Demo Paper: Walkthrough

This guide refers to our demo paper, which can be found here -


In this guide, we'll walk through each of the issues highlighted, as if it were a real document that we were looking to improve.

Note: The demo paper is checked as APA 6th Edition

When loading the demo paper, we're presented with our results pages shown below

Screenshot of Recite demo paper loaded

In-text issues

We can see that Recite has detected that there are 20 potential in text reference issues, out of a total of 55. If we click to expand that section, we get the below

Screenshot of expanded in-text section

By default, Recite hides all in-text references (citations) that have an exact match with the reference list, allowing you to concentrate on the potential issues. The only exception to this is when they appear in a string of citations and another citation in that string has potential issues to highlight.

The first item on our list is (Geale, 1976) (shown below) where Recite is saying it can't find a match for the authors OR the year.

Screenshot of issue with Geale citation

When Recite shows this message for a citation, it's likely that a reference list entry is missing completely. If we go down to the reference list section, we can confirm that to be the case. There's no entry for Geale 1976, or anything similar that might be a typo, so it's missed.

When trying to find an entry like this, you can use the author search box at the top of the reference list - enter a few characters and see the list filter immediately. This again confirms this entry is missing.

Back to our second item (Rivest, Nagarajan, & Bose, 1995) (shown below) where Recite is pointing out a missed author from the citation. The reference list has Rivest, R., Codd, E., Nagarajan, M., & Bose, S.(1995), so it looks like we've missed "Codd". Recite highlights the missing entry so that we can immediately see what's wrong.

Screenshot of issue with Rivest et al. citation

Our third issue is (Welsh & Lesierson, 1996). Here Recite is pointing out a typo in the name "Lesierson". Our reference list entry has the "i" the other side of the "s" ("Leiserson"), so one of them must be a typo. Recite doesn't know which one is a typo, but it knows there's an error here. We'd need to double check with our original source to check this. If this was an actual uploaded paper, we could use one of Recite's other features to double check, but those are disabled in this demo paper. For reference, you'd normally be able to scroll down to the corresponding entry in the reference list section, hover over that entry and use the GS (Google Scholar) or CR (Crossref) options to double check with an outside resource.

Screenshot of issue with Welsh & Lesierson citation

The fourth issue is (Tarjan & Maruyama, 2003) where Recite suggests we have a "Year mismatch". Here, it's clear to see that our reference list has 2004 for the year, whereas our citation says 2003. Again, Recite doesn't know which is correct, but is inviting us to double check our source and correct the one that is incorrect.

Screenshot of issue with Tarjan & Maruyama citation

For our fifth issue, Recite is suggesting that the citation (Culler et al., 2002) is ambiguous. Here we can see that Recite has found two entries in our reference list that would both correspond to Culler et al. for the year 2002. In this case, APA style says we need to disambiguate this citation to ensure the reader knows which Culler et al. we're referring to. Recite provides a link here, giving us further guidance on how to disambiguate this citation. If we follow the guidance in that article, we actually need to remove the et al. completely and cite all authors in full on each citation.

Screenshot of issue with Culler et al. citation

Further reading:

Our next citation issue (6) is with (Duperre, 1991). In this instance Recite is highlighting an author mismatch, where the author name differs by an accented (diacritic) character for the final "e". This is a common mistake, as people tend to copy and paste the surname from another resource for the reference, but often type it by hand for the citation and end up missing the accent. To fix this issue, we just need to ensure that both entries match up, so either the author's surname has an accented character or not, but the citation and reference list entry shouldn't be different.

Screenshot of issue with Duperre citation

Next (7) we have (Tarjan & Maruyama, 2004; Johnson & Shamir, 2002), which is our first issue with an orange side bar, instead of red. This indicates this is a style issue, rather than a mismatch between our citation and reference list entry. The style issue here is related to the way we're ordering the two citations within our parentheses. APA style says that when we're citing multiple works within the same parentheses, we should ensure they are ordered as they appear in the reference list (which itself is alphabetised according to some strict APA rules). In that case, we just need to swap the order around in our citation, such that we have (Johnson & Shamir, 2002; Tarjan & Maruyama, 2004) instead.

