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The Oxford Citation Style

The Oxford citation style uses a note or documentary-note referencing system. There are two elements to this system:  

Citation within Text (In-Text)

There are usually two key parts to Oxford-style in-text citations, which are:

  • A superscript (raised) number within a text
  • A note (or footnote), which is placed at the end of the page the note relates to. These notes or footnotes should be numbered in sequential order, starting with the number ‘1’ in superscripted form, and running right through a paper, article or through chapters of these.

The initial or first name of the author is shown before their last name (Jon Jones for example). After this comes the title of the work, the place where it was published, name of publisher, date the work was published, and page number. If the same piece of work is referred to again in a footnote, you only need to use the last name of the author and the page number or numbers. Where reference is made to more than one piece of work by the one author, you should use the last name of the author, followed by a short version title, and the page number or numbers.

The term ‘ibid’ is used to show a previously-mentioned reference is being re-used.

If you use direct quotations, you should enclose these in single-style quotation marks.

Reference Pages or Lists

Any references used in a text should be listed alphabetically according to the last name of the author. Where more than a single work by one author is being cited, list the works in date order. In cases where there is no author for a reference, you can list these in alphabetic order according to the first most important word in the title.   

You should only use the initial letters of an author’s first name(s). Use periods (or full stops) between author initials but without spaces. The author’s surname is placed first.

The following is a fictional example of Oxford-style citation based on a one-author book. 

In-text Citation

1 C. Jones, A Comprehensive Guide to Citation and Preventing Plagiarism, 1st edn., New York, Open University Press, 2009, p. 31. 

Citation for the Bibliography

Jones, C., A Comprehensive Guide to Citation and Preventing Plagiarism, 1st edn., New York, Open University Press, 2009. 

General Features

The following features apply to the Oxford style of citation:  

A footnote provides all of a source’s required bibliographic information and is placed at the end of the page where the source appears. Where footnotes are displayed at the end of a section or chapter, they are referred to as endnotes. Footnotes are given consecutive numbering throughout a paper or chapter.

Bibliographies are full lists of all sources that have been cited in a text, sources that have been consulted during the preparation of a paper, or any other sources that may interest the reader. These sources are list in alphabetic order under the surname of the author or the surname of the first author where there is more than one. 

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