Searching & Referencing for Academic Papers

Searching & Referencing for Academic Papers

805–008 Searching and Referencing | 2 credit (30 hour) online audiovisual conferencing course.

Course description: Discovering and reading literature reviews, opinion papers and research articles; composing a literature review to support a position; using scholarly writing techniques and citations following APA style.

How to Improve your Scholarly Writing – Searching and Referencing for Literature Reviews and Research Articles 

Course lecturer's resources and examples

Previously taught courses of relevance

Featured Webinar | How to develop a systematic review

Webinar | How to conduct a systematic review | 1:20:46


How to distinguish APA and other academic formatting styles

APA Manual 7th | Source: American Psychological Association (2020)

Generally, academic writing adheres to a given style guide or 'school of style'. Common examples include APA (American Psychological Association), CMS (Chicago Manual of Style) and MLA (Modern Language Association).

Example: MLA Style | My 1999 freshman paper | Toponymy of Hawaii

Many publishers of books and journals suggest the Harvard Citation Style (i.e. author-date referencing) although there is actually no official guideline or institutional connection. However, the Harvard University Press does have its own code of formatting author-date citations and reference lists.

Note that publishers of international journals often have unique citation and referencing formats.

While it is important to recognize a variety of formatting styles in academic writing and publishing, our course will focus on undergraduate students gaining proficiency in APA style.


How to develop an APA reference list – a brief Introduction

Note: a "reference list" is generally the "works cited" in your paper, while a "bibliography" might include a comprehensive list of literature relevant to your research or thesis.

APA reference example for a journal article | Source: American Psychological Association (2020)

Some examples of sources which require referencing

  • Books
  • Book chapters
  • Journal articles
  • Conference papers
  • Conference presentations
  • Websites and webpages

Worksheets for today's lesson

Due to website formatting limitations, the required APA 1/2 inch hanging indent is not shown in the examples below.

APA references | Books and book chapters

Winichakul, T. (1997). Siam mapped: A history of the geo-body of a nation. Honolulu, HI: University of Hawaii Press.

Martin, S. A., & Blundell, D. (2017). Cultural continuum among the Bunun of Laipunuk (Nei Ben Lu), southern Taiwan. In H. Chang & A. Mona (Eds.), Religion, law and state: Cultural re-invigoration in the new age (pp. 215-246). Taipei, Taiwan: Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborigines.

APA reference entries for books | 4:26

APA references | Journals and other periodicals

Martin, S. A. (2011). Laipunuk (Nei Ben Lu)–The last frontier of the Taiwan aborigines during the Japanese occupation on Taiwan: Ethnographic narratives of a Bunun elder. The International Journal of Asia Pacific Studies (IJAPS), 7(1) 123–142.

Martin, S. A., & Ritchie, R. J. (2020). Sourcing Thai geography literature for ASEAN and international education. Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography41(1) 61–85.

APA reference entries for periodicals | 2:44

APA references | Conferences papers and presentations

Martin, S. A., & Assenov, I. (2012). Towards a surf resource sustainability index: A global model for surf site conservation and Thailand case studyProceedings of the 18th Asia Pacific Tourism Association Annual Conference (APTA) Hospitality & Tourism Education: New Tourism & New Waves (pp. 745–760). Taipei, ROC, June 26–29. Busan, Korea: School of International Tourism, Dong-A University.

Martin, S. A., & Ritchie, R. (2018). Towards an ASEAN community: A scoping study and case for teaching the geography of Thailand in the English languageProceedings of the PSU Phuket International Conference 50th Anniversary Celebration: Creativity and Innovations for Global Development (p. 54). Prince of Songkla University, Phuket, Thailand, March 11–12.


How to make APA in-text citations for sentences

APA in-text citation examples | Source: American Psychological Association (2020)

In-text references (or in-text citations) provide a source (author and year of publication) for each piece of information used in your academic writing. In-text citations are commonly placed either at the beginning or end of a sentence or paragraph to identify where information actually came from and are important in order to avoid plagiarism.