Screenshot of issue with Tarjan & Maruyama citation

Further reading:

For our 8th issue, Recite is highlighting something that it's marked as "Possible Citation?" When Recite does this, it means it's encountered a date outside of parentheses, which may or may not be a citation. Often these can be dismissed, as they are just a mention of a date, rather than something that represents a citation. In this case, it looks like this is a citation, however. The text here is "However during that 2003 work, Miler famously forgot to rest the dynamic under thrust." Here, Recite is noting that we may have an author mismatch, based on a Miller 2003 that's been found in our reference list. From the narrative, we can see we've said "Miler", which is, indeed, a typo of "Miller". This obviously needs correcting.

Screenshot of issue with Miller citation

Our next issue (9) is almost the same as 7 above, as it's an incorrect ordering issue, where multiple cites in the same parentheses should be in the order they appear in our reference list. Again, we just need to swap these around.

Screenshot of issue with Taylor & Watanabe citation

Further reading:

Issue 10 is another "Possible Citation?" - "Furthermore, since our application evaluates relational communication, optimizing the Peach foundations codebase of more than 2001 Dos files was relatively straightforward." On this occasion, this does just look like a year mentioned in a normal sentence, rather than a citation. On occasions like this, the human eye wins over the computer, immediately noting that this can be safely ignored. This is a completely normal thing to do in Recite - check the possible issue and ignore if it's actually a non-issue.

Screenshot of issue with citation 10

11th on our list is (Brigstow, 1995), with Recite suggesting "Year match only". Here, Recite is saying it found an entry in the reference list, BUT the entry doesn't look to be a very good match. In this case, the suggestion of Rivest et al. 1995, is clearly not the correct entry, so we must have a missed entry in our reference list. We do need to double check our reference list, just in case Recite has missed an entry with a really bad typo or something similar, but in doing so, we see that it's an entirely missed entry. We therefore need to add our missing entry for "Brigstow, 1995" to our reference list.

Screenshot of issue with Brigstow citation

Our 12th issue is (Culler et al., 2002a). For this citation, we appear to be using a trailing letter on the year, in an attempt to disambiguate this citation/reference. However, our reference list doesn't have a corresponding 2002a entry, but it does have two entries Culler / Culler et al. for 2002. As our Culler et al. entries here refer to different authors, the correct disambiguation would be the same as that in Issue 5, where we'd need to specify all authors in full, rather than using an a/b suffix on the year. The a/b suffix is used to disambiguate when the authors (and year) are the same, which in this case they aren't.

Screenshot of issue with Culler et al. citation

Further reading:

Number 13 is "Our overall evaluation methodology seeks to prove three hypotheses: (1) that flash-memory throughput behaves fundamentally differently on our network; (2) that the Internet has actually shown exaggerated median time since 1935 over time; and finally (3) that write-back caches no longer impact ROM speed." Another "Possible Citation?", similar to Issue 10 - this appears to be a year mentioned in the narrative and not an attempt at a citation. Checking this we can immediately see that and can therefore safely ignore it.

Screenshot of issue with citation 13

The 14th on our list is (Jacobson, 1999; Culler et al., 2002b), where Recite is pointing to an issue with the second part "Culler et al., 2002b". This is an almost identical issue to number 12 and should be resolved in the same manner. Recite is also saying that our two citations should appear in the same order as they do in our reference list (in alphabetical order).

Screenshot of issue with Jacobson citation

Further reading (disambiguation):

Further reading (order of citations):

For 15 we have (Bhabha & Suzuki, 2000; Ramabhadran, Chandrasekharan, & Codd, 2000; Duperé, 1991). Recite is suggesting a mismatch on "Duperé, 1991" as it doesn't match with "Duperré, M. (1991)" in the reference list. Here, the citation has one "r" and the reference list entry has two. Again, refer to the source and correct the one that is wrong.

