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Publishing in English: Citations

An upcoming guide to English-language publication for Japanese scholars


Even if you are confident in the value and originality of your research and writing, those efforts will be wasted if you do not make proper citations where credit is due.  The citation format should not be overlooked as a surface-level stylistic issue, but carefully reviewed as a critical component of your writing.  Be sure to check the citation format required by the publisher in advance - English-language publishers may not deny publication of your work based on improper citations, but it is a major red flag on the quality of your research, and may add extra time and challenges to publication. 

It is important to make proper citations to... 

  • Avoid plagiarism
  • Convey the credibility of your research to your readers and publishers

How do you avoid plagiarism in English-language publications?

  • Provide citations for both direct quotations and paraphrasing
  • Correctly format the citations according to the style specified by the publisher
  • Give credit not only to writing, but also to ideas, data, or media (image/sound) appropriated from another work

What counts as unsuccessful paraphrasing?

  • Summarizing the main ideas of a passage from another work without quotes/citations
  • Using the words and sentence structure from the original work without quotes/citations
  • Rearranging the words from another work without using quotes to indicate which areas are derivative

What do English-language publishers advise? 

  • Be truly international in terms of other works read and cited - avoid provincialism and the strong desire to promote other, more senior, Japanese scholars. 
  • Engage in intellectual debates outside of Japan by attending international conferences, and reading/citing works that are not in Japanese. 
  • Be current with the literature in your field.

Common citation styles


(currently editing May '16)

Diana Hacker, The Bedford Handbook, (New York: Bedford/St. Martin's, 1998), 572.

NCC 2012 Publisher Survey

North American Coordinating Council on Japanese Library Resources
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