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Documenting sources

By documenting your sources, you indicate clearly when your text is a result of your own thinking and when you are basing your words upon other sources.


In an academic text you should always document your sources. That is, you should make a citation as soon as you are using someone else’s work.  Examples of text elements that should be cited include theories, the results of a study, a quotation or an idea derived from someone else’s work.

Below, two professors from the Faculty of Arts at Aarhus University give advice about the best way to use sources in a Danish academic context.


Citations appear in 

Your citations should always be precise and consistent.

Why is it important?

By documenting your sources, you make your work verifiable and transparent.

The citations in your text make it possible for your reader to trace your statements and argumentation back to the original sources. This is important in the Western academic tradition, in which the credibility of your arguments depends on precisely indicating and crediting the sources on which your ideas are based.

Do you have any questions regarding the documentation of sources?

The content of this page was written by Gina Bay, AU Library (Business and Social Sciences).