The Open University


The Ingeborg Rennert Library

How do I prepare a bibliography

A bibliographic reference

  • The bibliographic reference is an article's "calling card" and its purpose is to help locate print or electronic copies, to credit the author/s, and to secure the copyright.
  • The reference includes the publication's unique features: title, author, year and place of publication, and publisher.
  • A bibliographic reference appears in the body of a paper. Its location depends on the citation style used. In the Humanities, footnotes are usually used; the Social Sciences use the author-date system (in parentheses in the body of text), and in the Sciences, the reference is to the number of the reference in the bibliography. The full bibliographic reference appears in the bibliography at the end of the paper.

How to cite

  • There are many types of citation styles for the different disciplines (i.e., APA for Social Sciences, MLA for Humanities, IEEE for Engineering and Computer Sciences, CBE for the exact sciences) and different rules for the different items cited (i.e., book, book chapter, journal article, website).
  • You need to cite your sources in the required citation style. Open University courses usually require APA style. Check with your course coordinator/tutor for the specific requirements of the course.
  • Further details on citation are available at

A list of references (bibliography) at the end of the paper, according to the APA

  • The list of references is arranged in alphabetical order by the last name of the first author
  • The list begins with Hebrew references, followed by the references in English
  • Any references cited in the body of the text must be included on the list, and items that were not cited should not be listed
  • Make sure your references are correct (check spelling) and provide full citations

Supporting Resources

  • Microsoft Word allows you to manage your references according to a citation style you choose
  • In most databases, you can choose the preferred citation style for the publication you use
  • Refworks allows you to store and edit your references
  • There are many free websites that enable documentation in different citation styles, such as