By Vexen Crabtree 2006
It is important to state your sources. It proves that you're not making stuff up. It allows others to check that you've understood sources properly, quoted them in context, and helps people understand the biases of your sources. It is tempting to omit references for "well-known" facts or "common-sense" arguments, however, the Internet provides an unceasing stream of critics who read your text with wildly different assumptions and cultural knowledge to your own. So verge on the side of over-referencing than under-referencing. One reference per fact often means one reference per sentence.
All HTF pages have inline references (citations) and footnotes. Subscripted footnotes are found at the bottom of the page, as well as a bibliography section.
When making contributions and submissions to the HTF, adhere to the HTF policy on referencing as stated on this page.
"quotations": Quotes can be denoted with either single or double quotes. Brackets and ellipses can be used to modify quotes, as per the following notes.
[...] or ... means a part of the original author's text has been skipped for brevity or clarity1.
[... but]: After omitting some of the original text, extra word(s) have been inserted to make the quote make good grammatical sense or to provide context1. If there is just one letter of a word inside the brackets, it is because after removing a section, the capitalisation of the word was then incorrect.
Avoid conventions such as "Ibid." and formulaic structures like Harvard referencing, as these are confusing to laypeople. Readers should not have to work out what a reference means.
Subscripted numbers can appear in various places. They are used to contain references to backup a fact or statement. They are sometimes used to convey additional minor details.
It is a fact 3 !: When appearing inside a sentence it means that the immediate fact(s) preceding the reference are attributable to the source. At the bottom of the page will be a numbered list showing more information for each footnote. Click on the subscripted numbers are you will be taken to the Notes section; click on the carets ( ^ ) in the Notes section to be taken to each major chapter area where that reference has been used.
At the bottom of webpages is the "reference", "sources" or "bibliography" section. Sources are listed in alphabetical order by author. Under each author is a list of books or articles used by that author. Keep the biblio section relatively verbose to aid understanding, and so that casual readers can work it out, rather than use the specialist academic shorthand that many professionals are fond of. The following are some notes on abbreviations and methods of referencing sources:
In or Via: This means that the notes are not taken from the original, and the quote was obtained through another source, which will also be in the bibliography. When including other peoples' biblio details sometimes it is better to use their reference in their own format, so it will look different to the others. This is because it is starting where that author says the information came from rather than re-interpreting their reference.
Smith et al. simply means that a source was authored by multiple people, and for simplicity only the first one is listed - et al. means "and all" others. The main biblio entry should list all the authors in full.
p13,40-45,20: Page and Digital Location references are given for the location of the quoted text in the source document. If the quote is comprised of multiple sections separated by [...] then the pages referenced will be in the order in which they appear in the quote.
Smith (2009, ed.). Although bibliographies should be verbose, "ed." and "eds" can be used to in place of "editor" or "editors". It means Smith did not write the whole text and perhaps multiple chapters were contributed by multiple other authors, and Smith simply compiled them into a coherent new book.
Smith & Jones (2017, eds). As above, but, Smith & Jones together have edited the text's content.
Journal paper ref, JSSR 13(1) 69-86. This is a traditional reference to a periodical. Do not use this format. It is undecipherable to the average mortal. It means volume 13 (there might be 1 volume per year, depending on the journal), issue 1 (there might be 4 issues per year), pages 69-86. The pages might count from the start of the last volume and reset each year, or, they might reset on each episode. To find these things out, you have to go research the journal. If quoting someone else's reference then it might be best to leave it in the format they have used unless you have verified the presence of the document in the location the author says it is in. In which case, convert the reference into a more sensible format - like: Journal (2003 Mar 10) article "This is true!" p69-86.
Some academics and the like are horrified when referencing systems do not follow one of the great established systems, such as Harvard Referencing. But the truth is that traditional methods do not suit webpages. The capability to hyperlink subscripted numbers to the bottom of the page and have links back up to the original text mean that this method becomes superior, aiding readability and allowing useful levels of information to be added about sources in an inline manner. Also, the bibliography section itself does not use conventions such as ibid and does not follow the normal Harvard format. This is because that format is designed to save maximum space by placing everything in a known order. The problem with this is that ordinary readers find it hard to understand, and, on the web, there is no need to save pixels.