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Reviewing the Literature Room

Reviewing the literature is a major part of any research process. It is important for many reasons, including finding the basis for your research, checking the current knowledge and thinking in your subject area and demonstrating that you can find, read and synthesise a range of literature in your subject domain. As you create your literature review, you will also be building your skills in literature sourcing, retrieval and management. These include effective reading, synthesis, rationale-building, organisation and writing. As you study the constellations in this room, keep referring to the think map on the left. This will help you to see the relevance of a particular constellation to the overall picture.


Reviewing the literature > Citing references > The use of "ibid." and "op.cit."

The use of "ibid." and "op.cit."

The terms ibid. and op.cit. are used in referencing to avoid duplicating the same reference details in the body of your text and in your reference list. The term ibid. is short for the Latin ibidem meaning 'in the same place' and is used when the next reference is the same as the last one. The term op.cit. is short for the Latin opere citato, meaning 'in the work cited' and is used when the same reference is cited elsewhere in the body of your text, but is not the most recent citation.

As an example, look at the following passage that uses the Harvard referencing system:

"The benefits of effective organizational learning are well-recognised in terms of improved innovation (Chanal 2004), achieving and sustaining change (Boyce 2003) and in developing competence (Drejer 2000). But this process can be "...unpredictable and difficult to foster ..." (Pedler 2002 p 534) and there is no overall consensus in the literature on how best to encourage effective organizational learning. Consensus is an important issue. But, it can be hard to foster, and Pedler (ibid. p 539) states that "... consensus is etc etc". The findings of some researchers (Boyce op.cit.) show that ... etc etc."

The Harvard reference list for this passage would look like this:

Boyce, M., (2003) Organizational learning is essential to achieving and sustaining change in higher education. Innovative Higher Education, 28:2, 119-136.

Chanal, V., (2004) Innovation management and organizational learning: a discursive approach. European Journal of Innovation Management, 7:1, 56-64.

Drejer, A., (2000) Organizational learning and competence development. The Learning Organization, 7:4, 206-220.

Pedler, M., (2002) Accessing local knowledge: action learning and organizational learning in Walsall. Human Resource Development International, 5:4, 523-540.

The same passage using the numeric system would look like this:

"The benefits of effective organizational learning are well-recognised in terms of improved innovation(1), achieving and sustaining change(2) and in developing competence(3). But this process can be "...unpredictable and difficult to foster ..."(4) and there is no overall consensus in the literature on how best to encourage effective organizational learning. Consensus is an important issue. But, it can be hard to foster, and Pedler(5) states that "... consensus is etc etc". The findings of some researchers(1) show that ... etc etc."

The reference list for the numeric text would look like this:

(1) Chanal, V., (2004) Innovation management and organizational learning: a discursive approach. European Journal of Innovation Management, 7:1, 56-64.

(2) Boyce, M., (2003) Organizational learning is essential to achieving and sustaining change in higher education. Innovative Higher Education, 28:2, 119-136.

(3) Drejer, A., (2000) Organizational learning and competence development. The Learning Organization, 7:4, 206-220.

(4) Pedler, M., (2002) Accessing local knowledge: action learning and organizational learning in Walsall. Human Resource Development International, 5:4, 523-540.

(5) Ibid p.539

Generally ibid. and op.cit. tend to be used more in the body text for the Harvard system, and more in the reference list for the numeric system, as you can see.

There is no single authority that defines the 'Harvard' referencing style. Please seek guidance on the preferred scheme of referencing from your home institution or the journal in which your study will appear. Details and examples of how to use UWE Harvard, the referencing style of choice on most University of the West of England (UWE) programmes, can be found on the UWE library web pages and 'Referencing guides and tools'.   

Comments:

Liz Falconer (12/01/2011 14:18:25)
Thanks John - well spotted! I've made the change. Thanks for letting us know.CheersLiz.
John Moriarty (11/01/2011 13:49:33)
I think your numeric system example uses (1) for the final reference, which should in fact be (2) - the Chanal / Boyce references have got muddled.
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