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How to cite?

When writing your assignment, use different information sources to acquire information about the given issue and subsequently cite the sources.

What is referencing?

Referencing is the proces of acknowledging the sources you have used in your writing. It allows the reader to access your source documents as quickly and easily as possible in order to verify, if necessary, the validity of your arguments and the evidence on which they are based. You identify these sources by citing them in the text of your assignment (called citations or in-text citations) and referencing them at the end of your assignment called the reference list.

Why cite?

  • To follow Copyright Act (Act No. 121/2000 Sb in the Czech Republic). Due to the exemption to the Copyright Act it is possible to use works of other authors, provided these are being used to a justified extent and exclusively for non-business purposes, without any alteration, and with the source, title, and the author duly stated.
  • To avoid plagiarism – unacknowledged use of someone’s work, often done unintentionally.
  • To refer to other information sources which deal with the issue in detail or from different perspective.
  • To refer to the wider framework of the issue your assignment deals with.
  • To allow readers to verify the source of information, quoted theories and data.
  • Citing works of established authorities and experts in the subject supports your arguments.

According to Copyright Act there is no need to cite common knowledge or official texts, however there are situations when citing is advisable.

  • Common knowledge
    • Information that is generally known, indisputable or easily identifiable in encyclopaedia or basic textbooks (e.g. geographic or historical facts, equations, formulas, basic mathematical definitions, basic mathematical sentences or laws of physics). In a specialised professional environment it is the matter of technical data and expressions which are commonly used in a given community. However, it is often not clear when we work with a common knowledge and when the given fact is necessary to cite. In case of doubt it is reccomended to cite the particular piece of information or consult the specialist.
  • Official texts
    • Can be used without the consent of the author and therefore they are not needed to cite. However, if the author invokes the wording of a law in his work, citing this law is appropriate.
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