When writing your work, you will understandably use documents (i.e. books and articles, etc.) by other authors. It is important, however, to make it clear what is your own text and what has been borrowed from others, i.e. you should always duly reference the source you have used in the form of a bibliographic citation. The obligation to uphold the ethics of citations is set out in the Copyright Act No. 121/2000. Failure to cite sources used is considered plagiarism.
Plagiarism is thus considered to be:
Do not underestimate the risk, because there is a great chance that you will be revealed a) by your supervisor, or b) by software tools to compare texts which now exist and are used at universities that can detect copying.
Bibliographic citations should be part of every scholarly publication, and thus also of a university thesis. They consist of a description which unambiguously identifies the document which the author used when writing his or her work.
The form and order for entering information are determined by the following international standards for citations: ČSN ISO 690 and ČSN ISO 690-2.
In certain cases, other forms are used as well (particularly in foreign scientific journals).
Ask your thesis supervisor which formal guidelines (style, format) to use for citations. Unless stipulated otherwise, always use the standards specified here.
ČSN ISO 690 – contains the rules for writing and referencing bibliographic citations of printed monographic publications and parts thereof, journal articles, contributions to monographs (e.g. conference proceedings) and patent documents.
ČSN ISO 690-2 – sets out the methods for citing electronic sources: monographs, databases, computer programs and parts thereof, electronic serial publications (journals) and parts thereof (articles), electronic bulletin boards, discussion forums and electronic news. This applies to electronic publications on relevant data storage devices (CD ROM, disk), as well as to online documents for which it is also necessary to list availability on the computer network.
Using citations involves three basic steps:
When writing a scholarly text, one must keep in mind that each reference in the text must correspond to a bibliographic citation in the list, and that there are formal rules even for the ordering of the list. For this reason, you should select a suitable method of using citations in consideration of what and where you wish to publish. Universities usually require that students comply with valid standards, while certain publishers insist on established conventions.
It is a good idea to consult with your thesis supervisor on how you should use citations in your text.
Bibliographic citations according to the ISO 690 and ISO 690-2 standards
Information from the documents should be copied as it is specified in the original. Always create a citation according to the document that you have. Do not look up missing information like, e.g. the ISBN number. For online sources, specify the URL of the given text, not just that of the homepage. Also include sources for which it is difficult to create citations, and get advice on how to formulate them. Double-check the formal elements of your citations (e.g. dates for online sources and the date of assignment/submission of the work).
You can also download citations from library catalogues, databases (you will find more information in the Aids and Tools for Using Citations section). Different information is needed to create citations for each type of document. The standard describes which information about the document to enter, in what form and in what order. If you are unsure, consult the original wording of the standard. It is important to use a style for entering citations which is uniform throughout the work.
A list of the complete bibliographic citations of the documents used in elaborating the work is included at the end of the main text and before the annexes. Usually this is a separate section of the work entitled “References”.
The list of References contains all sources which the author used in the work. This is therefore not a list of all publications which concern the work’s topic. The organisation of the list is governed by the selected citation method. You can order the list of works cited alphabetically by author or using continuous numbering in the text.
Alphabetical ordering by author – individual publications and other sources are listed alphabetically by the author’s surname or by the publication title (if the author is unknown).
Ordering by continuous numbering – individual citations are ordered continuously in the order in which they appear in the text. They thus refer to ordered numbers used in the list of works cited.
By using a citation reference in the text, we refer to a document which we used.
Literal quotations from a source text and even individual expressions are specified in inverted commas, and a citation reference is added. If the text is not quoted literally, a citation reference is added after the relevant sentence or paragraph.
Two methods of referencing citations are used most commonly:
Abbreviated citations in the text – usually, an abbreviated citation is used: author, year of publication and page number, if applicable
For example: ...according to Novák (2004, p. 54)” or “... and according to the theory (Novák, 2004)”.
The References (i.e. the list of works cited) at the end of the main text is not numbered; it is merely ordered alphabetically.
Numbered citations – a reference to the number of a citation in the list of works cited using either superscript e.g. 22) or in brackets (e.g. (22)). If you are referencing a specific part of a document, specify the page numbers as well. For example: ... according to Novák (22, p. 143).
Bibliographic citation generator
A citation generator has emerged from the Bibliographic Citations project at Masaryk University in Brno. On the address http://www.citace.com/, you can generate citations from information entered into a form according to the ČSN ISO 690 and ČSN ISO 690-2 standards. If you register, you can also save the generated citations in your profile and thus create your own database for later use.
An instructional handbook has been created by the Expert Committee for Issues of Electronic Accessibility of University Theses. You can find it on http://www.evskp.cz/SD/4c.pdf.
You can also request methodological assistance at your faculty library, but do not expect the librarian to elaborate an entire list of references for you.