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Writing - Publishing

Whether you are working on a semester paper, project report, Bachelor thesis or specialist article, the ZHAW University Library will assist you with the writing and publishing process by supplying information and providing advice on suitable tools.

Publishing results

Choosing the right means of publication depends on a wide variety of factors, such as if the thematic focus fits the planned publication. A publisher's reputation and/or a journal's circulation is also a factor. With journals, indexing in the relevant specialist databases can be an important point.

Other criteria include publication costs, publication speed and author-friendliness. The website of the publication chosen should provide information for authors in a transparent manner, for example on editorial policies as well as the review process and its duration.

Open Access

If you are looking for the widest possible reach for your publications, then your best choice is an OA publication.

The University Library helps ZHAW staff to publish their research results using various Open Access models. These forward-looking forms of communication ensure that scientific findings are freely available to a broad public.

Untrustworthy publishers

Untrustworthy journals and publishers are appearing more and more often on the publication market. They publish manuscripts without any quality control and do not provide the level of service expected of a publisher.

Reference management

Managing references, adding citations automatically and creating bibliographies on the fly – reference management software makes writing academic papers easier. You can, for example:

  • Create your own collection of references
  • Take over references from numerous databases and publishing portals
  • Include references as citations in a text
  • Create bibliographies


Zotero is an open-source reference management system available free of charge. It allows you to save, organise and cite references from any type of source and to work in private or public groups.

At present, Zotero version 5.0 is available as a stand-alone program. You also need to install a connector for your internet browser. Go to the Zotero website to download the the stand-alone version and the corresponding browser connector.

Zotero offers 300 MB file storage in a cloud. You need to register at Zotero if you want to make use of this and/or to work in groups. You can also save and manage files locally or on Switchdrive without having to register.

Further software and information

There are various reference management systems on the market, some of which are generally accessible and free of charge.

Citing correctly

Whether you are working on a semester paper, writing your thesis or writing up an experiment, citing sources correctly is essential in the academic world. This is because new knowledge is always based on existing, verified knowledge, and stating this allows you to demonstrate the foundation for your findings. This is simply good scientific practice; failing to cite sources is regarded as plagiarism. For further information, please consult the ZHAW leaflet on avoiding plagiarism (in German).

There are many different citation styles, which may appear to vary widely. However, they all require that a source is cited twice: once in the text itself, when you refer to a particular aspect of another author’s publication, and once in the bibliography at the end of your work, when you list the full title and other details of the publication. In the text itself, it is necessary to distinguish between direct citations (quotations) and indirect citations (paraphrasing).

Citing sources at the ZHAW

The ZHAW Schools have specific citation requirements with regard to citation practice in thesis writing and refer to different citation styles.

ZHAW School Guidelines
School of Applied Linguistics BA in Applied Languages: Moodle-Course (ZHAW login required - in German)
BA in Communication: free choice of citation style, e.g. Harvard or APA, see also Leitfaden zur Erstellung wissenschaftlicher Arbeiten (ZHAW login required - in German)
MA in Applied Linguistics: Moodle-Course (ZHAW login required - in German)
School of Applied Psychology Deutsche Gesellschaft für Psychologie: Richtlinien zur Manuskriptgestaltung (in German)
School of Architecture, Design and Civil Engineering Zitierleitfaden für wissenschaftliche Arbeiten (ZHAW login required - in German)
School of Health Professions Literaturrichtlinien Departement Gesundheit (in German)
School of Life Sciences and Facility Management Life Sciences: Anleitung zum Abfassen von Arbeiten (in German) or in consultation with your thesis advisor
Facility Management: Richtlinien Manuskripterstellung (in German)
School of Management and Law Business Management: Citation Guide (ZHAW login required)
Law: ZitierGuide available in the library (in German)
School of Engineering Zitierleitfaden (ZHAW login required - in German)
School of Social Work Zitieren und belegen - Richtlinien für wissenschaftliches Arbeiten (in German)
Leitfaden für das Verfassen der Bachelorarbeit (ZHAW login required - in German)


The ZHAW offers access to APA Style CENTRAL, an online portal that helps you write and publish according to the APA standard.

Important: Internet Explorer is not recommended.

Detailed information: scientific integrity

Writing night

The "Schreibnacht" writing night is offered by the University Library in cooperation with the LCC Language Competence Centre. The event was held for the first time on 19 April 2018 in the University Library Winterthur, and the next writing night will take place in spring 2019.

Blog post (in German): Nächtliches Schreiben - ein studentisches Happening der besonderen Art