Publication Year
Article Type

How to write a reference list in scientific papers


How to write a reference list in scientific papers

New authors should always be able to explain the fitness of their study with regards to existing theories and findings. They should be build upon their work and referencing approximately 20 other articles published in peer-reviewed journals, providing full bibliographic information for each source. This way, your arguments are ipso facto becoming more appealing and persuasive. How to write a reference list

Required steps before submitting your article

You should take into account when submitting your article to peer-reviewed journals, that your paper will be carefully revised by thoroughly versed experts knowing the subject matter in detail. As their professional interest correlates with the review of your submission, your job actually consists of persuading an experienced professional of the originality of findings and implications of your paper, making it deserving of wider attention. If you want your article to be considered seriously, you should use only quality resources.

In order to find top-notch e-collections, check out our article on reliable academic sources and discover respectable e-libraries and databases, such as those provided by Emerald Insight, JSTOR, Ebsco, and Hein Online. In turn, using credible scholarly sources will not only help you get your paper published but will further make your article more reliable in the eyes of the readers and increase your chances to boost citations. Opinions may differ from one person to another, and they may or may not be founded on established facts. But this is a risk you should not be willing to take. How to write a reference list

How to quickly find authors for references

Supporting your thesis with an army of well-established authorities is crucial. Since the destiny of your article’s success depends on the most part on your statements being picked up, cited, utilized, and modified by others. In order to further their research aims, here you need to be not just a scientist, but also a rhetorical strategist. Since you can not pull your assumptions ex nihilo, they most certainly can not be generalizations of everyday opinion, but a result of established premises drawn from extensive literature review to be tested qualitatively or quantitatively. As the author, you have the assignment to gather as many as possible allies and resources, just according to actant-network theory. Your inscriptions, your data, and even the tone of your text should have a well-defined purpose. Nothing should be left to chance. How to write a reference list

This can be distributed in a few easy-to-follow steps.

  • Find established scientists in your domain and get their attention
  • Try to make contact and establish further communication on the issue at hand
  • Put your work to test trials of strength. Since we all prefer heroes, imagine if the dissenter asking, “Yeah, but can your research prove that?“ is putting more and more challenges forward.

Rather than skipping or trying to avoid it altogether, you should use it to your advantage. It may point out some weaknesses in your argumentation that could otherwise come to hunt you later. It is much easier, and not to mention cheaper and beneficial to your reputation, to fix any omission or gap in discussion before your paper hits the mainstream publications.

Stages to find all the relevant references

First of all, you need to make sure to find all the relevant references that fully or partially support your claim. You also need to engage in a little role-play game of internal dialog, meaning, you must be both an author and a reader. We can’t highlight enough how crucial it is for you to anticipate the objections of your readers and dissenters, carefully revise their standpoint, and then provide a convincing counter-argument.  Try to find authors that already faced their objections and transform this dispute to your advantage. You need to find the best and most common online research tools to help you learn to browse key literature fast and quickly collect find up-to-date statistics for your paper. How to write a reference list


Steps to boose the reference list

For example, when you need to boost your reference list relatively quickly, some tricks may come in hand.  Although you probably already know your core literature by heart, science and practice are progressing with each new academic article and scholarly paper opening up new horizons and proposing new conceptual frameworks and models. Find common themes or variables corresponding to your paper, and then browse the author’s literature review and list of reference.

In almost all cases, you can find recent studies in the relevant domain in there. Better yet, if you already have a target journal for submitting your paper at mind, take your time and carefully browse through their archive to find the most compelling articles eligible for linking to your work. Bear in mind science is exponentially progressive. That is why, do not make a mistake of listing outdated literature without some fresh insights. Most often than not, your paper will ultimately serve the same purpose. Usually, a person doing research and citing your paper looks through the reference list of your article. Because it is important for this person the materials you used to  evaluate your article.

Using reference management tools

Make a list of most frequent authors referred to in related articles, and then take advantage of Google Scholar, Sage publications, Research leap or Research gate to gain access to the original papers.  See how their main findings correspond to your main assumptions, and when possible, highlight the connection to your convenience. How to write a reference list


How to write a reference list

There are several tools available to help you extend your reference list. This allows you import the information from the papers such as names of authors, publications years and volume numbers. In short, all you need for creating a reference list of the sources you used. To find the extended list of available online reference sites, you may find our post on choosing the appropriate referencing style quite useful.


Mendeley is a free reference manager. It is also an academic, a social network that can help you organize your research. This reference manager helps you collaborate with others online, and discover the latest research. It helps you to:

  • Automatically generate bibliographies
  • Collaborate easily with other researchers online
  • Easily import papers from other research software
  • Find relevant articles based on what you’re reading


Zotero is the only research tool that automatically senses content. It is a good tool to allowe you to add it to your personal library with a single click. Whether you’re searching for a preprint on arXiv.org, a journal article from JSTOR, a news story from the New York Times, or a book from your university library catalog, Zotero has you covered with support for thousands of sites. Like Mendeley, Zotero has an extension for internet browsers which automatically imports PDFs and bibliographic information into the stand-alone program. Furthermore, it also has a Microsoft Word citation tool which allows users to add references to their documents seamlessly.


EndNote gives you the tools you need for searching, organizing, and sharing your research. It allows you to easily create bibliographies while writing your next paper with features like Cite While You Write. Maximize your time with features like finding full text for your references and automatically updating records. EndNote’s syncing capabilities let you access all of your references, attachments, and groups from anywhere.



Comments are closed.