Plagiarism is the use of the published work of another person without acknowledgement and is easily avoidable by using an in-text citation to indicate who the original author/s is/are.

Worksheets for today's lesson

APA format | In-text citations, quotations, paraphrases to avoid plagiarism | 3:20


How to make an annotated bibliography

Annotated bibliography example in APA style

According to the Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL, 2020), “Depending on the purpose of your bibliography, some annotations may summarize, some may assess or evaluate a source, and some may reflect on the source’s possible uses for the project at hand.”

Worksheets for today's lesson

APA format | Annotated bibliography and helpful advice | 6:10


How to organize research files and develop a database

Literature Review File Organization Concept


How to develop a literature review I Midterm project guidelines

Topic selection and outline

  • Write a comprehensive literature review based on the topics and annotated bibliographies as developed, discussed and approved during our previous lessons.
  • The literature review should follow the APA style for in-text citations and references.

The literature review consists of five parts

  1. A brief introduction.
  2. Three to five relevant subtopics of at least two paragraphs each.
  3. Brief discussion or conclusion highlighting key points of interest and/or knowledge gaps (if any).
  4. Brief suggestions for future research.
  5. A reference list with at least 15 sources representing journals, books, websites, etc.


  • Spacing: 1.5.
  • Font: Times New Roman 12pt.
  • Length: 1,500 to 2,000 words.
  • Referencing: APA style (American Psychological Association)


How to use Google Scholar for searching and referencing


  • Select a topic of your choice.
  • Search Google Scholar to locate 3 to 5 relevant international journal articles.
  • Conduct searches for (1) the topic and (2) relevant scholars in the field.
  • In APA format, make reference list in MS Word and email it to the instructor.


How to use ResearchGate for searching and referencing


  • Join ResearchGate.
  • Select a topic relevant to your final paper (systematic review).
  • Search ResearchGate for relevant scholars in the field.
  • Contact at least two researchers about their research.


How to use YouTube for searching and referencing

Video, documentary film and scholarly presentations: the case of YouTube in searching and referencing online educational films and videos

With digital transformations in education, online films and videos bring to light more than just content, we are exposed to – and adapt to – the use of technology in teaching and learning. For example, searching and referencing videos on YouTube suggest an awareness of search strategies one might employ while identifying diverse genres of videos and experts in a given field or topic area.

In the case of searching and referencing Greece and Asia Minor videos – free and available on YouTube – the following genres come to light and are explored.

  • Academic lectures and presentations
  • Mainstream documentary films and series
  • Diverse videos of interest
  • Animated video presentations
  • Travel videos and vlogs

Searching and Referencing | Greece and Asia Minor Documentary Film Page


  • Select a topic (it can be relevant to your final paper).
  • Search on YouTube for related videos.
  • Locate five relevant videos representing each of the genres as discussed in class, including (1) academic lectures and presentations, (2) mainstream documentary films and series, (3) diverse videos of interest, (4) animated video presentations, and (5) travel videos and vlogs.
  • Make a reference for each video which includes an active URL.

How to cite a video in APA | 1:45


How to use Wikipedia for searching and referencing | Do's and Dont's

In this lesson, we explore the power of Wikipedia in research and learn how to track down appropriate and citable references to use in our work.

  • Why we don't cite Wikipedia and how to use it as a resource

Lesson and worksheet forthcoming.


How to access academic journals and databases at the university

Many academic journals and databases require a subscription or fee to view or download articles. For students and researchers at PSU Phuket, our university has purchased subscriptions to a variety of journals and databases.

You may need to login on campus or through the Prince of Songkla University Phuket Campus Library in order to gain access. This will allow journals and databases to automatically verify the PSU IP address.

