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.