Analysis of bibliographic references by textbook authors in Nigerian polytechnics.

Author:Edewor, Nelson


Bibliographic references have always been an integral aspect of research. The importance of references in every research work cannot be over-emphasized. Ajala (2003) posited that as long as completed research needed to be reported in a lucid and concise manner subject to verification and amenable to replication, bibliographic reference would be effective in establishing the place of an authors' production and its value as an authentic text. bibliographic references therefore aid research by providing information about materials consulted as well as materials useful for research study. To this end, bibliographic references are therefore a useful guide to readers on the sources of information of a research project and can provide an avenue for further research or means for challenging the research or statements arising there from.

The words bibliography and references are interrelated. The capital community college (2004) observed that "bibliography is more often used to refer to a list of books which is arranged alphabetically (by author or title) classified by subject and meant for a specific purpose. On the other hand Troyka (2002) opined that "references are alphabetical list of books containing the citation used for a study. Thus the combination of the two words; bibliography and reference could be known as bibliographic references but popularly referred to as references. They are meant to indicate books that were consulted for a study or meant for further reading. The American Psychological Association (2003) observed that the purpose of references is to enable the reader to access the material used in any research. The reference list contains all sources form which material is used. It appears at the end of any textbook, paper or article but before any appendix and the biographical material. The reference list provides the information necessary for a reader to locate and retrieve any source you cite in the body of the work.

Over the years, different forms and styles of documenting references have emerged. They include the Kate Turabian style, the Modern Language Association (MLA) style, American Psychological Association (APA) style; the University of Chicago Press (CM) style; the Council of Science (CSE) style, and the Columbia Online style (COS) which is used to document electronic sources. Documentation style is a system for providing information about the source of words, information and ideas quoted, paraphrased or summarized from some source other than the writer (Neyhart and Karper, 2007).

The dynamics associated with referencing in academic work is becoming complex. This is because citations are expected to be made on conference proceedings, dissertations, interviews, films or videos, unpublished work, citing multivolume work, corporate authorship, multiple authors and electronic information such as online periodicals, online documents, computer software, article in an internet only newsletter etc. This complexity is evident in works (books and articles) as it is at times difficult to determine what style of referencing is used by an author. Further to this, authors at times dance between two styles of referencing. The noticeable trend today is that lecturers in Nigerian polytechnics write and...

To continue reading