5. Citations and copyrights

This section covers the basic rules involved when citing sources or using copyrighted works in your report or thesis.

Distinguish between your own opinion and the opinions of others

 A citation involves using the research results and opinions of others to objectively back up your own opinions and claims when writing a report or thesis. In such a case, it is strictly prohibited to plagiarize the works of others, making them seem as if they are your own ideas. In all fields of academics and research, our ability to get a secure foothold and to move forward is solely due to the accumulation of knowledge by our predecessors and our own trial and error. By either criticizing or approving of them, it is important to pay due respect to the research results and opinions of others, to clarify their relationship with your ideas, and then to establish your own opinions and claims. How far did your predecessors take your field of interest forward, and what sort of new contributions can you add to it? Make sure to keep these points in mind while writing.

Respecting copyrights

 From a legal perspective, the policy mentioned earlier is defined as copyrights. Copyrights are not limited to writing, but expand into music, videos, pictures, and various other original works attributed to someone else. This section primarily covers the copyrights of academic publications (books, theses, magazine articles).
 When citing the copyrighted works of someone else to back up your own claims, you must respect the copyright. More specifically, the bibliography such as the author's name, book title, publisher, year of publication, and reference pages must be clarified. If this general rule is not followed, it will be impossible to distinguish your opinions from the opinions of others, and could technically be considered an act of academic dishonesty such as plagiarism or piracy.
 At the same time, it is important to realize that text and data on the Internet is also protected under copyrights. Directly copying and pasting someone else's writing to create your report, and failing to source any of it, is clearly an academic dishonest act. When using information from the Internet, make sure to clarify the author's name, the name of the text/materials used, a URL, and the date you accessed it.

How do I use it?

What is the proper way to use the written works of others without violating copyrights? This section covers the basic rules of citing works and documents.
 There are indirect and direct citations. Styles of citation differ by academic field, so consult the details with your professor.

 There are generally two styles of citing sources and listing references: the Harvard style and the Vancouver style. The Harvard style involves adding the author's name, year of publication, and page numbers used in parentheses right after the quotation used. A reference list is created in alphabetical order by author names, unrelated to the order of appearance. The Vancouver style involves adding a notation number for cited material, in order of appearance in the text. A reference list is then created in order of notation numbers. The following examples show how to properly use the Harvard style for indirect citation, and the Vancouver style for direct citation.

Indirect citation (summary)

 An indirect citation is to develop an understanding of another author's opinions and claims, and then to summarize them in your own words. Because of this, it is possible to elicit a variety of interpretations of the same text, but make sure not to jump to your own hasty interpretation based on convenience. It's important to carefully seek the author's true intention, and to summarize it in a clear and concise manner. Basically, a document notation should be added next to the indirect quote including the author's name, year of publication, and page numbers used in parentheses. The author's full name does not have to be used.

[Citation example]

For example, what Hirschman calls the "Rhetoric of Reaction" continues to be used by conservatives in all ages, and can be divided into three general categories. 1) the "perversity thesis" claims that any purposive action to improve some feature of the political, social, or economic order only serves to exacerbate the condition one wishes to remedy, 2) the "futility thesis" holds that attempts at social transformation will be unavailing, that they will simply fail to "make a dent," and 3) the "jeopardy thesis" argues that the cost of the proposed change or reform is too high as it endangers some previous, precious accomplishment (Hirschman, 1997, p.8-9).
Cited source
Hirschman, Albert O. The Rhetoric of Reaction: Perversity, Futility, Jeopardy. Minoru Iwasaki, tr. Hosei University Press, 1997, p.8-9. (Series, Universitas, 554).

Direct citation (excerpt)

 A direct citation is done by taking an expression or idea from someone else's text exactly as it is written. Make sure to copy the excerpt word for word including added kana after a Chinese character. Use quotation marks around the excerpt for clarification. If there is a spelling or grammatical error in the original text, quote the text as it is, but write "sic" in parentheses after the erroneous text to show that it is not your own error. To cut a sentence short midway through, you can use an ellipsis (...) before and/or after the section to be used. Direct citations may be written differently depending on the length of the quoted text.
 When making a citation, make sure to keep it in context so as to not twist the original author's intention. It must go together smoothly with your own writing. Do not quote arbitrarily for convenience.

