REFERENCES IN RESEARCH METHODS
Finalization of the research work is very challenging. This is mainly because by the time a researcher finalizes the study, there may be exhaustion and an urgency to complete the study. However this section is vital and should be completed with seriousness and uttermost care. This chapter discusses referencing, preparing the appendix and formatting the final work.
In research, the term “reference” applies to materials that have been referred to or quoted in the study. The reference list is a compilation of the books and articles referred to. This list is related closely to the literature review chapter. This is because all reference materials used in the literature review should be reflected in this section. The reference list should contain the most relevant and important publications.
The References in the Body of the Text
The appropriate point at which to indicate the source of an idea is as soon as is convenient. When it is at the beginning or middle of a sentence, the researcher should indicate the surname of the author and year of publication. The year of publication should be enclosed inside brackets, for instance, “Orodho (2003) pointed out that…,”“Kombo (2005) indicated that….” At the end of a sentence or paragraph, one needs to enclose the surname of the author and year of publication in brackets. The name and year should be separated by a comma, for example (Orodho, 2003); (Kombo, 2005).
Direct quotations should be accurate. If there is need to omit some words within a quotation, the writer should use three ellipses (…)to indicate the omissions. If the quotation is short, that is, a maximum of three sentences then use quotation marks within the text. Longer quotations are usually indented and typed in single spacing, without quotation marks. In both cases, the pages from which the quotation comes must be indicated at the end of the quotation (Kombo, 2004:69).
The use of another author’s idea, but expressed in the writer’s words is referred to as paraphrasing. In this case the writer indicates the source author and year, for example (Kombo, 2004).
One of the challenges experienced by researchers is how to cite references. The two most common methods for citing published work are:
- the number system
- the name-year system
THE NUMBER SYSTEM
With this system, references to published work are by use of numbers, for example:
There are many undergraduate texts on Process Control [1-4]. The most popular seems to be the book by Kombo . However, the only one to deal with process design and process control in an integrated manner is that by Orodho[4J.
There are many undergraduate texts on Process Control 1-4. The most popular seems to be the book by Kombo 2; However, the only one to deal with process design and process control in an integrated manner is that by Orodho 4.
In both examples above, three citations were made. The first referred to publication numbers 1, 2, 3. and 4; the second citation referred to publication number 2, while the last citation referred to publication number 4. The fact that the numbers relate to items in the reference list is indicated by the square parentheses I…] or by the superscripts. The convention a researcher follows will depend on the guidelines and regulations of one’s institution.
When using the number-system citation style, the order of the corresponding reference list is important. By convention, the first cited publication will be the first on the list and assigned the number “1.” The second cited publication will be the second on the list and assigned the number “2” and so on. That is, the publications in the reference list are presented in the order that they were cited. However, the reference list must not contain duplicates. This means that the researcher will have to keep track of the publications that have been cited and their associated order in the reference list, so that he/she can use the appropriate number when he/she citing a publication more than once, as in the above examples.