Secondary referencing

Secondary referencing is considered to be poor academic practice. It is important to find the original papers and cite them, or explain in a footnote why the original papers are no longer available or accessible. Merely mentioning that someone else has cited something that you wish to rely on is unreliable. The authors of the secondary source may have changed the original author’s meaning or taken it out of context. They may also have been using the original source to make a different point to yours. This is why it is important to find the original source rather than rely on another author’s interpretation.


About Will

Professor of Construction Management and Economics, University of Reading, UK. Editor-in-Chief, Construction Management and Economics (1992-2016). Programme Director, MSc Construction Management. School Director of Postgraduate Teaching Programmes.
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