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What is difference between different kinds of referencing styles?

What is Difference between different kinds of referencing styles?

Primary types of referencing styles

References or citations are basically acknowledgement of any author or creator’s work by any other academic writer of any research essay or other such academic writing whenever his or her work is mentioned in the current academic writer’s academic research work or custom term paper. Now, based on the different ways in which these records and sources are used and the citations made, the referencing style is broadly divided into the following three categories:

  • Documentary Note style: In this particular system, references are made in the form of footnotes or endnotes at the end of the page or after the text. These are generally denoted by digits.
  • Parenthetical or author date style: These are actually in text references that are made within parenthesis and occur generally within the sentence before the full stop, where in the reference has been made.
  • Numbered style: In this referencing system, the sources are mentioned in Arabic numbers within superscript or third brackets at the end of the academic research work or custom term paper in a properly numbered reference list.

Some of the most popular styles of referencing

Now, these different types of referencing styles are further subdivided into a number of styles depending on their uses in different academic fields and institutions. Some of the most popular form of referencing or citation styles are as listed below:

  • Oxford Referencing: A referencing system formulated by the University of Oxford, for its various referencing and citation purposes and to be followed in most of the disciplines, though mainly the literary and humanities ones.
  • Harvard Referencing: It is actually a generic term and the style is usually referred to any format which follows the author date referencing style, the in text system and the also the referencing list at the end of the work, document or book. Notably, it has no official manual or guide.
  • Oscola Referencing: A branch of the Oxford referencing, this style is used exclusively for the citation of the legislative and other such legal matters and is quite popular in Britain and some other parts.
  • Chicago Referencing: It is one of the most popular forms of referencing in the academic world of writing. It universally follows the footnote and author date referencing style out of which the footnote style is quite common in the Literature and humanities field like in the books, newspapers, journals, magazines etc.
  • APA Referencing: The American Psychological Association reference style is the standard reference format used widely by the students, academic writers and researchers mainly in the field of psychology, education and also in some sub groups of Social sciences and other such disciplines. It is a variant of the Harvard referencing style.
  • IEEE Referencing: Short for the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers, it is the referencing style of a professional body of publishers dedicated to the field of Electronics and electrical engineering and computer sciences.
  • Turabian Referencing: This type of referencing are actually designed for the high school or the college students for writing their academic papers or custom term papers and to be used in case of all kinds of subjects and disciplines.
  • AMA Referencing: AMA or the American Medical Association referencing style is used in case of all medical, health or biological science reference purposes.
  • MLA Referencing: Abbreviated for the Modern Language Association of America, this format is generally used in the field of Arts, Literature, Linguistics and other Humanities groups.
  • Vancouver Referencing: It is a generic referencing term and the format namely the numbered list style, is widely used in the fields of health and Medical sciences.
  • ACS Referencing: This style belongs to the American Chemical Society and is quite popular in the chemical and related fields. It follows the numbered style and in text format of the Harvard.
  • CSE/CBE Referencing: Belonging basically to the Council of Science or Biology Editors, this referencing style is widely used in the science discipline and follows the numbered reference system all alphabetically arranged by the names of the author.
  • AGLC Referencing: the Australian Guide Legal Citation is the standard guide to references in the legal field and follows the detailed footnote style which makes it quite convenient for use.
  • AGPS/AGIMO Referencing: This is the standard Australian Guide issued by the Government Publishing services and the Information Management Office for the Australian publications and in fact forms the basis of the Harvard Referencing. It adapts the numbered style and the footnote referencing.

Functions and features of the different referencing styles with examples

All the referencing styles are basically formulated and created to serve one primary purpose which is giving the proper credit to a creator of any work if and when that work and the creator is mentioned in another writer’s work. It is also aimed at easing the understanding of the particular subject, in carrying forward and supporting a specific point in question or presenting any textual evidence to a point etc. While most style favor the footnote or endnote pattern and the in text citation, there are few variations in the uses of italics and punctuation, the arrangement of citations and in the preferred fields they are generally used in. Examples of some main reference styles are as follows:

  • Harvard: Hodge, R. W. & Tureiman, D. J. (1968), ‘Class Identification in the United States’, American Journal of Sociology, Vol 73, no. 4, pp. 535-547.
  • MLA: Lentricchia, Frank. Modernist Quartet. New York: Cambridge UP, 1994.
  • APA: Van Roon, A., Mulder, L., Althaus, M., and Mulder, G. (2004).
  • Vancouver: Festinger L, Riecken H.W., Schachter S. When Prophecy Fails. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press; 1956.

Difference between the different styles

The primary difference between the different kinds of reference style is that each is used in their respective fields and is seldom used elsewhere. In fact each has its own house style for which they can be easily distinguished from one another, be it in the citation pattern, the uses of punctuation and italics, the place of reference(whether footnote or endnote) or in the author date and publication arrangement. Thus, each style is different from the other although they might have few similarities.

What is Oscala referencing?

What is Oscala referencing? Is there any difference in this referencing when compared to oxford referencing?

 What is Oscola Referencing?

