I am currently in the process of writing my bachelor's thesis. Another student is working on largely the same subject as I am, with a slightly different focus. Is it acceptable for me to reference his thesis in mine? If so, wat would be the proper form for this.

  • 3
    BibTeX has the data type mastersthesis for a very similar purpose.
    – Wrzlprmft
    Commented Jun 5, 2014 at 12:32
  • Thanks, that will be useful should I decide to include the reference.
    – LSchoon
    Commented Jun 5, 2014 at 12:38

1 Answer 1


Of course it is acceptable as long as you know what you are referencing. So as long as you have read her thesis (or the part you are referring to) and you think it belongs in the literature review of your thesis: Do it.

However, if you want to use a result derived by her, I would advice against it, as you can not be sure if it really is correct. If it is not possible to avoid using it you should talk to your supervisor about it.

For the proper form: @masterthesis (as @Wrzlprmft already pointed out), @thesis (with type = {Bachelor's thesis} or @unpublished could be an option for you.

  • 3
    If the OP uses a result of the other thesis, the only way not to cite it is to avoid using this result altogether. But that most likely is no option in the given situation. Also, the readers (i.e., most likely the supervisor and a co-supervisor) will be aware of this situation and can evaluate the reliability of the other thesis themselves.
    – Wrzlprmft
    Commented Jun 5, 2014 at 13:19
  • Sometimes it might be possible, but you are right I have not thought about that at all. I added an additional sentence to include your point. Commented Jun 5, 2014 at 13:28
  • Thank you! I will talk to my advisor. I would +1 but I don't have the rep; consider this my upvote.
    – LSchoon
    Commented Jun 5, 2014 at 14:28
  • I disagree with your second paragraph. I think it is fine to rely on a result derived by the other student, if you can convince yourself that it is correct. Indeed, this is the same standard that should be used if you rely on a result from any other published or unpublished source. If you cannot satisfy yourself as to its correctness, then either work with her to fix it, avoid it, or state your result conditionally: "If, as is claimed by Alice [3], all blobs are cromulent, then..." In the latter case your work should also explain your doubts about her result. Commented Jun 6, 2014 at 18:07

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