The main difference between bibliography and references is that references contain the sources that you have cited in your paper, whereas a bibliography includes all the sources that you have used for your paper, whether they are cited or not.
Both references and bibliographies appear at the end of a scholarly work and share the same information regarding a source of work. They help writers to avoid plagiarism and allow the readers to refer to the original sources and learn more information.
Key Areas Covered
1. What is a Bibliography
– Definition, Features
2. What are References
– Definition, Features
3. Similarities Between Bibliography and References
– Outline of Common Features
4. Difference Between Bibliography and References
– Comparison of Key Differences
What is a Bibliography
A bibliography refers to a list of all of the sources you have studied in preparing your research work. A bibliography usually includes all the work you have used, whether they are referenced in in-text citations or not. Generally, a bibliography includes the authors’ names, the titles of the works, the names and locations of the institutes of publication, the dates on which the copies were published and the page numbers of your sources.
An annotated bibliography, on the other hand, is an extended version of a bibliography where the bibliographic information includes a brief description of the content, quality, and the relevance of the source to your research work.
If you refer to any books or articles writing your paper, you need to include a bibliography in order to avoid plagiarism, even if you don’t name them or quote them directly inside the content. This would further benefit the readers who read your work, as the bibliography would allow them to track down the original source material for themselves.
What are References
A reference list usually consists of the details of all the sources cited within your paper. We usually arrange a reference list alphabetically, and if any work has no author, we usually cite the work by the title. In such cases, we include that reference item into the alphabetical list using the most significant term of the title.
Just like in a bibliography, we usually arrange the reference list at the end of a particular scholarly work. We use commas to set apart each item of a particular reference. In cases where we refer to more than one scholarly work by the same author, we list such work chronologically, indicating the earliest publication first. Moreover, the way we list the source and its detail would slightly differ according to the citation style we are using. In addition, Chicago citation and Oxford citations are two popular citation styles we use to write bibliographies.
Similarities Between Bibliography and References
- Both bibliography and references consist of entries arranged alphabetically by the author.
- They include the same basic information.
- Similar to a bibliography, a reference list is also generally placed at the end of a scholarly work.
- Both bibliography and reference list aim to avoid plagiarism and to give credit to the original author/s.
- Furthermore, both allow the readers to refer to the original sources.
Difference Between Bibliography and References
A bibliography is a list of references you have cited in a scholarly work and background readings or other material that you have read but not actually cited. A reference list, on the other hand, is a list of references you have cited in your work.
A reference list only contains sources you have directly cited in your paper. However, a bibliography consists of all the sources that you have used for your paper in addition to the sources cited in the paper.
APA citations, MLA citations and AMA citations are common citation styles to write reference lists while Chicago citations and Oxford citations are two popular citation styles we use in bibliographies.
In brief, the main difference between a bibliography and references is that a reference list contains the sources which you have directly cited in writing your paper, while a bibliography includes all the sources that you have used for your paper, whether they are directly cited or not. However, both references and bibliographies appear at the end of a work, share the same information regarding a source of work and include alphabetically arranged citations.
1. “Zoonoses: The Lethal Gifts of Livestock: Bibliography slide” By ILRI (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) via Flickr
2. “Reference list created from Wikidata” By Egon Willighagen – Own work (CC0) via Commons Wikimedia