How Is A Bibliography Different From A Reference List?

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How Is A Bibliography Different From A Reference List?
Post By tapaflcouk On 17, Nov

Do you know the difference between bibliography and references? Many people consider both of them the same. But there is a huge difference between them. While writing a thesis or article, you are looking for sources to get the ideas. You might be using both terms for the sources. But you should keep in mind that they’re different. Referencing is quoting the source in-text of an article or thesis. In contrast, bibliography is a list of sources that helps you in getting the idea. Reference list and bibliography both are important for any research study. They are great ways for acknowledging the work of others.

Moreover, they allow the reader in finding sources of information. Reference list and bibliography increase the worth of your work. So researchers need to use reference lists and bibliography in a proper way. But first, they should know about the differences between these two. This article provides insights that will help you in understanding major differences between these two aspects;

Reference List

A reference list refers to giving credit to someone for doing something significant. In research, you use it through in-texts for denoting the work, or information you will use in your article. It is a way of showing gratitude to the data source. Further, it is also an ethical approach for appreciating the work of others.

It is important to note that one should use references only from reliable resources. These resources support your argument, and increase the worth of your work. Further, these resources include books, articles, journals, and newspapers. These resources increase the trust of readers in your work as well. The reader can also get full picture of the information from these sources. You can also give reference to tables, graphs, and statistics within the article.


According to experts of dissertation writing services, we add a bibliography at the end of an article, or report. It contains a list of books, articles, and websites that are relevant to the article. These are the sources from where researchers get ideas during the research. Bibliography includes all sources that a researcher consulted during the study. Bibliography allows readers to access the literature about a specific topic as well. It also shows the source from where the researcher got inspiration.

Types of bibliography

Selected Bibliography

The name explains the meaning of this type itself. Selected bibliography consists of the work that gains more interest of a reader. The reader doesn’t want to read all the sources that highlight where you got the data from. But you can highlight some major work that you think will attract the reader. For example, sources that consist of major statistics attract the reader. Hence, you should share these kinds of sources in the selected bibliography.

Bibliography Of Work Cited

Bibliography covers all the sources that you cited within your research. These sources are highly important for the readers. While reading your article, they may find some information interesting. They might want to read more about this information. This is where the bibliography comes into place for serving them. If you don’t give the bibliography of your work, then the important information may be worth nothing.

Annotated Bibliography

In this bibliography type, the researcher describes items of the work. It increases the usefulness, as well as worth of the researcher’s work.

Differences Between Reference List And Bibliography


The references list provides sources of the information that you shared within your article. Whereas a bibliography covers sources from where the researcher gets an idea about the topic. Yet, it doesn’t matter whether the researcher cited the work or not.

Source Of The Data:

The reference list focuses on primary source of data. It means that you cite the source of data or information. It means that if you find data within the article, you have to reference this article. You don’t give reference to a secondary source of the data. Bibliography consists of both primary, as well as and secondary source of data. It doesn’t matter from where you get data. A matter of fact is that you got an idea from it. You can use the original article from where you read the data as well.

Arrangement Of Sources:

You can arrange references for the articles in both alphabetic, and numeric ways. It depends on the writing standards that you follow for writing your article. Many publishers provide you with guidelines for giving references. Whereas the list of sources in a bibliography is only arranged in the numeric form. Yet researchers divided them into two groups for improving the presentation. The first group includes books, and articles. At the same time, the other group includes a list of magazines, and newspapers.

Is Included In:

In a reference list, you only cite sources that you’ve used within your article. Suppose you got statistical data from Statista. In this case you can add it to the list of references. You can also use it within your article. In a bibliography, you add every source in the list that provides you with information. It doesn’t matter whether you use the information in the text, or not. Suppose you’re working on the concept of organisational change. You read the article that shared theories about organisational change. After you’re done reading, you’ll have to add this source to your bibliography.

Support The Argument:

The reference list provides support to your idea. It serves the main purpose for adding references at the end of an article. But a bibliography does not give strength to your argument.


Many people are confused about the differences between a reference list and bibliography. Most of them think that these two are the same. But in reality, these two have many differences. Reference list implies the work that you cite within your writing piece. In contrast, a bibliography consists of every source that you consulted during the work. The reference list takes data from primary sources. At the same time, a bibliography includes both primary, as well as secondary sources. Reference list includes both numeric, and alphabetic arrangement. Whereas bibliography can use only the numeric form for listing sources. Reference list is used for providing support to the argument shared within an article. But a bibliography does not support any argument within the articles. These are some of the major differences that differentiate the two aspects from each other.

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