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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 – reference management software makes writing academic papers easier. You can, for example:

  • Create your own collection of references
  • Take over references from numerous search portals, databases and publisher's websites
  • Include references as citations in a text
  • Create bibliographies


The ZHAW University Library supports you in the use of Zotero. With Zotero you can save, organise and cite references from any type of source. You also have the possibility to work together in private or public groups.

Zotero is available free of charge and can be downloaded from the Zotero website. To ZHAW staff Zotero is available via the Software Center.

To work in groups and synchronise your library, you need to register at Zotero. Zotero offers 300 MB free file storage. As a ZHAW staff member, you have unlimited file storage when you register with your ZHAW email address.

Further reference management systems

The University Library recommends working with Zotero. The following links will inform you about other reference management systems.

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 fact sheet on avoiding plagiarism (PDF 187,3 KB).

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 Applied Languages see "Informationsplattform zur Bachelorarbeit" (in German)
BA Communication: Citation style freely selectable, e.g. according to Harvard or APA, see also Leitfaden zur Erstellung wissenschaftlicher Arbeiten (ZHAW login required - in German)
MA Applied Linguistic: Moodle course (ZHAW login required - in German)
School of Applied Psychology Deutsche Gesellschaft für Psychologie: Richtlinien zur Manuskriptgestaltung
cf. formal guidelines in Studierendenhandbuch für Qualifikationsarbeiten (ZHAW login required - in German)
School of Architecture, Design and Civil Engineering Zitierleitfaden für wissenschaftliche Arbeiten (ZHAW login required - in German)
School of Health Professions APA Style 7th ed., see also examples under APA 7th Reference Style Guide
School of Life Sciences and Facility Management Fact sheets and instructions for projects, literature research, term papers and bachelor theses (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 Citation guide on the page Project and Bachelor Theses on the intranet (ZHAW login required - in German)
School of Social Work Zitieren und belegen - Richtlinien für wissenschaftliches Arbeiten (ZHAW login required - in German)
Leitfaden für das Verfassen der Bachelorarbeit (ZHAW login required - in German)

Academic Writer

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

Academic Writer
Important: Academic Writer is not compatible with Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge; therefore, it is suggested to use another browser to avoid any issues.

Writing night

Writing night 2021

The Writing Night 2021 is already history. On 18 March 2021, the event took place for the fourth time, this year in virtual form.
The writing night was offered by the University Library in cooperation with the ILC Institute of Language Competence. The organizers are already looking forward to next year!

Blog posts about the event (in German):