What is the use of literature

What does a correct reference to the source look like?

From copyright.de, last update on: February 18, 2021

Bachelor, diploma or doctoral theses are usually with a enormous effort connected. In addition to the research activity the treatises also require one correct, scientific way of working. This includes, among other things, a correct Source. To lead Time pressure or inattention If students or academics do not correctly cite sources, this can quickly lead to plagiarism.

References FAQ

What is the purpose of citing a source?

With this you can, for example, specify the origin of a quotation.

What should you pay attention to when citing the source?

It is generally advisable to allow enough time to cite the source, because if the deadline is getting closer, this can lead to inattention. It is possible that such careless mistakes lead to a lower grade or a plagiarism allegation. You should also be extremely careful when citing the literature.

How do you specify internet sources?

If you want to use content from the World Wide Web for a scientific paper, you must indicate the internet source. The source of a website includes the author and the title of the article as well as the corresponding URL and the date of access. This information is necessary because changes to images or texts can be made continuously on the Internet. For this reason, it is advisable to make a copy of the page, for example by means of a screenshot, which may serve as evidence.

The rights of the authors

Texts and images are not infrequently subject to this copyright. The prerequisite for this is, among other things, a personal-spiritual creation and achieving a certain Design height.

Such copyright works are available through the Copyright Act (UrhG) under a special protection, resulting from the special Relationship between Creator and Work results.

Thus, copyright law only allows the creator of the work over its Publication or reproduction to determine and secure the Mention as author to. The author cannot fully transfer these privileges to third parties because copyright is a exclusive right.

A Transfer of rights is only possible through the death of the Creator, because copyright can be inherited. However, the right expires 70 years after the author has died.

But the rights of a creator are not unlimited, but are subject to certain conditions by the Limitations of Copyright circumcised. These allow, among other things, the use of works for the School lessons, For Press review or in Quotes.

When can I quote?

A quote is usually one literally adopted text passage, but also other types of work - such as pictures or music - can be used as such.

Quotes are among the Limitations of Copyright, which is why it is possible under certain conditions to use works or their parts without the Author's permission necessary is. In addition, the is usually not required Payment of a fee.

So according to Section 51 UrhG the reproduction, Dissemination and communication to the public of a work is permissible through a quotation, the use of the cultural or scientific advancement serve. In addition, quoting is only permitted in creations that are also protected by copyright.

The UrhG also stipulates that quotations with a Source are to be provided and one Change prohibition subject, which however allows abbreviations that do not distort the meaning of the work.

Quotes always have to be serve a specific purpose and have to go with the own performance stay in contact. One way to do this is, for example discussion. The length of the quote must also be in the relationship stand for the purpose, so a text must not be senselessly elongated.

Legal regulations on the indication of source

As mentioned earlier, quotes - that is, the Use of strange creations - be provided with a source. What this must contain is there Section 63 UrhG at:

If a work or part of a work [...] is reproduced, the source must always be clearly indicated. When reproducing entire language works or entire works of music, the publisher in which the work was published must be specified in addition to the author and it must also be indicated whether the work has been cut or other changes made. The obligation to indicate the source does not apply if the source is neither mentioned on the workpiece used or in the reproduction of the work used, nor is it otherwise known to the person authorized to reproduce it.

If the source is correctly recorded in accordance with copyright law, readers, listeners or viewers may be able to find original work and form your own opinion.

Copyright: What criteria must a reference to the source meet?

So after the copyright References to literature must be considered correct and therefore permissible, both in terms of content and design certain requirements fulfill:

  • In the case of literature, the source must be at least from the Names of the quoted author and the Title of the work consist
  • Literature references are allowed not hidden become. The evidence must be in relation to the representation; a font size that is too small would, for example, represent a copyright infringement.
  • A reference must be made clearly can be assigned to the corresponding content be.
  • The quotation must be visually separated from your own text. The foreign text is usually shown in italics.
  • A source can only be used as a "unknown" be marked if all practicable ways of obtaining information are exhausted.
Copyright law restricts the information given to the source minimum. So are among other things Publisher name, ISBN, publisher and year of publication not fundamentally necessary. Likewise, when citing the source of Internet pages, the Date of access be waived.

References in science

References to literature and evidence of third-party intellectual property are important issues in science. The meaning of the source can be seen, for example, from the Plagiarism affairs the former Federal Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg and Annette Schavan. Both paid because of wrong references both their doctorates and their offices.

