prescribed by your department or subject field

           "... describes how services marketing works in practice"  (Palmer, 1998: 23)

Quotations can not be an entire paragraph that was copied and pasted word for word. A quotation is a short excerpt surrounded by your own words.


This refers to a document consulted in your research. It should include all the bibliographic details needed to trace the document, for example   

 Author’s Surname, Initials. Year of publication. Title of book (in italics). Edition. Place of  publication: Publisher.

 Palmer,  A. 1998. Principles of services marketing. 2nd ed. New York: McGraw- Hill


Refers to material which is written as an interpretation, criticism or research about an author or subject

  • Read the original passages from more than one quality source carefully to ensure that you understand the concepts clearly
  • Ensure that you understand all the concepts clearly by looking up synonyms for words in the passage that you are reading
  • Take notes by writing down each idea presented in the passage in a few words, not in a complete sentence
  • If you have to paraphrase a long passage, it might be helpful for you to make a brief outline
  • Write your paraphrased section from your notes without consulting the original sources
  • Compare your paraphrased section with the original and ensure that you didn't copy words or sentence structures too similarly
  • Ensure that you present the original meaning accurately and that you neither add new ideas nor remove any important parts from the original
  • Finally, add a reference at the end of the paraphrased section, and don't forget to include the sources in your reference list.


A list of references is an alphabetical list of all the sources that you have cited in the text of your work. This means that all the publications cited in your work must be contained in the list of references.

A bibliography, on the other hand, is far more comprehensive, as it is an alphabetical list of all materials consulted, in addition to those cited in the text.

CEMS requires a single list of references at the end of the written work that provides accurate details of all the sources cited. It should provide enough information to allow your reader to identify and locate the source that you have used and to distinguish it from other versions of the same material. An example of a list of references is included at the end of this guide.

General rules of referencing


  • Be consistent throughout your list of references!
  • The reference list is always arranged in alphabetical order by the author’s surname.
  • References must not be numbered.
  • The layout, punctuation and capitalisation of all references should be consistent throughout the list of references.
  • Capitalise the first letter of all personal names, corporate authors and place names.
  • Only capitalise the first letter of the first word in the title of a book or journal article, e.g. Cases in services marketing. In the case of a book, the title should be in italics. The title of an article is neither in italics nor in inverted commas (see examples in the list at the end of this guide).
  • Capitalise the first letter of all the words other than conjunctions (and, or, of, etc.) for names of journals, e.g. Management Review Quarterly (name of journal in italics).
  • Use italics as shown in this guide when using a word processor and underlining when you are writing or using a typewriter. The titles of unpublished works are not italicised.
  • For in-text citations, use round brackets ().
  • Do not use brackets around the date in your list of references, but use square brackets [ ] for the date on which you accessed an online resource.
  • If there is no date, use (n.d.). If no place of publication is given, use (s.l.) and if no author is given, use Anon.
  • Always use the ampersand, i.e. & instead of ‘and’, except in cases where the author is cited as part of a sentence, e.g. According to Wiid and Cant (2021) …
  • Page ranges must be written as: 78–80.
  • The year of publication always follows the author(s).
  • Editions of books are always written in full, e.g., 2nd edition. A first edition is never referred to as such in the reference list.

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You may wish to quote a piece of work that has been referred to in something you have read. This is called ‘secondary referencing’ because you have not read the original piece of work. In other words, you are relying on the author you are reading to give a fair reflection of the contents of the original work. Wherever possible, it is important to read the original work, but this may be difficult in some instances. If you must refer to a secondary reference, your text should make it clear that you have not read the original.

This is only acceptable under extreme circumstances. It is important to consult the original material to ensure that you understand the context of what was discussed.


Research used by Smith (2000) regarding services marketing, shows that the indicators formulated by Grant (1994) in his PhD thesis entitled   Services marketing in transportation (Dunhill University) are applicable to the airline industry.

The work by Smith (2000) will be included in your bibliography, as this is where you read about Grant’s research.  However, the work by Grant (1994) is not included. You cannot include details about the original study, as you have not consulted it.

Another example:

A process project might consist of a number of stages including experimentation and production (Rondinelli 1983, cited in Potts, 2002:37). List the source you actually read, i.e. Potts.

Introduction To Reference Management Tools

Academic research involves dealing with a variety of sources,and managing them can be challenging and time consuming. A reference management tool makes this process easier by helping you to capture the bibliographic information of research publications and provides functionality to systematically organise you references to ensure that you can find and use your references to reference accurately.

Different academic fields require following specific citation styles, like Harvard, APA, MLA, or Chicago and reference management tools automate the use of in-text citations and the list of references in your chosen citation style and helps you adherence to the necessary citation style.

