Research and referencing



Research relies on all the sources of information available. There are partially standardised media that specialise in certain areas of research, such as scientific papers (typical layout pictured) in journals, as well as textbooks, websites and other media that are useful at different stages of research, in different contexts and for different purposes. Scientific papers can be extremely technical to the point where only the researchers in that field can understand the content. Textbooks are more accessible and broad.



Presenting results must be done in an unbiased way e.g. showing all results, not cherry-picking, not tweaking data, graphs, images or statistical analyses to show data in a light that isn’t objective.


Presenting new research must credit any previous relevant work with adequate citations and references. Citations are quick, in-text tags to each statement that uses previous work e.g. “This gene showed a marked response in cancerous rats (Name and Other Name, 2001)“.


References are alphabetically-sorted, full-detail lists of the mentioned work, added at the end of the paper e.g;


Crenshaw, A., Jr., 2012. Surgical techniques and approaches, in: Campbell’s Operative Orthopaedics. Mosby Elsevier.


Domingos, M., Intranuovo, F., Gloria, A., Gristina, R., Ambrosio, L., Bártolo, P.J., Favia, P., 2013. Improved osteoblast cell affinity on plasma-modified 3-D extruded PCL scaffolds. Acta Biomaterialia 9, 5997–6005. doi:10.1016/j.actbio.2012.12.031


Gentile, P., Ghione, C., Tonda-Turo, C., Kalaskar, D.M., 2015. Peptide functionalization of nanocomposite polymer for bone tissue engineering using plasma surface polymerisation. RSC Adv. 5, 80039–80047. doi:10.1039/C5RA15579G


References contain author name(s), year of publication, paper or book title, pages, and their unique identifier code by which they can be looked up. There are many citation and reference managers (software) such as Zotero ( that can collect and generate references automatically…

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