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Rutgers-Newark Physics Research Guide: Avoiding Plagiarism

This research guide was created (in the Summer of 2017) to help students performing research in the Physics department at Rutgers University-Newark

In a nutshell...

Remember to cite when:

  • quoting
  • paraphrasing
  • summarizing
  • borrowing an image

You do NOT have to cite when it is:

  • common knowledge
  • original thought

Academic Integrity @ Rutgers

ACS Style Guide

AIP Style Manual

CSE Manual

What is plagiarism?

Plagiarism is defined as stealing and using the ideas of another as one's own.  In the academic world, this is considered a very serious charge and, for students, it can lead to dismissal, and, for faculty, it can result in the loss of one's job and/or one's standing in the profession.  When we discussed bibliographies as a test for a reliable information source, we expected the citations to be an accurate reflection of the item's content.  If they are not, how can we make an informed decision?  Plagiarism can be avoided by precision in citing your sources.  When in doubt, cite!

Please take a look at the items below:

Style Manuals

Style manuals can help you with citing your sources.  These manuals have been developed by professional associations as well as edited publications to provide standardized formats for authors to report their research results and for readers' convenience and greater understanding.   Examples of style manuals include those listed along the left panel, as well as the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA style), The Chicago Manual of Style, MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (Modern Language Association/MLA style), and The New York Times Manual of Style and Usage.  Students often find applying style manuals to their papers more than a challenge.  To help out, below are some excellent web sites to provide more information.


  • APA Formatting and Style Guide from Purdue's Online Writing Lab
  • APA Style Essentials from Douglas Degelman, Ph.D., and Martin Lorenzo Harris, Ph.D., Vanguard University of Southern California.  Authors include details about formatting such as spacing, tabs, and a downloadable template for Microsoft Word. They have also linked a sample paper and a sample proposal.
  • APA Style Tips from the APA includes information about writing without bias and citing electronic resources.  Be sure to look at the sidebar as well as the page section titled Style Topics.


Style for a Particular Journal

  • Some journals may prefer a special style.  You will typically find detailed information about its preferences under the "Information for Authors" section.  While this information used to be published in every issue, journals now include "Information for Authors" on their Web sites.


Citation managers can be a great help with citations:


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