Academic Integrity at VU: Reference with integrity

Why reference?

Writing at university may involve researching the ideas of other people, which you can combine with your own ideas and conclusions. Learning to acknowledge other people through in-text citing or footnotes in addition to providing a reference list will help differentiate between their ideas and your own.

This is central to the idea of academic honesty in Western academic institutions.

So why reference?

  • To show respect for the original source. Using someone else's work as your own without properly acknowledging it is considered intellectual theft.
  • To demonstrate that you have done the research. Your teachers want to see that you have considered the experts when forming the basis of your arguments.
  • To show what research you've done. Your teacher must assess the quality of your research. Accurate referencing following a specific style will enable the reader to easily locate and verify your research.
  • To avoid plagiarism. Failure to properly acknowledge when you have used the work of others means you are implying that the idea or words are yours. This is plagiarism and the consequences may affect your academic progress at university.

Read the VU Academic Integrity Policy for more details.

Academic Integrity Modules

Study with Academic Integrity. As you start or continue your studies at Victoria University, complete the academic integrity modules. Understand what academic integrity means and why it is important to present authentic work and acknowledge the work of others.

To access these interactive modules you must be enrolled as a VU student.

Link through to Academic Integrity HQ for VU students on VU Collaborate - you need to self-enrol, Navigate to the Academic Integrity Modules and work through the contents and quizzes for each module. Refer Academic Integrity HQ for VU students for further information.

After successfully completing all four modules and quizzes you will receive a Certificate of Achievement. This is a downloadable PDF file which includes the your student name and date of completion. See Academic Integrity Student Guide for instructions on how to download your Certificate.

VU referencing style guides

Different subject disciplines use different referencing styles. Be sure to check with your lecturer/ supervisor on their recommended style before using any of the following styles guides:

How do referencing styles differ?

Referencing styles have different rules regarding punctuation, capitalisation, abbreviations and the use of italics. They also differ in how the acknowledgement of resources used is expressed in the body of your text and the reference list. A summary is provided in this guide, but refer to the individual style guides for full details.

Author-date styles

  • Each work cited is given an in-text reference and an entry in the Reference list at the end of the document.
  • APA referencing style 
    • Example: Basic reference list entry for a book (print version) in APA
      • Dwyer, J. (2013). Communication for business and the professions: Strategies and skills (5th ed.). Pearson.

Documentary-note (Footnote) styles

  • Each work cited is given a number in-text with the full reference in a footnote and/or reference list.
  • Oxford referencing style  
    • In Oxford there is both a footnote at the end of the page and a reference list
    • Example : Basic reference list entry for a book (print version) in Oxford Style
      • Dwyer, J., Communication for Business and the Professions: Strategies and Skills, 5th edn., Frenchs Forest, NSW, Pearson, 2013.
  • IEEE referencing style  
    • In IEEE at the end of your work the full reference of each inserted number [X] is provided in the order they appear throughout your writing.
    • Example : Basic reference list entry for a book (print version) in IEEE Style
      • [1]   J. Dwyer, Communication for Business and the Professions: Strategies and Skills, 5th ed. Frenchs Forest, NSW: Pearson, 2013.
  • AGLC4 referencing style
    • In AGLC4 there is both a footnote at the end of the page and a bibliography/reference list
    • Example : Basic reference list entry for a book (print version) in AGLC4 Style
      • Dwyer, Judith, Communication for Business and the Professions: Strategies and Skills (Pearson, 5th ed, 2013)

Referencing management tools

VU Library has a number of reference management tools which can help you to:

  • Create, store and organise a personalised database of your references
  • Enter references manually or import from library catalogues or databases
  • Generate bibliographies/reference lists, choosing from 100s of bibliographic styles


  • EndNote can be used by all current VU students (onshore) and VU staff. It's suitable for researchers and students who need to manage large amounts of bibliographic data.

Endnote Online