[Citation example]

Rousseau was a product of the enlightenment era, in which "the light of reason" had spread throughout the region. He was a rare philosopher at the time because of his willingness to mention the dark side of reason. As cited below, he claimed that the power of reason could potentially increase social alienation. "Reason engenders amour-propre and reflection fortifies it; reason turns man back upon himself,... (ellipsis)...because of it he says in secret, at the sight of a suffering man:perish if you will, I am safe." (1). The author thought that use of reason was a rational calculation, and that sympathy towards others would be lost because of it.
Cited source
(1) Rousseau. Jean-Jacques. Discourse on the origins of inequality. Gen, Nakayama, tr. Kobunsha, 2008, p.106. (Kobunsha Classics, KB Ru 1-1).

Citing documents

Cited source

As mentioned before, a cited source is a summary or excerpt of a writing actually used in the body text.


References are not actually quoted in the body text, but are writings that you referred to that helped to develop your opinions and thinking. This enables the reader to receive suggestions from the writer's argument, and allows the reader to quickly find the reference for further thinking on the subject.

 Cited sources and references must be listed at the end of the paper, leaving a single line space under the "Sources” and “References" title. Refer to [Citation examples] for ways to display them.

[Citation examples]

 Minimum requirements for creating a reference list are as follows.
- Book: Author's name, book title, publisher (publisher location is also required for foreign books), date of publication
- Article: author's name, article title, journal title, date of publication, volume number, page number(s)
 There are various styles to order and write each category depending on the department and field of study. We recommend that you ask your professor, and check journals that focus on your field of study. It's important to be consistent when creating your reference list by following a single set of style rules throughout the paper. See the following examples. This format is based on the Japan Science and Technology Agency's "SIST02 Description of Bibliographic References". Quotation marks may be used for the book title when dealing with the field of Humanities and Social Sciences in Japan. Other prominent styles include " Hōritsu Bunken tō no Shutten no Hyōji Hōhō (How to reference legal documents, etc.)" by “Hōritsu Hensyū sya Konwakai (the Law Editor Society)” , "Shakaigaku Hyōron Style Guide (Social Review Style Guide)" by the Japan Sociological Society, "MLA Style" by the Modern Language Association of America,and "APA Style" by the American Psychological Association.

  1. Book: Uchida, Yoshihiko. Shakai Ninshiki no Ayumi (A Progress of Social Recognition). Iwanami Shoten, 1971, 209p.
  2. Translated document: King, J.E. Post Keynesian no Keizai Riron (The Elgar Companion to Post Keynesian Economics). Koyama, Shozo, tr. Taga Shuppan, 2009, 423p.
  3. Journal article: Sakai, Keiko. Iraq Kūbaku to Hussein Seiken (Iraqi Air Raids, the Hussein Regime). Sekai. 1999, (659), p.165-171."
  4. Foreign book: Sitton, John F. Habermas and contemporary society. Palgrave Macmillan, 2003, 197p.
  5. Internet documents/materials: Statistics Bureau, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications. "Labour Force Survey". Statistics Japan. http://www.stat.go.jp/english/data/roudou/index.htm, (accessed 2014-08-21).
  6. Newspaper article: Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. Jishin Kenkyū no Minaoshi Hitsuyō (Earthquake research should be reevaluated). Asahi Shimbun. 2013-02-11, morning edition, p.33.
  7. Encyclopedia entry: Suzuki, Fujio. "Doughnut-Ka Genshō (Doughnut phenomenon)". Heibonsha's World Encyclopedia. New Revised ed., Heibonsha, 2007, p.374.
* For listing methods, refer to "7. How to write a reference list" of Master of Writing (written in Japanese).

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