I am referencing someone else's work, specifically an Appendix which contains ~100 news article URLs. For example, "bla bla bla (Author, Appendix A, article 5)". The reason I do this, is simply to avoid duplication. If someone needs to know the article URL, they can simply check the appendix in the reference work.

However, at the same time, one should generally try to cite primary sources in academia, and also the article was not written by the Author but by a news site, so from this point of view it would be better to include the article URLs in my own appendix, would it not ?


What if the reference work is unavailable to your future readers? You should always cite the primary source if you have it.


This depends on the level of abstraction. If you reference a more general claim (a synthesis of parts of the appendix), it might be better to reference the appendix as a whole. If you reference a very specific claim, you should reference the primary source (after double-checking its pertinence). An example hopefully makes this clear:

Specific claim:

In mid-April 2021, the Danish government decided to stop the rollout of AstraZeneca vaccines (bbc.com 2021).

bbc.com, 15 April 2021, "AstraZeneca vaccine: Denmark stops rollout completely", https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-56744474, accessed 19 April 2021.

General claim, assuming that the appendix contains various relevant sources related to Covid-19 vaccination policy, on which the following can be based:

Reports of rare blood-clots subsequent to vaccinations with AstraZeneca triggered discussions in various countries about the risks and benefits of suspending the use of the vaccine (see Smith 2021, Appendix A).

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.