While writing an assignment, article or book, the writer often looks for the sources to generate an idea or data. In this context, students usually misconstrue bibliography for reference, but they are different, in the sense that you give reference to the sources, that you have quoted in-text, in the research report or assignment. But on the other hand, in the bibliography, you create a list of all the sources you have gone through to conceive the idea.
Reference and Bibliography is an important part of any project under study because it helps in acknowledging other’s work and also help the readers in finding the original sources of information. It not only prevents plagiarism but also indicates that the writer has done good research on the subject by using a variety of sources to gain information.
Read out the article to know the differences between reference and bibliography.
Content: Reference Vs Bibliography
|Basis for Comparison||Reference||Bibliography|
|Meaning||Reference implies the list of sources, that has been referred in the research work.||Bibliography is about listing out all the materials which has been consulted during the research work.|
|Based on||Primary Sources||Both Primary and Secondary Sources|
|Arrangement||Alphabetically and numerically||Numerically|
|Includes||Only in-text citations, that have been used in the assignment or project.||Both in-text citations and other sources, that are used to generate the idea.|
|Supporting argument||A reference can be used to support an argument.||A bibliography cannot be used to support an argument.|
|Used for||Thesis and Dissertation||Journal Papers and Research work|
Definition of Reference
Reference can be understood as the act of giving credit to or mentioning the name of, someone or something. In research methodology, it denotes the items which you have reviewed and referred to, in the text, in your research work. It is nothing but a way to acknowledge or indirectly showing gratitude, towards the sources from where the information is gathered.
While using references, one thing is to be noted that you go for reliable sources only, because it increases credence and also supports your arguments. It may include, books, research papers, or articles from magazines, journals, newspapers, etc., interview transcripts, internet sources such as websites, blogs, videos watched, and so forth.
These are used to inform the reader about the sources of direct quotations, tables, statistics, photos etc. that are included in the research work.
Definition of Bibliography
At the end of the research report, bibliography is added, which contains a list of books, magazines, journals, websites or other publications which are in some way relevant to the topic under study, that has been consulted by the researcher during the research. In finer terms, it comprises of all the references cited in the form of footnotes and other important works that the author has studied.
The bibliography is helpful to the reader in gaining information regarding the literature available on the topic and what influenced the author. For better presentation and convenient reading, the bibliography can be grouped into two parts, wherein the first part lists out the names of books and pamphlets consulted, and the other contains the names of magazines and newspapers considered.
Types of Bibliography
- Bibliography of works cited: It contains the name of those books whose content has been cited in the text of the research report.
- Selected Bibliography: As it is evident from the name itself, selected bibliography covers only those works which the author assumes that are of major interest to the reader.
- Annotated Bibliography: In this type of bibliography, a small description of the items covered is given by the author to ensure readability and also improve the usefulness of the book.
Key Differences Between Reference and Bibliography
The difference between reference and bibliography can be drawn clearly on the following grounds:
- Reference implies referring to someone or something, that means it provides the list of sources, whose text is used in the assignment or research work. Conversely, bibliography represents the list of all the sources, from which the research has gained some information about the topic, irrespective of the work cited or not.
- References are based on primary sources, whereas bibliography is created on the basis of primary and secondary sources.
- References used in the assignment can be arranged alphabetically or numerically. On the contrary, list of sources used in the bibliography is arranged numerically.
- The bibliography is used to list out everything you go through to obtain the information relating to the assignment, no matter if you specifically cite it in your assignment or not. Now coming to references, it only takes into account those sources which have been cited in the assignment.
- The main objective of adding a reference at the end of the document is to improve credence or support an idea or argument. As against, the bibliography is not used for supporting an argument.
- While reference is used in thesis and dissertation. On the other hand, bibliography is used in case of journal paper and research work.
To sum up, references and bibliography are almost same, but there are only subtle differences between the two, which lies in the items which are included in them. The primary use of references is to get recognition and authentication of the research work, whereas bibliography is appended with the aim of giving the reader the information on the sources relating to the topic.