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Waidner-Spahr Library

Citing Sources: Citation Consultations Policy

Academic Integrity and Citation Consultations Policy

Librarians are available to consult with students about maintaining academic integrity and avoiding plagiarism while engaging in research projects.  Librarians will also help students understand the general principles and basic formatting rules of the citation styles used most commonly on campus.

How Librarians Can Help

For questions regarding bibliographies/works cited lists, librarians will:

  • Explain the general rules and logic of the citation format and teach students how to apply a required style to their papers.
  • Point out important and unique elements of each citation style.
  • Search for patterns of error in a bibliography or works cited list and explain the correct formatting when repeated errors are detected.
  • Help students construct citations for items that do not fit into predetermined categories.
  • Teach students how to use Zotero (citation management and citing software).
  • Provide samples of the style, manuals, or links to further information.

For questions regarding appropriate attribution, librarians will:

  • Explain the principles of academic integrity and plagiarism avoidance.
  • Explain the general rules of attribution when quoting and paraphrasing (e.g. how and when to apply and format in-text notes vs. footnotes vs. endnotes).
  • Search for patterns of inadequate attribution in a paper and explain the value and necessity of academic integrity when evidence of plagiarism is detected.
  • Provide samples of appropriate attribution and manuals or links to further information.

Student Responsibilities

Students are expected to uphold Dickinson College’s Community Standards.  When seeking help from a librarian for citation and attribution, students should be aware of the following:

  • Students are ultimately responsible for giving proper attribution to all sources consulted and for constructing their own bibliographies/works cited lists.
  • Students must proofread their own work for accuracy and adherence to the correct citation style.  Librarians cannot engage in line-by-line editing of a bibliography/works cited list or research paper.
  • Students must know what citation style they are required to use for each project as this will change depending upon the subject and professor.  Librarians cannot offer accurate advice without this information.  If in doubt, verify with your professor before meeting with a librarian.  This information is often found on your syllabus or assignment prompt.
  • Students must keep track of their own research material and know what sources they are quoting or paraphrasing, as well as when another’s work is consulted in the body of a research paper.