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Reference and bibliography
To wrap up this multi-part series on thesis writing, here is an overview of how to list the bibliography and references.

A bibliography is an alphabetical list of all the sources such as books, journal articles, or other materials from which you have derived information for your research and the preparation of the thesis. The citation has to be in a standard format. The listing is usually arranged by author, date or subject. There are accepted forms of citing authors, papers, and books in the bibliography part of your thesis. You have to follow them. Some of these are indicated below.


When a book is cited, you should indicate the author's full name, full title, edition, number of the volume if it runs to two or more volumes, place of publication, publisher's name, and the year of publication. The author's name is reversed; the last name comes first, then a comma, then the first name, and a period after the complete name. Titles such as Dr, Sir, and Ph.D may be omitted. The title (name of the book) is underlined. The sequence for the publication can be as follows: place of publication, a colon, name of the publisher, a comma, and the date, and then a period.

Rao, Krishna. The future of floriculture in India. Bangalore: Pioneer, 2006.

If a book has been written by two or more authors, show their list in the same order as given on the title page. The name of the first author alone need be reversed; the other names may be given normally. If there are more than three authors, it is sufficient if you name only the first, and use ``et al'' to indicate the remaining authors. However, there is no harm in listing all the authors. In such a case, separate the names with commas and put an ampersand (&) before the last author.

You should show the author's name, title of the article, title of the journal, volume number, year of publication, and page numbers. The title of the article may be shown in quotation marks. Put a period before closing the quotes. The name of the journal may be underlined. The year of the publication is given in parenthesis. It is followed by a colon, the inclusive page numbers and then a period.
Effective use of library
While using a library, it would be of great advantage to you if you were familiar with the style of classification adopted there. One popular style is the Dewey Decimal Classification System, in which the basic classification of titles is as follows:

000 Generalities
100 Philosophy & Psychology
200 Religion
300 Social sciences
400 Language
500 Natural sciences & mathematics
600 Technology (Applied sciences)
700 The arts
800 Literature & rhetoric
900 Geography & history

Further sub-classification has been made systematically. The full details cannot be covered here for space constraint. However, the following examples indicate the approach.

000 Generalities
001 Knowledge
002 The book
003 Systems
004 Data processing Computer science
005 Computer programming, programs, data
006 Special computer methods
010 Bibliography
064 General organisation & museology In France & Monaco
098 Prohibited works, forgeries, hoaxes
103 Dictionaries of philosophy
155 Differential & developmental psychology
222 Historical books of Old Testament
325 International migration & colonization
415 Structural systems (Grammar)
521 Celestial mechanics
672 Iron, steel, other iron alloys
798 Equestrian sports & animal racing
873 Latin epic poetry & fiction
959 General history of Asia Southeast Asia

Another popular system is Universal Decimal Classification that was developed by the Belgian bibliographers Paul Otlet and Henri la Fontaine at the end of the 19th century. It is based on the Dewey Decimal Classification, but is much more powerful and is used especially in specialist libraries.

In UDC, every number is thought of as a decimal fraction with the initial decimal point omitted, which determines the filing order. A great merit of UDC is that it is infinitely extensible. When new subdivisions are introduced, they would not disturb the existing allocation of numbers.

Main categories in UDC:

0 Generalities. Informatics and Information Sciences
1 Philosophy. Psychology
2 Religion. Theology
3 Social Sciences. Statistics. Politics. Government. Economics. Law. Administration. Military. Folklore
4 Unassigned
5 Natural Sciences. Mathematics
6 Applied Sciences. Medicine. Technology
7 The Arts. Recreation. Entertainment. Music. Sports
8 Languages. Linguistics. Literature
91 Geography
92 (Auto-) Biography
93 / 99 History. Archaeology

The full version of the UDC has more than two lakhs of subdivisions. Whatever is the system followed in a library, it will certainly be of great advantage to you if you get yourselves familiar with it, as otherwise a lot of time would be wasted in searching for the titles. Modern libraries offer the facility for computerised search of the titles available at any point of time, based on author, subject, title, etc. Even then, knowledge of the classification system followed in your library will be of help.

The Hindu - Education Plus - Monday, December 18, 2006