Using Appropriate Styles And References

In most situations authors have no say in what reference system will be used, and they prepare their texts in accordance with publishers' demands. They do, however, have different aims and can use different referencing styles to match these, as shown in Table 2.10.1.

Historical analysis shows that referencing styles are not fixed and predetermined, and that incoming editors can and do make changes. The British Journal of Psychology, for example, started in 1910 with a footnote system and continued this until 1930. Between 1930 and 1950, a variety of systems were used within individual volumes: in 1930, for example, Volume 21 had mainly footnotes, but one article included a bibliography. In 1940, it was possible to find articles in the same volume:

(i) with footnotes;

(ii) with a numbered reference system and a sequential listing of the references; and

(iii) with an alphabetical listing of the references in a numbered sequence.

In 1953, the journal changed to the current name(date) system of referencing.

In other journals, such changes have been more abrupt. The American Journal of Psychology, for instance, used footnotes from 1887 until 1970 and then it changed to the name(date) system in 1971. The American Psychologist started life in 1946 with a numbered referencing system and an alphabetical listing of the references until it changed to the name(date) system in 1959. Connors (1999) cites similar changes in other APA and MLA journals, concluding that, ' the APA style now bids fair to become the de facto standard for all fields over the next five decades' (p. 232). Connors' judgement now seems premature.

Table 2.10.1 Writers' aims and preferred referencing styles

Aim

Style

To communicate to fellow colleagues/scholars

Style of own discipline

To communicate to a different (academic) audience

Style of that discipline

To communicate to a general academic audience

Style of journal chosen

To communicate to students within own discipline

Style of own discipline

To communicate to students generally

Few references needed

To communicate to the general public

No formal references

needed

Reproduced from Hartley (2002) by permission of Sage Publications Ltd.

Reproduced from Hartley (2002) by permission of Sage Publications Ltd.

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