The Oscola or the Oxford Standard for Citation of Legal Authorities, style of referencing is that numeric format of referencing which is used and preferred by the academic writers belonging to the Bristol Institute of Legal Practice and the British Law School. Thus, designed mainly to be used by the Oxford University students, the Oscola referencing method today is the common and required format for the Law practitioners and the law students both in Britain and outside. In other words, Oscola is basically a guide to the legal citations used by law academic writers while writing an academic or research paper in the same field. It stands for consistency and easy understanding of the readers of the complicated matters of the legal world and is primarily based on the common UK legal citation practices.

Features of Oscola referencing

There are indeed quite a few salient features of the Oscola referencing style which are today also commonly called the footnote style referencing as it generally avoids the in text citations, punctuations or the end notes. Some of these features are as follows:

  • While citing or referring to some other work, include the footnote in the form of a small subscript number like eg^2 which can be linked to the particular cited sentence with the same subscript number.
  • While using a reference for the first time, complete detail of the source is to be provided.
  • In the bibliography, the information or the referred item if referred in a number of pages, is to be cited as a whole and not as specific or individual pages.
  • An Oscola bibliography usually contains three sections, namely –

1.  Table of Cases

2.  Table of Legislation and

3. Bibliography (it includes mainly the secondary sources like books, journals newspapers, websites etc.)

  • Full stops are not to be used in case of the abbreviations
  • The citations are all separated by semi colons
  • Proper forms of Italics and punctuations are necessary, if at all to be used, in the particular cases and places.

Advantages and uses of the Oscola referencing style

The Oscola style is important and useful for the legal field due to several reasons. Some of the basic reasons are as follows:

  • Since legal matters themselves are sometimes rather complicated, it is necessary for them to understand a subject without any difficulty and fast. The Oscola referencing actually does just that. It helps in a clear and fast understanding of the whole subject matter.
  • As the Oscola style helps in referring the complicated legal matters in a simplified and familiar way, it allows easy identification and tracking down of the academic writer’s referred source.
  • It is a consistent format and does not allow or provide much scope for variation and diversion. As a result, it is quite easy, for both the readers and the writers, to follow and comprehend.
  • The Oscola referencing, due to its familiarity and easy comprehensiveness, facilitates the reader to follow an argument properly and thus helps in the persuasion and reinforcement of the academic writer’s point, which makes the whole thing far easier for the reader.

Few examples of Oscola referencing

The Oscola referencing style does not demand much effort on the part of the readers for comprehension. Thus, it is quite well known for its simple methods, consistency, and familiarity and, of course, easy usage. However, the Oscola referencing is divided into the following two divisions:

  • The Primary Legal Source
  • The Secondary Legal Source

These divisions are all made according to the nature of the source of the references and citations. While the Primary legal source includes law reports, cases, legislations from the EU and UK, the Secondary legal source includes the journals, books, articles, policy statements, websites etc. Some good examples would help in a better understanding of the Oscola referencing. These examples are as follows:

Primary Sources:

  • For referencing a particular case, it is important to mention the name of the case, the neutral citation and the volume with the first page of the law report citation. The court name also needs to be mentioned.

E.g.: R (Roberts) v Parole Board [2004] EWCA Civ 1031, [2005] QB 410

  • The paragraph numbers are required to be mentioned in third brackets or square brackets, as they are also called, while pinpointing at the end of a citation with the court.

E.g.: Bunt v Tilley [2006] EWHC 407 (QB), [2006] 3 All ER 336 [1]–[37]

  • In case of statutes and statutory instruments citations, the decree along with the order is to be mentioned in the reference.

E.g.: Penalties for Disorderly Behaviour (Amendment of Minimum Age) Order 2004, SI 2004/3166

  • While making an EU legislation reference or case citation, the common Oscola norm is to give the year of the decree and the case details.

Eg: Council Regulation (EC) 139/2004 on the control of concentrations between undertakings (EC Merger Regulation) [2004] OJ L24/1, art 5, Case C–176/03 Commission v Council [2005]

Secondary Sources:

  • The secondary source referencing includes mentioning the author’s name with the name and year of publication of the work. The page numbers are to be mentioned at the end of the citations following the brackets.

Eg: Gareth Jones, Goff and Jones: The Law of Restitution(1st supp, 7th edn, Sweet & Maxwell 2009)

  • For referencing from the Journals and the articles, for pinpointing, it is necessary to put comma between the first page of that article and the page pinpointed.

Eg: JAG Griffith, ‘The Common Law and the Political Constitution’ (2001) 117 LQR 42, 64

Difference between Oscola and Oxford referencing

The differences between the Oxford style of referencing and the Oscola method are quite manifold. This is because the purpose of the two methods is inherently different and thus their target readers and functions are also a bit separate from each other. However, the basic principal of the referencing and citation style remains true for both – easy understanding of the readers. While the Oxford lays stress on the proper punctuations and in text citations with accurate date and year of publication of work, the Oscola avoids the uses of punctuations in most of the cases and prefers footnotes instead of the instant in text references.