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African Studies Library: Copyright & Referencing Advice

Referencing guidance

The best way to avoid plagiarism and stay on top of your citations is by using referencing management software.

The University supports the following software packages with training:

  • EndNote (available on University MCS terminals)
  • Mendeley (free!)
  • Zotero (free!)

The following LibGuides created by the English and Medical Libraries (Cambridge) provide helpful advice for referencing, and how to use software that is available to support you:

Please get in touch with us if you need any advice!

The following resources are available in print, or online within the Cambridge Libraries network (some may require Raven on and off campus)  There are many more helpful resources, please ask us.

The Centre for African Studies does not enforce a particular referencing style, but advises that students ensure that they apply only one style throughout their written work:

Bibliographical References and Citations

The bibliography must include all material, primary and secondary, that has been cited or has substantially informed the dissertation; it should not include materials consulted that have not, in the end, been used. It should normally be divided into manuscript sources, printed sources, printed secondary works and unpublished dissertations.

We do not give precise instructions about citations in the thesis. The choice between footnotes and author-date or Harvard referencing is a pragmatic one, on which you should take advice from your supervisor, and may reflect the scholarly conventions of the discipline you are working in, particularly the extent to which your dissertation relies upon primary materials. 

(Information provided on p19 - African Studies MPhil Handbook 2019-20)

Good Academic Practice

To get to grips with the ethics surrounding plagiarism, and how best to avoid it, take a look at this excellent guide: 

Copyright advice

For advice on copyright and authorship, including terminology and an excellent set of FAQs, please see the Copyright for Researchers LibGuide 

Research Data Management

CAS Plagiarism Statement

  • MPhil in African Studies Plagiarism Guidelines

Plagiarism is defined by the University in its Statement on Plagiarism as 'submitting as one's own work, irrespective of intent to deceive, that which derives in part or in its entirety from the work of others without due acknowledgement. It is both poor scholarship and a breach of academic integrity.' You can find the full statement at

The definition embraces equally the presentation of an entire essay or thesis written by someone else and the inclusion in your work of text written by others but not properly identified as such, for example through improper use of quotation marks and citations. It also includes the use of footnotes and any other material (such as tables or graphs) obtained from secondary works that are not clearly cited as the source. 

Plagiarism is a form of cheating and treated as such by the University’s ordinances. If you are in any doubt about what constitutes plagiarism, you may also ask your graduate supervisor or Director of Studies to talk you through the issue.

All students must attend any mandatory plagiarism training sessions offered by CAS.

(Information provided on p14-15 - African Studies MPhil Handbook 2019-20)

Help via CamGuides

CamGuides portal

Use the CamGuides portal for advice on how to manage your study resources.

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