Leeds University Library

Numeric citations


A citation is the part of the reference that you include within the main body of your work whenever you directly quote from, paraphrase, summarise or refer to work produced by another author. In the Numeric style, the citation is indicated by a number.

You should include page numbers if you quote directly from the text, paraphrase specific ideas or explanations, or use an image, diagram, table, etc. from a source.


Citing in the text

How to incorporate citations into your work

It is good practice to vary the way you incorporate in-text citations; this will help enhance the flow and style of your academic writing.

Citations might appear at the start, middle or end of your sentences.

You can also refer to multiple sources at once; this can not only help make your writing more succinct but also improve the synthesis of sources, research or ideas within your assignments.

Examples

Smith (1) identified a statistical correlation between...

A number of recent studies reveal ....(1, 3, 4-6, 9)

Socio-economic factors such as class and education as well as "hereditary determinants" (1, p.267), can have a detrimental effect on an individual's health.

A quarter of students would like to see employability embedded as part of their degree course (1, p.15).

In contrast, Grayson (1) identified the main determinant as...

Marks et al. (1) identified...

Citing direct quotations

In scientific writing, it is generally the case that you should paraphrase from sources, rather than quote directly. Quoting more extended sections of text tends to be more common in arts and humanities subjects where it may be appropriate to quote frequently from the literature that is being analysed.

How to incorporate and cite direct quotations in your text.

Check your department's own citation and referencing guidelines to see what they expect. 


Citation details

Inserting your first citation

You should insert the citation number directly after a source is referred to in your text, even if this is in the middle of sentence. It is acceptable to place a citation number at the end of a paragraph, if the entire paragraph is referring to the same source.

Every citation should be labelled within your text by using a number in brackets (1).

Examples:
Aitchison (1) suggests that language change is inevitable, but not a bad thing.

One leading expert suggests that language change is inevitable, but is not a bad thing (1).

You should also include page numbers if you quote directly from the text, paraphrase specific ideas or explanations, or use an image, diagram, table, etc. from a source.

Adding further citations

The first item you cite is allocated number 1, the second item is allocated number 2, and so on throughout your piece of work.

Example:
According to a recent Mintel report (1), climate change is a high priority for the government as well as being a concern for the general public. Wigley (2) identifies increasing emissions of so-called greenhouse gases as the major contributing factor towards climate change.

You should also include page numbers if you quote directly from the text, paraphrase specific ideas or explanations, or use an image, diagram, table, etc from a source.

Multiple citations to the same item

Once a source has been allocated a number, this number is used again if you refer to the same source at a later point in your work.

Example:
According to the Environment Agency (1), road transport accounts for 25% of the UK's total carbon dioxide emissions, which are seen as a contributing factor to climate change. A recent Mintel report (2) highlighted climate change as a high priority for the government, as well as the general public. With road transport set to grow by 33% over the next 20 years (1), it is important for governments, businesses and individuals to act now to reduce the impact that transport is having on the global environment.

The number (1) appears more than once as both statistics came from the same Environment agency report.

Citing multiple items

If you refer to two or more sources at the same time, these can be cited together. The numbers of the sources are placed inside one pair of brackets, separated by commas.

Example:
With road transport set to grow by 33% over the next 20 years (2, 3), it is important for governments, businesses and individuals to act now to reduce the impact that transport is having on the global environment (7, 12, 35).

If you refer to three or more different sources at the same time and they have consecutive citation numbers, eg 3, 4 and 5, a dash can be used to abbreviate this.

Example:
With road transport set to grow by 33% over the next 20 years (3-5)...

The dash indicates that number 4 is also being cited.

Citing an item referred to by another author

You should always try to track down the original work but, if this is not possible and you intend to cite the ideas of one author that you have found in the work of another, your text must refer to the original author of the ideas that you are using, and to the source in which you actually found the ideas.

Example:
If you were quoting Brown, as cited in a work by Matthews:
Matthews (1, p.17) cites Brown, who emphasises that citations in a text must be consistent.

Your reference list should only give details of the source in which you actually found the ideas, in this case the work by Matthews.

When to include page numbers

You should include page numbers if you quote directly from the text, paraphrase specific ideas or explanations, or use an image, diagram, table, etc. from a source. 

Example: 
"It was emphasised that citations in a text should be consistent" (1, p.24).
When referencing a single page, you should use p.
For a range of pages, use pp.
Example:
p.7 or pp.20-29.

If you are citing a source that has no page numbers, use (no pagination) in the in-text citation.

Example:

"It was emphasised that citations in a text should be consistent" (1, no pagination).

Page numbers are normally only included in your reference list or bibliography for a few types of reference, eg journal articles, newspapers, chapters in edited books. If the source has no page numbers, use [no pagination].

Example:

Pajunen, K. Institutions and inflows of foreign direct investment: a fuzzy-set analysis. Journal of International Business Studies. 2008, 39(4), [no pagination].

If the page numbers are in Roman numerals, do not include p. before them.

Example:

(5, iv)


Citing irregular sources

e-book via e-book reader

Cite sources from an e-book reader in exactly the same way as any other source.

In your reference list or bibliography, you need to indicate in your reference that you were using an e-book formatted for a particular e-reader.

Page numbers

You should include page numbers if you quote directly from the text. If there are no page numbers, include chapter, section and paragraph number, if available, following the format given in the example below:

Example:

(1, Chapter 2, Section 1, para. 8)

Sometimes there may only be limited information available, such as the chapter number. If that is the case, just include the information that is available to you:

Example:

(1, Chapter 2) 

If none of this information is available, use (no pagination):

Example:

(1, no pagination)

Images, figures, tables and diagrams

You should provide an in-text citation for any photographs, images, tables, diagrams, graphs, figures or illustrations that you reproduce in your work.

The full reference should direct the reader to the source (eg the book or website) from which the item was taken.

The citation would normally be given after the title of the figure, table, diagram, etc.

Example:
Figure 1, A four pointed star (1, p.54).

A reference within the text to a table, graph, diagram, etc. taken from a source should include the citation number and page number to enable the reader to identify the data.

Example:
the data from the study confirmed that this was the case (1, p.33)

If the source of the data is not the author's own, but obtained from another source, it becomes a secondary reference and needs to be cited as such.

Example:
Matthews (1, p.33) cites data from the United Nations 

If you use a table/graph, etc. from a source and then adapt it to use in your own assignment, you must make that clear in your reference. 

We would suggest something along the lines of:
Figure 1, Title, based on Smith (1, p.22).

Religious texts

Make clear in the main body of the work which particular religious text you are referring to. When referring to a specific passage, include the following details in your citation:

(Citation number, Name of the Book Sura / Chapter: Verse)

Example:

Cain's offering of crops (1, Genesis 4:3) has been interpreted as...

When citing whole consecutive chapters, combine the first and last chapter numbers with a hyphen: (1, Genesis 4-6) 

When citing consecutive verses in a particular chapter, combine the first and last verse numbers with a hyphen: (1, Genesis 4:3-8) 

For religious texts, you do not include page numbers in your citations.

Websites or webpages

When citing material found on a website, you should cite it like any other source, usually the citation number in brackets. Do not include the URL of the website in your citation.

If you are citing specific information from a website that does not have page numbers, you do not need to include anything to indicate this in the in-text citation.