OSCOLA stands for “Oxford University standard for citation of leg authorities“. OSCOLA is a standard way of referencing legal materials, giving rules and examples for the main UK legal and primary sources like (cases and status) and many other sources of secondary information available (books, journals, website, statements and articles etc.).
OSCOLA was originally devised to be used within Oxford University, but all the law schools across UK and overseas started following this reference style and by number of legal journals and publishers.
Why use OSCOLA?
In order to make the journals, articles and cases more effective, it is important to cite the reference. The reader also finds it easier to follow the arguments if it is easy to know authors sources. With OSCOLA it is convenient for the author and is readable.
What does OSCOLA Look Like?
OSCOLA is a referencing in footnote style – so all the citations appear in the footnotes. It does not use end notes or in text citations.
While citing a source whether directly, as a quotation or indirectly, by paraphrasing or referring to ideas in a source. The reference should be cited in the footnotes.
Footnotes are indicated with superscript number which should appear after the relevant punctuation in the text (if any). OSCOLA uses very little punctuation. There are no full stops after abbreviations (so for example use UKHL instead of U.K.H.L). Also when more than one citation is given in a single footnote reference, they are separated by a semicolon.
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