The Three Parts of a Reference Entry
There are several kinds of referencing systems. Different journals and publishers also use versions with large or small variations in their daily work. Yet the basic information used to locate a reference is the same in those. An entry in a reference list can be divided into three parts: author, reference item and publication. By selecting, combining and arranging these three parts of information, people have created different referencing systems.
In Harvard referencing system, the information on author also contains information on the year of publication. When page or chapter numbers are added to them, it is basically the same as in-text referencing information. This might be an advantage in using the Harvard referencing system.
There can be one author or several authors of a reference. The order of listing the authors is very important because it involves the name of an author being mentioned in others’ works. So the first, second and third authors must be listed clearly. Other authors will not be listed and “et. al.” is used for saving space.
An author can be a person or an organization, which may include government organs, international organizations and companies. An author can have different functions to a book. He or she can be the original author, an editor or a translator. The last two functions needs to be clearly stated. An editor’s name is followed by “ed.” and those of several editors by “eds.”. The name of a translator is followed by “trans. or translated by”.
If an author wrote several works in one year, each can be added with one letter in alphabetic order “a, b, c, d…”, such as 1998a. If the reference quotes the opinion of other works, the quoted other works should be referenced with the information on the original reference and its author.
The part of a reference entry about the referential material itself mainly describes various attributes of the text quoted. References fall into two major categories: traditional printed publications and electronic data.
书和期刊是最主要的学术文献。书有单行本，文集和丛书，后两种都要明确标注出来，方便查找来源。如果书有多个版本，需要注明是第几版，比如“2nd ed.”，重印的版本注明“Reprint”，修订版也作为新版本，但需要注明修订，比如“3rd rev. ed.”。
Books and journals are the primary literature in academic study. Books may be published in single copies, collections and series. The names or titles of collections or series need to be clearly noted for readers to check information source easily. If a book has been published in several editions, the number of edition needs to be given, such as “2nd ed.”. “Reprint” needs to be added for reprinted editions. A revision is regarded as a new edition. But revision needs to be specified, such as “3rd rev. ed.”.
When quoting opinions in a book or article, a writer can summarize the entire book or article or any part of it. If there is a specific title to the part, the title needs to be given in reference entry and page or chapter number(s) need to be added.
In addition to its title, the information on the article in a journal also needs to include the name of the journal, volume number and issue number. Volume number is counted by year from the beginning of the journal’s publication. The issues published in one year are collected as one volume. Issue number is the number given to each issue published in a year. In the referential information about an article in newspaper, its title is given first, then the date of publishing of the newspaper, and finally the number of the page on which the article has appeared.
The publications of government organs, organizations and enterprises include documents, reports, statistics and brochures. The title of all these can be used to give reference information. Some government documents and similar documents of other organizations have their own complicated serial number system. This information can also be added into reference entry.
In addition to its title, the type of a dissertation needs to be specified in reference entry. It is in fact the type of the degree, such as PhD diss.
If a writer quotes and replicates a picture, a painting, a poem or other types of work, he or she may give reference information on the creator of the quoted work, its date of publication, title and other descriptive details.
An unpublished article, study or manuscript can be referenced with the information on its author and title with the information “unpublished” added. A paper not yet published but contributed to or read at a conference can be referenced with the information “presented at (the name of conference)” and other necessary details.
“Pers. comm.” needs to be added in reference entry for various types of personal communications.
If an article does not have a specific author, this part can be omitted and its title be placed in the beginning of the reference entry. If there is no specific date of publication, “n.d.” needs to be given at the place where the year of publication is written.
There are many kinds of electronic materials that can be used as reference. E-books, websites and database items belong to one major category. All these are official electronic format in publication. The information in reference entry focuses on the format, source and location of referenced electronic data. In the part of reference information, the format of electronic file is added. Except for this, the rest of the information basically corresponds with the literature information of traditional publications.
There are two kinds of audio and video files: One type is those published online or on air through radio and television stations; the other type is produced and sold on mediums such as CD. The files are made in traditional audio and video formats and digital formats. Video games might be added to these kinds of reference as it is also the product of publishing industry. Referencing of these materials follows the way of referencing traditional publications. But the key is to give the information of file format or form of medium.
Well-written articles can be published in media websites or other kinds of websites. And they can also be written on personal blogs on the Internet. Blogs are similar to column articles in traditional media. When referencing blogs, the information needs to be given includes blog title, website name, format and date of blogging.
Various wikipedia and other internet encyclopedia can also be used as source of reference. The part about referenced material in reference entry includes article title, name of internet encyclopedia, format and date of the latest version.
“Pers. comm.” needs to be added when emails and other online communications are used as reference materials. The source of such materials include email list, USENET groups, forum board and communication software. The part on author in reference entry should better have other details about electronic communication, such as email address. The part on referenced materials includes date of post, title and file format. The title of post can be taken from the “Theme” line of the message.
On microblog websites, posts tend to be brief. The full text can be used as title when they are used as reference materials. Or the first fifteen words can be taken as title. The description of file format includes website name and the word “post”, such as “Facebook post”. And then the date of posting is given.
The information on other reference materials such as picture, diagram and tables is similar to traditional publications. It includes title or description. And the key is to give file format of its electronic version and other details. For example, “digital photograph” needs to be added for digital photographs used in writing.
Page or chapter number is the last detail for the part on referenced materials in reference entry. It needs to be noted that for a single page, “p” and page number is used and, for several or many pages, “pp” and the range of the pages referenced is used.
文献标注信息的最后一部分是出版发布信息。传统出版物中，这一部分信息主要是出版商的名称和出版地点。电子文献中，除了要注明，出品、发布或所有方的名称，还要专门注明访问地址，即数据库名称加网址（用“Available through”加名称、网址），网址（用“Available at”加网址），DOI编号（直接用DOI所在网址加DOI编号）。另外，还要注明访问日期，即“Accessed （date）”，日期格式为日（序数），月份（英文词），年份（四位数字）。
The last part of referencing is the information on publishing. For traditional publications, this part includes name of publisher and place of publishing. For electronic reference materials, the location of access on the internet needs to be specified in addition of the name of publisher, producer or owner. Namely, database name and website is described like “Available through (name of database) (website address)”. Website is described like “Available at (website address)”. DOI number is given directly as “(website address of the site where DOI is located)/DOI number”. In addition, the date of access needs to be given as “Accessed (date)”. The format of the date is like “(day in cardinal number) (month in English word) (year in four digits)”.