Shortist of online databases


How to conduct a systematic review | Final project

Building a foundation for long-term success in research and writing in the social sciences

Webinar | How to conduct a systematic review | 1:20:46

Presentation slides | How to conduct a systematic review

Systematic Literature Review Infographic

Systematic review of surf tourism research | Journal of Sport and Tourism

Systematic reviews of surf tourism research

Martin, S. A., & Assenov, I. (2012). The genesis of a new body of sport tourism literature: A systematic review of surf tourism research (1997-2011). Journal of Sport and Tourism, 17(4) 257–28.

Martin, S. A. (2022). From shades of grey to Web of Science: A systematic review of surf tourism research in international journals (2011-2020). Journal of Sport & Tourism, 26(2) 125–146.

Thai Geography academic literature review and research

Academic review of Thai geography literature

Martin, S. A., & Ritchie, R. J. (2020). Sourcing Thai geography literature for ASEAN and international education. Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography41(1) 61–85.

How to publish papers in international journals

Coordinator : Assoc. Prof. Dr. Raymond J. Ritchie

For the scholar who studies or works in a university, doing scholarly research and publishing the findings in the form of articles in peer-reviewed international journals are some of the most important academic activities. It is important to learn how to do it yourself so you can set-up your own career.

This workshop includes a number of advanced topics regarding how to publish a paper in international journals. It is very good opportunity for learning from the experience and techniques of an experienced publisher of papers. Emphasis is on practical information on how to do it, and what Dr. Ritchie has leant from experience, that is, what works and what does not.

Searching and Referencing | Prof Dr Steven A Martin | Teaching and Learning Resources | Google Search

Forthcoming sections for teaching and learning

3 parts of this course

  1. Searching and sources
  2. Citation and referencing
  3. Annotations and literature reviews

2 required projects (midterm and final)

  1. Literature review
  2. Systematic review


  • How to include foreign language references
Searching and Referencing | Prof Dr Steven A Martin | Teaching and Learning Resources
Interdisciplinary Study

Interdisciplinary Study


Course Description

History, concepts and main theories of key disciplines. Topics of study are selected from those of science, social sciences and humanities. An integration of knowledge in order to create new perspectives. Basic practice in systematic investigation involving observation, reading, data searching, gathering and analyzing, practical training, drawing conclusions, and making a presentation.

How this course began

In 2008, the university asked me to design a new course called "Introduction to Interdisciplinary Study". The course description had been approved by the main campus and the rest was up to me.

I understood that the aim of the course was to empower new students with analytical and problem-solving skills required for coursework and self learning, including basic study habits, study skills, and reading and writing strategies.

In order to set a conceptual foundation for the course, I researched and incorporated the deep history and fundamental concepts behind the humanities, social science, science and technology, and applied and professional fields.

The course also needed to introduce research methodologies, including the investigation, write-up, and presentation of a basic research paper on a selected topic.

Five concepts of Interdisciplinary Study

After eight years of teaching Interdisciplinary Studies, I believe that it is the ultimate course to provide students with a better understanding of the university environment and encourage academic professionalism. The very idea of interdisciplinary study contains diverse concepts for the history of institutional education, the branches of knowledge, past and current trends in research, and life-long learning.

I approach this course through five broad concepts:

  1. Critical thinking
  2. Contemporary study skills
  3. Methodologies of study and research
  4. History and nature of the disciplines of study
  5. The interrelated aspects of education and learning

The Maragrita Philosophica The first interdisciplinary textbook

I chose the Maragrita Philosophica [pdf] (the philosophic pearl) as starting point for this course to provide historical perspective and imagination.

The Margarita is a magnificently illustrated encyclopedia compiled in 1503 by a Carthusian monk named Gregor Reisch (c.1467-1525). Reisch produced what is essentially the world’s first interdisciplinary textbook, covering all seven liberal arts and providing appropriate background across disciplines and courses.

Widely used as a university textbook in the early sixteenth century, particularly in Germany, it is a book of historical significance and sheds light on university curriculum and collective scientific knowledge at the close of the Middle Ages, 500-600 years ago.

