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Library Guide Medical Sciences: Citing and plagiarism

All services and resources provided by the Medical Library

  Plagiarism

What is plagiarism?

Plagiarism is copying information from another person's work without citing the source, with the intention to make it appear as one's own work.

How to prevent plagiarism?

  • Paraphrasing - Expressing another person’s ideas or texts in your own words.
    It is required to cite the source.
  • Referencing - Mentioning the ideas, methods or findings of others.
    It is required to cite the source.
  • Citation - The word-for-word copying of someone else’s text. Quotation marks must be used when citing someone else’s exact words.
    It is required to cite the source.

Want to know more? Take the e-learning How to avoid plagiarism?

  Evaluating sources

Peer review

Books and journals offered by the University Library are considered to be reliable literature sources. Articles in academic journals undergo peer review before publication. An article that has been submitted for publication is first reviewed by other scientist in the same research area (=peers).


Reliability and accuracy of online sources

In a world with alternative facts and fake news, it is wise to critically evaluate (online) sources.
View this video from Johnson and Wales University Library (5:27) for tips to help you assess the reliability and accuracy of the information that is offered.

  Citing sources

Why do I need to cite my sources?

View this video from North Carolina State University Libraries (1:54) for a short explanation on the use and why of citing your sources.


Vancouver style

In the medical sciences the Vancouver style is often used to format references.
Here is an example: voorbeeld referentie Vancouver stijl

Volume generally refers to the number of years; 2011 is the 21st year Trends in cell biology (Trends Cell Biol) has been published. This article was published in 2011 (and thus can be located in volume 21) .
Issue refers to the numbering within a year. Because Trends Cell Biol is a monthly journal, this article can be found in the December issue.

For more information see:

  Reference software

Several reference software programs are available to help you with citing your sources when writing articles and reports: EndNote, Mendeley etc.

The ICT service desk of the Radboudumc supports EndNote. If you would like to use other software, the Medical Library is happy to think along about the possibilities.


EndNote is a software program to collect and use literature references in your report or article.

Learn how to work with EndNote?

  • The Medical library regularly gives workshops on EndNote. If you're with a group of 5 or more persons, then it's also possible to request a custom workshop via Ask Your Librarian.
  • Several EndNote e-learning modules and manuals are available for self-study.
  • As a Radboud student or employee you can get EndNote software free of charge. For more information see the page facilities.