Why refer

Academic integrity

Academic good practice is based on values like openness, verifiability, academic integrity and critical discussion (Etikk i utdanningene, UiB). These values are to a large extent integrated in academic practice such as in referencing. By correct referencing you show openness about sources, you contribute information that enables verifying, you acknowledge other researchers’ contributions by showing from where you have derived arguments, data and conclusions, and you are open for critical discussion by bringing up earlier contributions. Exact documentation of sources also enables the reader to quickly:

  • track down sources
  • become acquainted with the topic
  • check  facts and verify  results

When writing a paper or a thesis, you are expected to do correct referencing. In this way you show that you make a distinction between your own and others’ ideas and thoughts.

For more information about academic integrity  and about why referencing is needed, see  The use of sources in written work at the University of Bergen.

Basis for evaluation

A good piece of work makes reference to central scholarly sources and builds upon existing knowledge. Your references reflect the scope and thoroughness of your work. References show your integrity in using others’ work. The references you use will therefore affect the assessment of your paper or thesis.


Presentation of other people’s results, thoughts, ideas or formulations as if they were one’s own is plagiarism. This is a form of intellectual theft according to the Norwegian Copyright Act. Avoid plagiarism by doing correct referencing. Plagiarism is considered cheating and may, according to Sections 54 and 42 of the Norwegian University and University College Act, result in the student being failed or expelled from university. Plagiarism charges may hinder academic progress, which may result in lack of funding or impossibility to renew residence permits.

Higher education institutions are concerned about plagiarism and many use special software to detect it.

Watch the video Et plageringseventyr