For scholarly articles, research-based or otherwise, it is crucial to back up all claims with pertinent and substantiated literature. This practice not only fortifies the credibility of the article but also enables readers to trace the sources and verify the accuracy of the information. Academic sources that have undergone a rigorous evaluation process by experts in the field hold significant advantages in this regard. In academic writing, authors must avoid overusing self-citation and colluding with other authors to cite each other’s work improperly, which not only undermines the credibility of the research but also goes against the principles of academic integrity. Therefore, authors need to exercise caution and ensure that their citations accurately reflect the scope and relevance of their research. Conduct that violates established norms or standards may be deemed as misconduct. For non-research articles such as reviews or opinions, authors must verify the objectivity and impartiality of the sources they reference. The references should provide an unbiased and equitable evaluation of the current state of research without any preconceived notions towards a particular group, organisation, or publication. 

A thorough guide on referencing is available for professionals with a technical understanding. This guide covers the proper referencing methods for materials such as books, patents, conference proceedings, clinical trials, and journal articles. Authors ensure to include these types of articles in your reference list.

  • Preprints: When citing articles available in repositories or preprint servers, it is essential to include the author’s name, title, preprint DOI, and date posted in the reference list. When citing a research article, it is advisable to reference the published version in a peer-reviewed journal rather than the preprint version.
  • In Press: For citing articles approved for publication in a peer-reviewed journal but to be published, authors should use the terminology “in the press” instead of stating a specific publication date.
  • Data and material availability: Researchers should ensure their data is available without additional credentials. Any restrictions on resource accessibility, particularly those involving for-profit entities, must be clearly stated in writing. The corresponding author bears the responsibility of ensuring the availability of resources. When citing data, the following elements are indispensable:
    1. Publisher Location: repository where the author has deposited the data set.
    2. Author: the individual(s) responsible for creating the data.
    3. Persistent Identifier (e.g., DOI)
    4. Data and Material Designator: dataset
  • Website URL: For an expert audience, it is essential to note that the reference list should include websites that are not directly associated with product manufacturers or programs. The reference should contain the website’s title, URL, and access date.
  • Thesis: Authors should incorporate relevant citations in their thesis presentation. When citing the thesis stored in a repository or database, it is recommended to follow a specific style:
    Authors, “title of the article”, type of thesis, affiliations/ name of the university/ institution/ college, year of publication, DOI, URL.


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