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Computer Science

About Citation Styles

There are thousands of citation styles in use. Your lecturer may tell you to use a particular one, or allow you to choose one on your own.

Guides for each style will tell you how to format the references:

  • Details on which order to present the bibliographic information.
  • Grammar instructions such as how to use punctuation and capitalisation - what is emboldened, underlined, italicised… where the full stops and commas go…
  • Different rules will apply to different formats of sources (journal articles, book with one author, books with several authors, edited books, chapters in edited books, webpages, reports, films, etc. etc…)

Many different styles are in use in Trinity College Dublin - for definitive answers you should use the full style manual for each system.

About Inline Styles

Inline citations use a brief summary of the reference in the text (such as listing the author and date, or the author and title, or author and page) with the full reference stated at the end of the chapter or work.

This final list is called a reference list or bibliography.

Generally the full list of references will be in alphabetical order by the first author’s surname.

Inline styles are sometimes called the “Harvard” style as they were first used at Harvard in the 1880s. They are also called “Parenthetical” styles as they enclose the partial information in brackets.

It is important to note that there are many variations of the Harvard style, so always check if there is a specific one that is required.

The Library has books on these (and other) styles available to guide students on how to reference correctly.