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What is the difference between a reference list and a bibliography?

Referencing style differences

Whether your list of sources is called a reference list or bibliography will depend on the referencing style used in your subject. Consult the Library's guide to the referencing styles recommended by Monash university faculties, schools or departments Opens in a new window. For History, for example, "bibliography" refers to the list of items you refer to in your assignment whereas for Psychology, this is called a "reference list".

Cited/not cited

Generally, a reference list contains only those sources you actually referred to in your assignment. So, for each resource on your list, there will be some citation in your assignment. Your marker will check these off as he/she reads through your work

A bibliography, sometimes, is taken to be a list of all those sources you looked at. This list, also attached to the back of your assignment, contains all those books, articles, website, and so on, you cite in your assignment but also those ones you consulted but didn't actually cite in your assignment.

Your lecturer will indicate whether they wish to have a reference list and a bibliography attached to the back of your assignment. However, in the main, most subjects require only a reference list. If you are unsure, check with your lecturer.

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