Citing sources

It is important to cite your sources correctly. When writing academic texts, you need to demonstrate that you are well-informed of relevant research in your field and you should relate such findings to your own work.

Quoting and paraphrasing

What is the difference between quoting and paraphrasing? You either quote directly from the text or rephrase main ideas in your own words.

  • A quote is an accurate, exact rendition of what someone else has said or written, a piece of text that you copy into your own text. Put quotations marks around the quote.
  • A paraphrase repeats someone else's ideas, but in your own words. You paraphrase what others have written or said by conveying their ideas while using your own words combined with reporting phrases. 


When citing, you select a number of relevant information sources which are closely related to your subject and which support your arguments and views. You always have to acknowledge that you are using someone else's ideas or formulations.

Your paraphrases and quotes are to be integrated into your text and commented on. Use adequate reporting phrases to introduce your sources. It is essential that paraphrases and quotes are correctly attributed to the original information source. By applying citation guidelines, you also avoid plagiarising someone else's work or ideas. Use the reference style that your lecturer recommends, for instance APA, Harvard, IEEE or Vancouver.

Reporting phrases

Reporting phrases indicate that you are using a source. Here are some examples:

  1. Thus far, previous studies have shown that...
  2. A number of studies have confirmed that...
  3. According to Smith (2011), ...
  4. In accordance with this, he/she also states...

Reference management with Mendeley and Zotero

When using reference management systems, you can import references from databases, insert references into documents and prepare a list of cited works for your essay or report.

At the Library we offer support regarding Mendeley. Support for Zotero is available online.


Mendeley is a free programme available in two versions: Mendeley Desktop and Mendeley Reference Manager.

Mendeley Desktop

Mendeley Desktop is the original version. It has an add-on for Word and LibreOffice which you use for inserting source references and bibliographies in your document.

  • Mendeley Desktop is installed on computers in the library and the university's computer labs. Certain newer operating systems do not support the programme.
    To Mendeley Desktop

Mendely Reference Manager

Mendeley Reference Manager is newer and has an add-on for Word called Mendeley Cite which is still under development. Basic functions such as inserting references and bibliographies are available, however certain other functions such as changing the language for references to Swedish are not available yet.

  • Note that it is not possible to install Mendeley Cite if you are a student and use the Microsoft Office package provided by the university.
    To Mendeley Reference Manager

Get started with Mendeley


Guides to reference styles

Writing Centre

If you need support in your writing process, for instance with citing and referencing, you can contact the Writing Centre in the Library.

Published by: Elisabeth Jansson Page responsible: Jenny Ericsson Updated: 2022-01-26
Högskolan i Gävle
Box 801 76 GÄVLE
026-64 85 00 (växel)