Recite Help: What Recite Does

It's important to understand what Recite does and doesn't do

What does Recite actually do?

Recite allows you to upload your work (essay, PhD thesis, journal article, even a book) and instantly get feedback regarding your citations and references. More specifically, it checks that the author and year information in your citations match up with the information given in your reference list. For example, if you've said "Smith, 2020" in your citation and "Smithe, 2020" in your reference list, it'll tell you.

Some other examples of the kinds of issues Recite detects:

Example Issues

Issue Citation Reference List
Different year (Jones, 2020) Jones, H. (2019). Living with my dog...
Missing accent on letter (Kurzenhauser, 2005) Kurzenhäuser, S. (2005). My life as a cat...
Missing reference (Smith & Jones, 2016) Nothing that matches (or partially matches) the citation
Ambiguous match (use 2015a style to disambiguate) (Smith & Brown, 2015) Smith, S., & Brown B. (2015). A day in the life of animals...
Smith, S., & Brown B. (2015). A study of reptiles...
Missing author (Jones, 2011) Jones, T., & Smith H. (2011). Do animals really think...
... and lots more

Recite is designed to be incredibly picky, so expect it to point out missing commas, "and" that should be "&" and other very minor things.

Style Issues

Recite will also point out stylistic issues that it finds, but again these are limited to your citations and references.

If you wrote:

... talked about the difference in intelligence between cats and dogs (Jones 2020)

Recite will tell you that you're missing a comma between "Jones" and 2020.

If you've written (in your reference list):

Jones, H. (2019) Living with my dog...

Recite will tell you that you're missing a full stop (dot/period) after your closing parenthesis.

... and lots more

Recite also checks that your reference list entries:

  1. Are in the correct alphabetical order
  2. Aren't duplicated
  3. Don't have duplicated DOIs
  4. Are headed correctly (APA only)

Further information can be found in our guides; in-text issues and reference list issues.

What Recite doesn't do

Recite doesn't check everything - its primary focus is seeing if your citations match up correctly with your reference list. It does however highlight some other stylistic issues (as outlined above).

Recite can't check that you're citing the correct works - if you've said you're talking about Smith 2020, but you've got your texts mixed up and you should have said Brown 2019, Recite can't possibly know that.

If you forget to cite something completely, failing to put even a date in parentheses, Recite won't be able to detect your citation. Recite relies heavily on the presence of dates within your work, to detect citations.

Recite doesn't check for stylistic issues outside of citations and references, such as headings, tables etc.

In your reference list, Recite (currently) only checks the author and year portion, as beyond that the format changes depending on the type of work you are referencing. To illustrate:

Jones, M.N., & Mewhort, D.J.K. (2007). Representing word meaning and order information in a composite holographic lexicon. Psychological Review, 104, 1-37.

The green portion is checked and the red portion is not.

Therefore, with this example, Recite would point out the lack of spaces between authors' initials, but wouldn't check for formatting issues within the title, journal, issue or page numbers.

However, with our Crossref integration, users on our paid plans can get further guidance as illustrated below:

Screenshot showing Crossref integration in action

Above, we can see that the user has already corrected the lack of spaces and has now clicked the orange button to see if Crossref has any further suggestions. These suggestions show: missing italics around the journal title, an incorrect volume number, missing issue number and the correct DOI for the author to use.

More information about this feature can be found in our Crossref Integration page linked above, and in User Interface > Reference hover options.

Recite does NOT check for spelling, grammar or plagiarism.

Achieving zero errors

If you've been asked to fix all of the issues in a Recite report that you've been sent by a supervisor/professor and they won't mark it until you do, we'd recommend reading this FAQ entry.

Essentially, getting to zero errors is not the idea. You should instead aim to get to a point where you know why each remaining issue is being highlighted, and that you are happy that no further action is necessary.