Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Answers to some of our most popular questions

What exactly does Recite do?
It checks that the citations in the body of your work match up with the references at the end. It also checks for some stylistic errors in citations. Please see our Product Tour for a full run through of features.
Is this service really free?
Yes, it is while the service is in beta. In the future we will introduce very competitive pricing.
What referencing styles do you support?
Recite is designed around "author-date" systems. We currently support APA 7th Edition, APA 6th Edition and Harvard. Get in touch if you think we need to support something else.
Do you check that the quote I've used appears in the document I say it does?
No, not currently, we just check that your in-text citation matches up with a corresponding reference list entry and that your citations appear to be formatted correctly. We also don't check everything.
How do I download my results?
Recite automatically formats your results for printing, so using the "print to pdf" (or "Save to PDF") in your web browser is your best option (available on most modern systems). There's also a "Change Print Settings" link in the top bar on the results page, which allows you to tweak a few settings before "printing".
Recite says my work "... contained no detectable reference section", how do I fix this?
Make sure you; a) have a reference list, b) that it's headed correctly (for APA, it should be "References"), and c) that it's on a line on its own, with a clear line break before and after.
I've uploaded my document in the template provided by my institution, but Recite isn't working properly, what's wrong?
If your institution provides a document template containing explanatory notes aside of your work, this will confuse Recite. Please only upload your written work, along with a single reference list (in one document).
Recite appears to include things at the end of my reference list which aren't references, what's going on?
Recite is very good at detecting where your reference list starts and ends, but occasionally it makes a mistake. Inserting an extra carriage return (line break) after your last (real) reference entry usually fixes this.
My results don't seem to make sense, Recite is telling me I've not referenced things when I clearly have, what's going on?
As above, Recite is very good at detecting where your reference list starts and ends, but occasionally it makes a mistake. Take a look at the Reference List that Recite has detected and see if it actually matches with your list. It's likely that Recite has "seen" something in your list that has made it stop prematurely and is therefore ignoring some of your references. Looking in your document around the area that Recite has stopped at, normally shows something fairly obvious that you need to amend.
Recite has detected a reference list, but it's the wrong one, what's going on?
Recite can only work on documents with a single reference list. If you have more than one, either separate your document in to individual works with a corresponding reference list, or combine your references in to a single list.
Recite says I have alphabetical order issues in my reference list, how do I find out which ones are wrong?
Incorrectly ordered references have a little (up/down) arrow at the end of the reference line. The arrows then have a number next to them, which tells you how many places that entry needs moving. For more information on this, see getting your references in order.
When Recite says I have no errors, is my work error free?
Realistically, no. Recite checks your paper against a growing number of rules, which enable us to highlight issues to you - we unfortunately do not check everything and therefore do not guarantee your work is error free. In particular, Recite is only checking within your document, and is therefore unable to check that what you've written is correct. When checking your reference list entries, we don't know what specifically you're referencing (journal article, book chapter etc.), so are unable to advise whether your formatting in this area is correct. We do however, point out common formatting issues with the author/date portion of references, as these are generally standard across different reference types.
My professor/supervisor says I need zero errors before they'll accept my work, what can I do?
We're grateful that your professor / supervisor has introduced you to Recite. We hope you find it useful for your work now and in the future. But, and whisper this, it seems they don't quite understand how Recite works. Please feel free to show them this FAQ to help explain: the direct link to this FAQ is: Recite is designed to highlight "possible" issues with your work. It is designed to be over cautious. We've always felt that throwing up false positives is much better than risking false negatives and missing genuine citations. Because of this Recite will, for example, deliberately throw up any four digit number that "looks like" a valid date as a possible reference. That doesn't mean you or Recite have done anything wrong, or that there is anything to correct: Recite is just doing its job: being over cautious. In these cases all you have to do is review these possible issues yourself, and if you are happy they aren't citations, you simply ignore them. The idea with Recite, is not to end up with zero issues. Instead you should aim to get to a point where you know why each remaining issue is being highlighted, and that you are happy it doesn't require any further action.
Are you going to steal my work?
Absolutely not. Your work is precious to you and we appreciate this. We promise we will not share anything you upload with anyone else or use your work in anyway apart from helping us improve how Recite works. See our privacy page for more details.
Do you store my document on your servers?
While this is a beta service, we store documents securely for a short period of time so that we can test that everything worked as it should have done. Documents are fully encryted on our servers, with individual user encryption keys.
Will using Recite affect my scores in plagiarism checkers?
Plagiarism detection services like Turnitin, SafeAssign and Grammarly have no access to the documents (temporarily) stored on our web servers. Therefore, students need not worry that putting a document through our service will affect those scores. For more information on how plagiarism services work, Turnitin have a good blog post regarding misconceptions about their service.
Do many people use this service?
Every month, thousands of students, academics, researchers and proof-readers, use Recite to check documents and save a ton of manual checking. As of 1st January 2022, we've checked over 138,000,000 citations against more than 58,000,000 references.
I've spotted an error / there is something I don't like / I've got some feedback, how do I get in touch?
Fill out our feedback form or drop us an email or tweet us.