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Secondary Citation

Secondary citation is needed when you want to mention information referred to in another source.

For example:
- you read Source A, published in 2008;
- you found on p.14 information about Source B;
- you want to use this information about Source B in your academic term paper.

You cannot refer directly to Source B because you have not read Source B. What should you do?

  1. You should try to find Source B and read it.
  2. If you cannot find Source B, you will need to include a secondary citation.

How do you make a secondary citation?

For example:
- Source A is a book written by Lee and Fung;
- Source B is a 2006 journal article written by McKenzie;

then your in-text secondary citation can be:

According to McKenzie (2006, cited in Lee and Fung, 2008, p.14), …

How about your end-of-text reference list? Should you include McKenzie’s book or Lee and Fung’s?

The answer is Lee and Fung’s. Your end-of-text reference list should include only those sources that you have read yourself. That is why McKenzie (2006) should not appear on that list.



Last updated on: Monday, March 26, 2012