It's worth noting here that Recite isn't pointing out the incorrect order of our citations. This is because until Recite is sure which reference list entry we're referring to (is it definitely Duperré?), it won't check the order of the citations. This is a good illustration of how Recite is an iterative tool and doesn't necessarily give you every possible issue from the outset. You should always re-upload to Recite when you've made corrections, to ensure nothing else is picked up (and to confirm the corrections you've done).

Screenshot of issue with Bhaba citation

Number 16 is (Welsh and Leiserson, 1996) - another orange style issue, rather than an error. Here, Recite is saying that for a parenthetical citation, the last two authors should be joined with an ampersand (&) and not the word "and".

Screenshot of issue with Welsh and Leiserson citation

Further reading:

Number 17 is another style issue. Here, Recite is saying that (Ramabhadran, Chandrasekharan, & Codd, 2000) should use "et al." when citing this reference. As the demo paper is using "APA (6th)" as its target style, only the first use of a citation should use all authors in full (for 3+ authors); all further citations should use "et al.". This citation should therefore be (Ramabhadran et al., 2000).

Screenshot of issue with Ramabhadran et al. citation

Further reading:

Issue 18 is another "Possible Citation?" and also an orange style warning. "and the refinement of the Ethernet are confusing Rivest et al, 1995." - This one does appear to be an actual citation, rather than a year mentioned in general text. Recite here is suggesting that the use of et al. is invalid. If we look closely, we see that we have "Rivest et al, 1995", but APA says this should be "et al." (with a dot/period after "al"), so this is indeed incorrect. We therefore need to correct this.

Screenshot of issue with Rivest et al. citation

Further reading:

Looking at Issue 19 (Taylor et al., 2002), Recite is saying "Invalid 'et al.' (not enough authors: only 2 found)". If we look at the reference list entry that this citation relates to, we can see that there are indeed only two authors "Taylor, K., & Watanabe, D.", so et al. is used incorrectly. APA (6th and 7th Editions) specifies that et al. is valid for 3+ authors, so we need to use (Taylor & Watanabe, 2002) instead.

Screenshot of issue with Taylor et al. citation

Further reading:

Our final citation issue (20) is (Welsh & Leiserson, 1996, Qian, 1994), another style warning - APA says that multiple citations in the same parentheses; should be separated by a semi colon, whereas we're using a comma here.

Screenshot of issue with Welsh & Leiserson citation

Further reading:

Reference list issues

We have 14 possible issues here that need reviewing and amending if necessary.

If we expand the "Reference List" section, those with issues are highlighted in red in the side bar.

Screenshot of expanded reference list section on Recite

Again, let's work through these one by one.

Our first issue is number 2 "Akshman, G. A. (2003).", where Recite says "Not found in document". This is likely to be a reference list entry that is no longer needed. It might be that we were previously citing this work, but removed it in a later revision and forgot to remove the corresponding entry in the reference list. A quick search of the original document would be good as a final check, before removing though.

Screenshot of issue with Akshman reference list entry

Our next red item is number 7 - "Duperré, M. (1991)." Again, this one is highlighted as "Not found in document", but this time it also says "+ 2 possible matches.

Screenshot of issue with Duperré reference list entry

If we click "+ 2 possible matches" Recite shows us a little more info -

Screenshot of possible match suggestions for Duperre reference list entry

Here we can see that both of the possible matches relate to typos in citations. So, when we've corrected our citation typos, this issue in our reference list should go away. This happens a lot, in that you fix something in one section and that affects the other section, as they are obviously very closely related.

