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Referencing is an important aspect in academic texts. There are many different referencing systems to choose from. We have listed guides and manuals for the systems most commonly used at Swedish universities, along with information on copyright law and how to use other people’s work without plagiarizing. Please visit our drop-in academic support for guidance on how to use references in your writing.

Referencing systems

A reference consists of the information about the original source that is required in order for the reader to easily find that source. Different branches of learning tend to prefer particular referencing systems. Each system indicates how to use citations in the text and how to make a reference list. Ask your teacher which system to use if you are unsure. The most important thing is that your use of references is accurate and consistent.

Below you will find guides to some of the most common referencing systems.


Zotero is a free-to-use reference manager. The program has a wide number of features such as web browser integration, online synchronization, easy generation of text quotes, footnotes and bibliographies, shared reference libraries and integration with word processors.

Guide to Zotero from Uppsala University


Plagiarism means presenting someone else's work as your own (a text, a chart, a program, a picture, etc.). Also so-called self-plagiarism is plagiarism.

Refero is an anti-plagiarism guide. It contains information on plagiarism and how to avoid it. There's also a quiz where you can test your knowledge.

Plagiarism can include:

  • Using someone else's text as your own without citing the source.
  • Using someone else's text as your own but with insignificant changes (for example changing a few words or changing the word order).
  • Copying phrases, sentences or paragraphs from the source word-by-word, without citing the source (the so-called copy-paste method).
  • Only making minor changes to the text, and citing the source (that is, being too close to the original wording of the source).
  • Self-plagiarism. That is, using your own previous work as if it was new, without stating that the material has already been presented in one of your earlier academic texts.

Please observe that the usage of copyright protected pictures is not allowed. In order to find pictures that can be used according to Creative Commons, you can use the search engine CC Search.