Reference


Reference

Reference is derived from Middle English referren, from Middle French rèférer, from Latin referre, "to carry back", formed from the prefix re- and ferre, "to bear".[1] A large number of words derive from this root, including referee, reference, referendum, all retaining the basic meaning of the original Latin as "a point, place or source of origin" that something of comparable nature can be defined in terms of. A referee is the provider of this source of origin, and a referent is the possessor of the source of origin, whether it is knowledge, matter or energy.

Because of its meaning, the word reference is used in every sphere of human knowledge, adopting shades of meaning particular to the contexts in which it is used.

References can take on many forms, including: a thought, a sensory perception that is audible (onomatopoeia), visual (text), olfactory, or tactile, emotional state, relationship with other,[2] spacetime coordinate, symbolic or alpha-numeric, a physical object or an energy projection; but, other concrete and abstract contexts exist as methods of defining references within the scope of the various fields that require an origin, point of departure, or an original form. This includes methods that intentionally hide the reference from some observers, as in cryptography.

The following sections give specific usages of reference in different subjects.

Contents

Knowledge

Systems

Data processing and computer science

In computer science, references are data types that refer to an object elsewhere in memory and are used to construct a wide variety of data structures, such as linked lists. Generally, a reference is a value that enables a program to directly access the particular data item. Most programming languages support some form of reference.

Computer programming, programs & data

The C++ programming language has a specific type of reference also referred to as a "reference"; see reference (C++).

Bibliographies

Bibliographies are special reference works that are used to identify as many published works on a given subject as possible, and serve as compilations for other authors or researchers.

Library and information sciences

In a library, "reference" may refer to a dictionary, an encyclopedia or other reference work, that contains many brief articles that cover a broad scope of knowledge in one book, or a set of books. However, the word reference is also used to mean a book that cannot be taken from the room, or from the building. Many of the books in the reference department of a library are reference works, but some are books that are simply too large or valuable to loan out. Conversely, selected reference works may be shelved with other circulating books, and may be loaned out.

References to many types of printed matter may come in an electronic or machine-readable form. For books, there exists the ISBN and for journal articles, the Digital object identifier (DOI) is gaining relevance. Information on the Internet may be referred to by a Uniform Resource Identifier (URI).

Librarians also conduct reference interviews at the library reference desks, to help people find the information they seek. Help may also be available outside the library though virtual reference and digital reference services.

Encyclopedias & books of facts

Some published sources are produced as reference works that allow quick access to essential information about given subjects, sometimes compiled as topical collections, and sometimes as general collections of entries.

Associations, organizations and museums

News media, journalism and publishing

Philosophy

Causation

Psychology

In terms of mental processing, a self-reference is used in psychology to establish identification with a mental state during self-analysis. This seeks to allow the individual to develop own frames of reference in a greater state of immediate awareness. However, it can laso lead to circular reasoning, preventing evolution of thought.[3]

Humankind

Logic

Religion

Social Sciences

Social Processes

Culture and Institutions

Economics

Further information: Employment reference letter, Reference letter

In the labour market, potential employers often ask job applicants for references or recommendations, so that their suitability can be verified independently. The references can be a written letter, but are often just a contact telephone number. Employers can ask for professional references, which are from former employers, or for character references, which are from people of distinction such as doctors or teachers. The source of the reference must be well known to the applicant and able to vouch for their abilities during employment.

Education

In academics and scholarship, an author-title-date information in bibliographies and footnotes, specifying complete works of other people. Copying of material by another author without proper citation or without required permissions is plagiarism.

Keeping a diary allows an individual to use references for personal organization, whether or not anyone else understands the systems of reference used. However, scholars have studied methods of reference because of their key role in communication and co-operation between different people, and also because of misunderstandings that can arise. Modern academic study of reference has been developing since the 19th Century.[4]

In scholarship, a reference may be a citation of a text that has been used in the creation of a piece of work such as an essay, report, or oration. Its primary purpose is to allow people who read such work to examine the author's sources, either for validity or to learn more about the subject. Such items are often listed at the end of an article or book in a section marked "Bibliography" or "References". A bibliographical section often contains works not cited by the author, but used as background reading or listed as potentially useful to the reader. A reference section contains all of the works and only those works cited by the author(s) in the main text.

Law

In law, references are documents or people providing witness to character. This connotation is also used in employment.

Patent law

In patent law, a reference is a document that can be used to show the state of knowledge at a given time and that therefore may make a claimed invention obvious or anticipated. Examples of references are patents of any country, magazine articles, Ph.D. theses that are indexed and thus accessible to those interested in finding information about the subject matter, and to some extent Internet material that is similarly accessible.

Canadian law

A reference question is a procedure through which the government of Canada can submit legal questions to the Supreme Court of Canada and provincial governments to the provincial courts of appeal.

Mythology

Political science

Policy analysis

International Relations

Public administration

Military History and Science

Language

Semantics

In semantics, reference is generally construed as the relationships between nouns or pronouns and objects that are named by them. Hence, the word "John" refers to John. The word "it" refers to some previously specified object. The object referred to is called the "referent" of the word.[5] Sometimes the word-object relation is called "denotation"; the word denotes the object. The converse relation, the relation from object to word, is called "exemplification"; the object exemplifies what the word denotes. In syntactic analysis, if a word refers to a previous word, the previous word is called the "antecedent".