The issue at 8 relates to "Fredrick P. (2003)." Here, Recite says "Expecting surname and then a comma" with an asterisk indicating this is an issue right at the start of the entry. APA specifies that author names in reference list entries should be surname followed by a comma, so as Recite is suggesting, this should be "Fredrick, P. (2003)." with a comma following "Fredrick".

Screenshot of issue with Fredrick reference list entry

Further reading:

Issues 9 and 10 are related - these don't have anything in red indicating an issue with their formatting or a problematic match with our citations, instead they have an arrow icon at the end, indicating an alphabetisation issue. The first has an arrow pointing down with a "1" next to it and the second an arrow pointing up with a "1", so this is simply saying these entries need swapping around in the reference list, to comply with APA ordering. From an alphabetical point of view, "Jackson" comes before "Jacobson" alphabetically (k before o), so these should be the other way around.

Screenshot of issue with reference list entries 9 and 10

Further reading:

Number 11 relates to "Johnson, H. & Wu, T. M. (2001)." Here, an asterisk appears after the "H." initial of Johnson, with the message "Expecting comma after initials". This is correct, APA style says that an author's final initial should by a period then a comma, so this should be "Johnson, H., & Wu, T. M. (2001). Note: this comma doesn't apply for the final author though."

Screenshot of issue with Johnson reference list entry

Further reading:

For 12 "Johnson, H. I., and Shamir, A. (2002).", Recite is saying "Use ampersand (&) rather than 'and'" and has an asterisk before the "and" in this entry. APA style says that your reference list should separate the last 2 author names with an ampersand (&), so this needs amending.

Screenshot of issue with second Johnson reference list entry

Further reading:

Issue 14 is "Nehru, W., Minsky, M., Robinson,W., Ramanan, Y., Brooks, R., Hennessy, J., … Schroedinger, E. (2003)." where Recite has placed an asterisk before the "W" in "Robinson,W". APA style says that author names should be surname then a comma, then a space, then initials, so we need to a space here.

Screenshot of issue with Nehru reference list entry

Further reading:

Our entry for 16 says "Expecting '...' following 6th author", with an asterisk indicating this is needed before "Davis". As our demo paper is being checked against APA 6th Edition, which states that for 7+ authors, we include the first 6 followed by an ellipses, then the last, our entry is incorrect. This should therefore be "Shastri, V., Yao, A., Stearns, R., Ullman, J., Hoare, C. A. R., Patterson, D., ... Nehru, M. (1996)."

Entry 16 also has an alphabetisation issue indicated by the icon at the end, which affects entries 17 - 20.

Recite is saying here that our Shastri entry needs to move down 4, and the 4 below it need to move up 1. This is because "S" follows "R" alphabetically, so this entry needs to move after our 3 "R"s. Therefore, by moving our entry at 16 down to 20 and shifting everything else up 1 (which would happen automatically), all the alphabetisation issues 16 - 20 are fixed.

Screenshot of issue with reference list entries 16 - 20

Further reading:

For number 20, there's also another indicated issue (shown above), indicating a space is expected before the opening parenthesis for the date. We therefore need to fix that one too.

Number 20 also has a warning for "+ 2 possible matches", but as before, it's likely these will disappear when the citation issues that these relate to are resolved.

Further reading:

Our last reference list issue relates to entry 23 - "Taylor, K., & Watanabe, D. (2002)". Here, Recite is pointing out that we've missed a dot (period) after the closing parenthesis of the date. APA style says the date should be in parentheses, then immediately followed by a dot - "Taylor, K., & Watanabe, D. (2002)."

Screenshot of issue with Taylor reference list entry

Further reading:

Closing summary

We've been through each in-text and reference list issue one by one and looked at each in detail explaining what needs doing to correct any highlighted issues.

We've not covered one section however, which is the "Annotated Article" section at the bottom. This section simply outputs all the text that Recite checked, highlighting each citation (including possible ones) and colouring them to indicate whether they matched up correctly with the reference list.

If you want to get to know this section better, our annotated article guide covers this section in detail.