Editing References


Citing the work of other authors is a common characteristic of a broad range of publications. Such references have two purposes: for the author to provide evidence for their assertions, or show where the facts come from, and to enable the reader to locate the source of a quotation, and if interested then follow it up.

This course is designed to ensure that a copy-editor has a full understanding of the three principal reference systems in use and how to copy-edit them effectively and efficiently.

e-Learning modules are optimised for desktop and laptop devices and not tablets and smartphones.

Learning outcomes

At the end of this module you will:

  • understand how and why references are used
  • know the workings of the three main reference systems in use
  • be able to edit a work that uses these systems efficiently

How does the course work?

Editing References has six lessons, each of which includes exercises to self-check your learning. A second component provides further sample texts and suggest further reading. The final component is "test your knowledge" quiz. Successful completion of the final test leads to your completion certificate being issued.

How to enrol

To enrol, you need to click on the Add to Cart button on this page. You will be asked to register (if you have not already done so). You will, at that point, be asked to pay by credit/debit card.

Important note: You will have access to the course for eight months from the date of your enrolment.

Refunds: Fees for e-Learning Modules are non-refundable, as immediate access is available to all the relevant course material.

What is included?

Course Materials

Full access to the PTC's online learning platform where you will find all the materials you need to complete the course. Where relevant, downloadable materials are provided so you can practise your new skills as many times as you need to feel confident that you have mastered them.


Upon successfully completing the course you will receive a completion certificate from PTC.

Who is it for?

This module is for editors who have completed initial training and are looking to go more in depth to this specific topic, but who are not yet very experienced.

About the author

Margaret AherneMargaret Aherne has worked since 1986 as a proofreader, copy-editor, project manager and tutor/mentor, for clients including Blackwell Publishers, Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press, Arnold, Routledge/Taylor & Francis and Robinson Publishing, covering both academic (arts, humanities and social sciences) and more popular subjects, as well as for bodies such as the Audit Commission.

In 2005, Margaret became a tutor on PTC's distance learning course Basic Proofreading, and subsequently co-author with Gillian Clarke of the latest edition. She was also commissioned to create and deliver the PTC's Advanced Copy-Editing one-day course.

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This e-Learning Module was developed with the support of the Unwin Charitable Trust.



Study Time

Five to seven hours with eight months access to the module.

Related Courses

PTC e-Learning Modules are concentrated, online courses that focus on specialist topics relevant to an editor's working life. They are designed to build on a foundation of existing skills and experience.

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