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Referencing, citations and avoiding plagiarism (MTU Kerry): Secondary Referencing

Referencing, citations and avoiding plagiarism (MTU Kerry)

A guide to secondary referencing

Secondary Referencing

Secondary Referencing

It is always best practice to see for yourself each of the sources that you are referring to in your work. However, sometimes this may not be possible. Some very rare or very old books or journal articles, for example, may be difficult to access.

You may still want to use these sources as you have seen them mentioned elsewhere in one of the books or sources that you have seen.  In this situation it is possible to use what is known as Secondary Referencing.  This allows you to refer to the source you have read which cites or quotes from another author.

You can then cite or quote the original work as a Secondary Reference.

‘Cited in’

The phrase ‘cited in’ should be used in your in-text citation. This indicates that you did not read the original, book, journal article or piece of research and it is in fact a Secondary Reference or Secondary Source.  

There are two methods of citing a secondary reference.

  1. Directly, where the original author(s) are mentioned directly in the text:

            Research by Howell and Frost (1989 cited in Bryman and Bell, 2003, p.44) found that ...

  1. Indirectly:

(Howell and Frost, 1989 cited in Bryman and Bell, 2003, p.44)

Reference List

You should only refer to the source you have viewed yourself in the Reference List. In the example above, you should only include Bryman and Bell’s book in your Reference List as this is the source that you've read. You should not include Howell and Frost’s work in your reference list.

The entry in Reference List would be as follows:

 Bryman, A. & Bell, E., 2003. Business Research Methods. Oxford:  Oxford University Press.