Separated into twelve chapters, Maragrita Philosophica covers traditional subjects of the trivium (grammar, logic, rhetoric) and quadrivium (arithmetic, music, geometry, astronomy); and four chapters address natural philosophy, including the elements, meteorology, alchemy, the plant and animal kingdoms, optics and memory. The final sections and topics include heaven, hell, purgatory; and the book concludes with a chapter on moral philosophy, reflecting the period when church, state and education were closely integrated.

The Margarita Philosophica | Reich, 1503 | Click to enlarge

10 Core Assignments

I developed 10 key assignments for this course to supplement lectures, class assignments and activities, and homework.

  1. Student Schedule: Using the monthly calendar provided in the coursebook, students keep a personal study schedule with important dates and details for their assignments. A study schedule should contain a student’s class schedule, assignment due dates, appointments, study group meetings, and extracurricular activities. Keeping a monthly schedule is a life-long organization skill.
  2. Word Bank: Using the pages provided in the coursebook, students create their own vocabulary list. The Word Bank should be at least 2 pages (with 2 columns per page). Vocabulary should be focused on course content, especially the Humanities, Social Sciences, Physical and Natural Sciences, and Technology. Keeping a Word Bank is a life-long study skill and students are suggested to build a digital version for future learning.
  3. Curriculum Vitae (CV): Using the template and examples provided in the coursebook, students construct a personal CV. The CV should be 1 to 2 pages and identify a student’s special qualities and attributes. By identifying and documenting one’s education, background, and accomplishments, students gain a sense of self-worth and prepare for their futures as young professionals.
  4. University Mapping: As an exercise in experiential learning, students go beyond the classroom to explore the university campus. Students may photograph, video, conduct face to face interviews, and use the internet to identify the history, faculties, departments, and degree programs of PSU. The focus of this project to instill the benefit of experiential learning and to make connections with the campus and the disciplines of study.
  5. Library Assignment: Learning to locate, reference, and cite materials in your studies are essential to university and academic professionalism. Students complete the library assignment sheet provided in the coursebook as part of their mastery of library resources, including locating and referencing books, journals, and digital materials. University library resources include subscriptions to journals and databases and are available to students free of charge.
  6. Environmental Studies: Through an interdisciplinary approach, students share contemporary news and engage in critical thinking toward Environmental Studies. Subjects include current environment issues, such as climate change and tourism, and pinpoint the disciplines of study in a global context.
  7. History of English: English is emerging as the key international language. It is the first language in numerous countries and an important second language in many others. Through lecture, discussion, and an in-class assignment, students discover the history, development, and adaptability of the English language, and how different languages influenced English. Stem-words, root-words, prefixes, and suffixes come to life as students realize the language’s history and nature. (Check out the short presentation, reading passage, and assignment below).
  8. Advanced Searching, Downloading and Organizing Digital Materials: Students develop and apply skills to locate, review, qualify, save, and organize academic information, including journal articles. The assignment is essential for literature reviews and serves to support the individual research paper project due at the end of the semester.
  9. Individual Research Paper: Students learn how to write a 10-page research paper. Topics are academic in nature, focused on the disciplines of study, and need approval from the course lecturer. Research papers follow the research project guidelines and formatting requirements provided in the coursebook. Referencing follows APA Style.
  10. Research Presentation: Students gain practical experience in public speaking and presentation skills through arranging a presentation based on their individual research paper. Presentations are given in PowerPoint (approximately 10 slides). Students learn to be brief, informative, and deliver a presentation in 10 minutes.

Featured Assignment: History of the English Language

English is emerging as the key international language. It is the first language in numerous countries and an important second language in many others.

Through lecture, discussion, and an in-class assignment, students discover the history, development, and adaptability of the English language, and how different languages influenced English.

Stem-words, root-words, prefixes, and suffixes come to life as students realize the language’s history and nature.



William Shakespeare | English playwright and poet (1564 - 1616)