Referencing within code in software engineering education

Online educational resource

Turner, S. and Hill, G 2021. Referencing within code in software engineering education. National Repository of Teaching and Learning.
AuthorsTurner, S. and Hill, G
Learning level7
Task purpose

To address a need in referencing on how to reference code within other code and in reports. This adds a conference paper from 2014 to the repository.


Traditionally, computer sciences courses will assess software code. It is common and accepted good practice (as in written reports) to reference other sources of appropriate material. However there appears to be no explicit method, recommendation or advice available to computer science tutors and students on a referencing approach! This paper aims to stimulate discussion from peers involved in software engineering education. By discussing the apparent lack of ‘referencing within code’ advice to students and proposing suggestions for appropriate solutions. This will be based on the authors’ experience of assessing code and the current advice given to their students.

KeywordsSoftware engineering education; Referencing; Harvard referencing system; Computer code
PublisherNational Repository of Teaching and Learning
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Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online05 Jul 2021
Publication process dates
Accepted05 Jul 2021
Deposited19 Jul 2021

[1] Turnitin. [online] Available from:, 2012 [Accessed 19/01/12].
[2] Dawson. C., W. Projects in Computing and Information Systems, A Student’s Guide, Second Edition, ISBN-10: 0321263553, Addison Wesley,
[3] University of Northampton [online] Referencing Guide, The Harvard System, 4th Edition, 2012, [Accessed 19/01/12].
[4] Java [online] Java API Specification SE7, Available from:, 2012 [Accessed 19/01/12].
[5] Hill, G. J. [online] Problem Solving & Programming, Available from: , 2012 [Accessed 19/01/12].
[6] Jfreechart [online] Problem Solving & Programming, Available from:, 2012 [Accessed 19/01/12].

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