Meaning

Gottlob Frege argued that reference cannot be treated as identical with meaning: "Hesperus" (an ancient Greek name for the evening star) and "Phosphorus" (an ancient Greek name for the morning star) both refer to Venus, but the astronomical fact that '"Hesperus" is "Phosphorus"' can still be informative, even if the "meanings" of "Hesperus" and "Phosphorus" are already known. This problem led Frege to distinguish between the sense and reference of a word. Some cases seem to be too complicated to be classified within this framework; the acceptance of the notion of secondary reference may be necessary to fill the gap.

Absent referent

Words can often be meaningful without having a concrete here-and-now referent. Fictional and mythological names such as "Bo-Peep" and "Hercules" illustrate this possibility. Sign links with absent referents also allow for discussing abstract ideas ("love," "peace") as well as people and events of the past and future.

For those who argue that one cannot directly experience the divine (e.g. God), the sign "God" can serve as an example of a reference with an absent referent. Additionally, certain sects of Judaism and other religions consider it sinful to write, discard, or deface the name of the divine. To avoid this problem, the signifier G-d is sometimes used, though this could be seen as a sign that refers to another sign with an absent referent.

Linguistic sign

Certain parts of speech exist only to express reference, viz. anaphora, i.e., typically pronouns. The subset of reflexives expresses co-reference of agent (actor) and patient (acted on), as in "The man washed himself".

Natural sciences and mathematics

Astronomy

Mathematics

In mathematics, the absent referent can be seen with the symbol for zero, "0" or the empty set, "{ }".

A reference point in Geometry is a location used to describe another point, by giving the relative position. Similarly there is the concept of frame of reference (both in physics and figuratively) and benchmark (in surveying and figuratively).

Technology (Applied Sciences)

Agriculture

Business

In business administration terms of reference describe the purpose and structure of a project, committee, meeting, negotiation, or any similar collection of people who have agreed to work together to accomplish a shared goal. The terms of reference of a project are often referred to as the project charter.

Construction

Engineering

In engineering a reference design is often used during the pre-production phase of design development to test design features against original specifications.

Animal training

Cooking

Health and medicine

Environmental engineering

Robotics

Risk management

The Arts

In Art, a reference is an item from which a work is based. This may include:

  • an existing artwork,
  • a reproduction (i.e., photo),
  • directly observed object (i.e., person), or
  • the artist's memory.

Another example of reference is samples of various musical works being incorporated into a new one.

Literature and rhetoric

In academic literature, a reference is a previously published written work within academic publishing that has been used as a source for theory or claims referred to that are used in the text. References contain complete bibliographic information so the interested reader can find them in a library. References can be added either at the end of the publication or as footnotes.

In publishing, a reference is citation of a work, in a footnote, from which an idea was taken.

Drama

Science fiction

Geography

Surveying

History

See also

References

  1. ^ Klein, Ernest, A comprehensive etymological dictionary of the English language, Vol II, Elsevier publishing company, Amsterdam, 1969, p.1317
  2. ^ Treanor, Brian, Aspects of alterity: Levinas, Marcel, and the contemporary debate, Fordham University Press, 2006, p.41
  3. ^ Engle, Eric, Lex Naturalis, Ius Naturalis: Law as Positive Reasoning & Natural Rationality, The Rlias Clark Group, Melbourne, 2010, p.75
  4. ^ Reimer, Marga (2009). "Reference". Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
  5. ^ Saeed, John, Semantics, Blackwell, p. 12, ISBN 0631226931 

External links

  • Reference.com – a multi-source encyclopedia search service, and language reference products provider
  • References.net – a directory of multidisciplinary reference resources on the web
  • Reference Resources – reference related websites in the Yahoo! Directory
  • Refmuseum.com - The online museum of references

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Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • référence — [ referɑ̃s ] n. f. • v. 1820; angl. reference, même o. que référer I ♦ 1 ♦ Action ou moyen de se référer, de situer par rapport à. Indemnité fixée par référence au traitement. Géom. Système de référence : système d axes et de points par rapport… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • reference — ref‧er‧ence [ˈrefrəns] noun [countable] 1. with reference to formal used to say what you are writing or talking about, especially in business letters: • With reference to your recent advertisement, I am writing to apply for the post of sales… …   Financial and business terms

  • Reference — Référence Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom …   Wikipédia en Français

  • reference — ref·er·ence / re frəns, fə rəns/ n 1: an act of referring; specif: mention or citation of one document (as a statute) in another a municipality may adopt by reference all or a part of this title Alaska Statutes see also incorporate 2 …   Law dictionary

  • Reference — Ref er*ence (r?f ?r ens), n. [See {Refer}.] 1. The act of referring, or the state of being referred; as, reference to a chart for guidance. [1913 Webster] 2. That which refers to something; a specific direction of the attention; as, a reference… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • reference — [ref′ə rəns, ref′rəns] n. 1. a referring or being referred; esp., submission of a problem, dispute, etc. to a person, committee, or authority for settlement 2. relation; connection; regard [in reference to his letter] 3. a) the directing of… …   English World dictionary

  • reference — ► NOUN 1) the action of referring to something. 2) a mention or citation of a source of information in a book or article. 3) a letter from a previous employer testifying to someone s ability or reliability, used when applying for a new job. ►… …   English terms dictionary

  • reference — see IDEA OF REFERENCE ref·er·ence ref (ə )rən(t)s adj of known potency and used as a standard in the biological assay of a sample of the same drug of unknown strength <a dose of reference cod liver oil> …   Medical dictionary

  • reference — [n1] remark, citation advertence, allusion, associating, attributing, bringing up, connecting, hint, implication, indicating, innuendo, insinuation, mention, mentioning, note, plug*, pointing out, quotation, relating, resource, source, stating;… …   New thesaurus

  • reference — testimonial, recommendation, character, *credential …   New Dictionary of Synonyms


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