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Academic writing and referencing

Woman studying at the library. Photo: Johan Bävman.

Academic writing is a central part of your studies. Your own knowledge is based on other academic texts and images. That is why it is important you correctly credit the work and ideas that you use.

A correct and consistent list of references is essential so your readers can judge your work accurately and evaluate the sources you have used. There are several reference styles depending on your subject and university department. Ask our librarians if you need help.

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Reference management guides

The context in which you will publish your work often determines which reference style you should use. Below, you can find the resources available at the Library of Science.

Biology Library

Physics and Astronomy Library

Academic writing guide for physics students at advanced level –


Students of the Department of Geology and the Department of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science should use APA Style 7th Edition.

Reference guide for APA 7th Edition –

Library of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering

Library of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering guide to reference styles –

Different reference styles

Lund University Library guide to reference styles –

Reference management software

Reference management software can be useful for major writing projects such as a Bachelor's paper, a Master's paper or a PhD thesis, as it can help you manage your references, save full texts, and create lists of references in a variety of styles.


Students at Lund University have access to the reference management software EndNote. The Library of Science offers EndNote tutorials for students who are about to write their thesis. Contact Britta Smångs (britta [dot] smangs [at] science [dot] lu [dot] se) for EndNote support and guidance.

Students can also download EndNote and learn the basics from online tutorials.

Endnote 20 Introductory course created by librarians at Lund University –

Get started with EndNote via the Social sciences library guide to –


Zotero is a free and open source reference management software. We have created a Zotero workshop for beginners in Canvas that will guide you through how to get started and use the program. You can take the workshop whenever you want.

Zotero workshop for beginners –

If you want a manual to Zotero, or want to know more about the program, please go to Zotero's own quick start guide.

Quick start guide for Zotero –

You can also contact Frida Rosengren (frida [dot] rosengren [at] science [dot] lu [dot] se) for Zotero support and guidance from the library.

Other reference management software

There is a range of other open source reference management software to choose from, such as Mendeley and JabRef. In physics and engineering, it is common to use open source programs such as BibTeX and LaTeX.

Using images

Copyright exists in all images. You will always need permission from the author or copyright holder before using any image, figure, artwork, etc.

Students are covered by Lund University under the Association of Swedish Higher Education Institutions agreement with Bonus Copyright Access. For example, students may copy a limited proportion of a work for their study activities. Contact Cajsa Andersson (cajsa [dot] andersson [at] science [dot] lu [dot] se) or Britta Smångs (britta [dot] smangs [at] science [dot] lu [dot] se) for more information.

Bonus Copyright Access (Swedish only)

Image database for Lund University students

The Library of Science recommends that students wishing to use particular images should use the Britannica ImageQuest database. All images in Britannica ImageQuest may be used by Lund University students for private study and non-commercial research.

Image database Britannica ImageQuest

Creative Commons licences

A Creative Commons licence is a special agreement used when an author wants to give other people the right to copy, share, or use their work. There are six standard Creative Commons licences that permit reuse under various conditions. Some Creative Commons licences allow free reuse as long as the author is credited, while others have a range of restrictions.

About Creative Commons licences –

Creative Commons licence image search –

Cheating and plagiarism

Lund University uses the tool "Ouriginal" (formerly Urkund) to detect and prevent cheating and plagiarism. It is an email-based tool that uses text-matching and writing-style analysis to analyse students’ work.