Despite this explosiveness, it does exist no generally valid pattern when citing the source for a scientific paper. Many institutes, universities and scientific publishers have therefore own guidelines and guidelines developed for the references. For this reason, the type of source information for a thesis, diploma thesis, doctoral thesis, bachelor thesis or master's thesis can vary even within a university.

As the reference is made to different types of work or media can distinguish can be seen from the following examples. Keep in mind that each source is only one template is and possibly not the Regulations from your teaching institution or your employer corresponds to. You should therefore find out more from the responsible authorities at an early stage.

What does a correct citation look like?

The structure or the Information of a source are among other things through the respective Medium influencedwhich is why this must be determined for each source. As a rule, a distinction is made between books, newspapers and magazines, images and internet sources.

Reference to the book

In the References of books will be next to the Name of the author, the title and the publishing company usually the year of publication and the edition are also expected. To make it easier to find the quote in the original work, the corresponding Page number noted.

The reference for a book can be for example look like this:

Last name of the author, first name of the author: Title of the work. Edition. Place of publication: Publisher Year of publication.

Are several essays in one Anthology summarized, for such a book the source is indicated with the editor and the information on the respective article added. In addition to the author and title, this usually also includes the Page numbers, under which the essay can be found.

Last name of the author, first name of the author: Title of the article. In: Title of the collective work. Published by the publisher's first and last name. Edition. Place of publication: Publisher year of decision, page numbers.

References to magazines and newspapers

Magazines and newspapers are so-called Periodicals, so publications the regularly appear. Therefore, the source reference for a newspaper article should also include the exact release date and the Side area be cited.

In the case of a journal, the source also includes the respective issue numberso that outsiders can find the essay or article. In the case of scientific work, it can also be useful to have a Make a copy of the articlethat the author keeps with his documents.

Last name of the author, first name of the author: Title of the article. In: Title of the periodical, issue number from the date, page range.

Indication of source for pictures

At Illustrations A source must be indicated in a diploma thesis. A Note is advisable even if it is a own representation acts. In the structure, the specification of an image source is based on the formal requirements for books.

The source is given to the Type of representation adapted and contains information such as the Name of the artist, the Place of issue or the book in which the illustration is located and the year of creation.

If an illustration is of great importance for the scientific work, it may be useful to use a so-called transcription and to enclose this with the work. A transcription is the transmission of content in a written form. Such a procedure can also be appropriate for cinematographic works.

Last name of the artist, first name of the artist: Title of the picture. In: title of the book. Published by the publisher's first and last name. Edition. Place of publication: Publisher year of decision, page numbers.


Last name of the artist, first name of the artist: Title of the picture. Place of the museum: Name of the museum Period of the exhibition.

The correct reference from the Internet

Even with the Specification of internet sources the specified requirements remain in place. In addition to the author and the title of the work, quotes from the Internet should also contain information that supports the Enable the website to be found again.

This is usually information about the website or its operators as well as the full url (Uniform Resource Locator) and that Date of access. Also, if possible, should do that too Creation Date of the respective content.

Name of the author, first name of the author: Title of the work. In: Title of the website. Creation Date. URL [access date.]
Important! In principle, websites do not have to be sound information contain. For this reason, you should use the respective Examine the source comprehensively and assess their quality. For example, Wikipedia is not recognized as evidence by many universities, because it is mostly here no quality assurance is to be guaranteed.

Can missing or incorrect references to sources have consequences?

Will the copyright regulations on quotations and references ignored, this can actually have legal consequences, because this is a Copyright infringement. This usually results in a warning.

This is a extrajudicial measure to avoid litigation, mostly with a Cease and desist declaration goes hand in hand.

A warning usually includes a Contractual penalty, which becomes due in the event of a renewed violation of copyright, damages for the takeover of the foreign work and the Failure to name the author as well as the costs for the lawyer. Due to a missing source and the corresponding naming of the author, this can be done quickly Claims in the four-digit amount arise.

Also can Universities incorrect literature references also as plagiarism or Attempted fraud scores and penalties according to the University law impose.

Will you wrongly accused of attempted plagiarism, you can with legal means take action against it. In such a case, it is best to contact a lawyer specializing in university law or copyright law. This checks whether the allegations are justified and which course of action makes sense.

Source reference - short and compact

A source gives information about the Origin of a work. Of particular importance is the indication of sources at scientific work. If third-party works are used without citing the source, a Copyright infringement before, mostly one Warning entails.

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What does a correct citation look like?
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