Difference Between Citation and Reference

Citation vs Reference

Citation and Reference are two words that are used in research methodology. These two terms have to be understood with difference. Citation is a reference to a published or unpublished source. It is generally an abbreviated alphanumeric expression found in the pages of a thesis or a dissertation. The primary motive of citation is to exhibit your intellectual honesty.

On the other hand reference consists in the act of referring. As a researcher you refer to some books and journals while writing the thesis or dissertation. As a matter of fact you would include some references in the pages of your thesis in the form of footnotes. The footnotes contain the reference passages taken from the relevant books and journals from which you quote them. At the end of each chapter you would give the corresponding books and journals from which you have picked the quotations mentioned in the footnotes. These are references.

It is customary to write the references in the preparation of research papers and dissertations. Sometimes references are included at the end of every chapter of a thesis or towards the end of the thesis. On the other hand citation is included at the places wherever you quote from different authors. The very purpose of citation lies in the fact that you are willfully acknowledging the writer of the work from whom you have borrowed a quotation. On the other hand the purpose of reference is only to let the reader of the thesis know the various books from which you have quoted through the footnotes.

It is important to note that both reference and citation contribute to the making of a thesis. Both are equally important but in different senses. A reader of a thesis gets to know about the authors and the subject while going through the reference and the citation.

Related Link: