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Reference & Citation: Library Resources

Help with Reference & Citation, Harvard Style.

Reference & Citation

Referencing is a way of acknowledging every source used in research or in the completion of an assignment. The details you provide for a source are normally its author, title, date and place of publication, and the name of its publisher. You may have to provide additional details, depending on what form the source takes, such as a volume number or a web link. These individual references are then collected into what’s called a bibliography.

Citing is a way of briefly referencing a source within the text of your assignment, linking it to the more detailed reference in the bibliography. This is usually done when you paraphrase someone else’s ideas or directly quote them. Information, facts, and dates that are considered common knowledge are not required to be referenced e.g. Dublin is the capital city of Ireland.

A guide on Harvard style is available here  This guide presents examples of how to reference textual sources.  However if you use material from non-textual sources such as podcasts or documentaries you must also cite the source in full. A list of various source types, formatted in the Harvard style, is available here. 



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Harvard Style Formatting Guidelines

Accurate referencing doesn’t only help protect your work from plagiarism – presenting your source material in a consistent and clear way also enhances the readability of your work. Closely follow the NACD referencing system’s formatting rules on font type, font size, text-alignment and line spacing to ensure that your work is easily legible. Before submitting your work check that you have formatted your whole paper – including your reference list – according to the style’s formatting guidelines.

How to format your essays or research projects:

  • Essays should be printed on one side only of A4 paper.
  • Typing should be double spaced and in font size 12, except for indented long quotations where single spacing is used.
  • The title page should follow the template provided by the School (available for download from the NCAD website) and include your initials in the three boxes to confirm your that the work is your own and that text and images are appropriately credited. Illustrations should be included, but only where discussed in the essay.
  • Number each illustration and give a caption underneath, listing the artist/designer, title, date, and current location of the work.
  • Always refer to illustrations in text by their number (in parentheses).
  • Always include a full bibliography of the sources cited in your essay on a separate sheet at the end of the essay.

(School of Visual Culture)


Using the Library

About the Library

The Edward Murphy Library houses an unrivaled collection of almost 100,000 books, pamphlets, video material, periodicals, and exhibition catalogues on a wide variety of topics. Although the collection is chiefly on open access, a large portion of the collection is kept in storage and must be ordered in advance - check the Library catalogue for full information about our holdings. Closed access special collections of rare and valuable materials relating to Irish art and design are housed in the National Irish Visual Arts Library.

The Library subscribes to over 150 periodicals which offer an international view of the subjects taught at the College. Comprehensive back issues of these titles are also available in hard copy and the Library’s online databases provide access to additional digital publications. Users have access to a range of high-quality images through the Visual Resources Centre and its databases, along with a large collection of DVDs, Blu-rays, and CDs.

An important part of the Library service is the Learning Centre. Introductory tours of the Library are given to all new students. In-depth tutorials on research methods are provided for students who are commencing major projects and theses. 

The first port of call for all users requiring assistance should be the Issue Desk. Most of the staff working there have experience of studying and working in the field of art and design, and are happy to help with any search or reference queries you might have.