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Need help with referencing styles? Start with this helpful guide.

In-text and Reference list

Author layout: in-text and reference list table
Number of authors Author prominent citation Information prominent citation Reference list
One As argued by Walker [1] As demonstrated in [1]. [1] K. Walker, "Big data and the cloud," IQ: The RIMPA Quart. Mag., vol. 30, p.3, Feb. 2014. [Online]. Available:
Two As argued by Deitel and Deitel [2] According to [2]. [2] P. J. Deitel and H. Deitel, Intro to Python for Computer Science and Data Science: Learning to Program with AI, Big Data and the Cloud. New York, NY, USA: Pearson, 2020.
Three to six Abdou et al. [3] claim that Credit scoring is essential [3]. [3]  H. A. Abdou, M. D. Tsafack, C. G. Collins, and R. D. Baker, "Predicting creditworthiness in retail banking  with limited scoring data," Knowledge-Based Syst., vol. 103, pp. 89-103, July 2016, doi: 10.1016/j.knosys.2016.03.023.
More than six Amer-Yahia et al. [4] argue that It was shown [4] that ... [4]  S. Amer-Yahia et al., "INODE: Building an end-to-end data exploration system in practice," SIGMOD Rec., vol. 50, no. 5, pp. 23-29, Dec. 2021, doi: 10.1145/3516431.3516436.


  • A number enclosed in square brackets e.g., [4] is used for the in-text citation and is placed directly after the quote or summary. 
  • For 3-6 authors, all of the author names are listed in the reference list, but only the first author followed by 'et al.' is used in the in-text citation.
  • For more than six authors, the name of the first author followed by 'et al.'  is listed in the reference list and also in the in-text citation.
  • When citing two or more works by the same author at the same point, the format is "as shown by Brown [4], [5] …"
  • When citing two or more works by different authors at the same point, the format is "Smith [4] and Brown and Jones [5].." Or, "according to [4] and [6], [7], [8], [9]."

Secondary citation

A secondary citation is one in which you cite the work of an author referred to in another source.

It is best to locate the original source and cite this.