The College of Economic and Management Sciences use Harvard and APA 7th edition. Consult your supervisor or lecturer to find out which reference style you must use.

In addition to giving credit, referencing acts as a safeguard against unintentional plagiarism and reference management tools provide an easy way of accurately attributing ideas.


  • REFWORKS is a subscription-based web-based reference management tool designed to assist researchers, students, and academics in the organization, citation, and collaboration aspects of their scholarly work. Developed by ProQuest, RefWorks offers a user-friendly platform with features that facilitate the entire research process.
    Create your account with your myLife or unisa email address to gain access to RefWorks.

  • ENDNOTE is a comprehensive subscription-based reference management software developed by Clarivate Analytics, designed to facilitate the organization, storage, and citation of bibliographic references for researchers, students, and academics. EndNote is widely used in academic and scientific circles and offers a range of features to enhance the research process. Unisa has a limited amount of licenses. Please contact your personal librarian to arrange a license to access EndNote.
  • MENDELEY is a free widely used reference management and academic social networking tool that assists researchers, students, and academics in organizing, sharing, and discovering scholarly research. Developed by Elsevier, Mendeley offers a range of features designed to streamline the research process and foster collaboration within the academic community.
  • ZOTERO is a free, open-source reference management tool designed to assist researchers, scholars, and students in organizing, collecting, citing, and sharing research materials. Developed by the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media at George Mason University, Zotero offers a user-friendly interface and a suite of features tailored to academic needs.


Plagiarism is the act of presenting someone else's ideas, words, or work as one's own without proper attribution or acknowledgment. It involves the unauthorized use of intellectual property, intentionally or unintentionally, and is considered a breach of academic and ethical standards. Understanding these various types of plagiarism is crucial for maintaining academic integrity and promoting honest and original scholarship. Educational institutions typically have strict policies and consequences for instances of plagiarism to ensure the ethical and fair assessment of students' work.

COPY-AND-PASTE Directly lifting passages, sentences, or paragraphs from a source and inserting them into one's own work without quotation marks or proper citation.
VERBATIM Directly quoting a source without using quotation marks or proper citation. Verbatim plagiarism involves reproducing the original text word-for-word.
PATCHWRITING Combining original and copied text by making superficial changes without proper citation. Patchwriting often involves rearranging words or phrases while retaining the structure of the original.
INCORRECT PARAPHRASING Rewriting someone else's ideas or content in one's own words without giving credit to the original source. This type of plagiarism occurs when the structure and meaning remain too similar to the original.
SOURCE MISREPRESENTATION Falsifying or misrepresenting the source of information, either by attributing it to a non-existent or incorrect source or by manipulating citations to give a false impression of the depth of research.
GHOSTWRITING Submitting work that was entirely or partially created by someone else without proper acknowledgment. This often occurs when someone else writes a paper or assignment on behalf of the student. Collaborating with others to produce work that is then submitted as an individual effort. This form of plagiarism involves sharing or submitting work that is not solely one's own.
INACCURATE CITATIONS Incorrectly citing sources, either by providing inaccurate information or by citing a source that was not consulted. This form of plagiarism misleads readers about the actual sources used in the work.
SELF-PLAGIARISM Submitting one's own previously submitted work, or a substantial portion of it, without proper citation.


RefWorks is the preferred reference management tool for College of Economic and Management Science as it contains a template for CEMS Harvard and CEMS APA 7th edition referencing styles.

Register your RefWorks account by going to Click on 'Create Account' and sign up using your myLife or Unisa e-mail address.

You can learn how to use RefWorks by using the Proquest RefWorks library guide.


Make use of folders to keep your references structured according to the stage of your research, e.g. a folder for your Research Proposal, Research Design, Research Methodology, Chapters and themes.

Make use of Tags to link publications according to keywords or variables.


Turnitin is an online plagiarism detection service and academic integrity tool widely used by educational institutions, and is the official plagiarism detection tool used at Unisa and is integrated within myUnisa. The platform is designed to promote originality in academic writing by identifying and preventing plagiarism. Here are key features and aspects of Turnitin:

Turnitin's primary function is to scan submitted documents, including essays, papers, and assignments, to detect instances of plagiarism. It compares the text against a vast database of academic content, internet sources, and other students' submissions.

After scanning a document, Turnitin generates an Originality Report that highlights any matching or similar text found in the database. This report assists you and your supervisor to identifying and address potential instances of plagiarism.

Turnitin queries can be directed to the Turnitin staff at

The following documents were provided to the library by the Turnitin staff: