The quality of the references is presented as one of the criteria verified by the group of reviewers in the evaluation of academic articles. Achieving its excellence implies the registration of sources that reflect the knowledge of the authors on a specific theme. However, in this context quality is not a standardized term that varies with respect to the discipline, type of study, methodology, etc. For Kirk (1971) the factors that determine the quality of the reference are: variety, relevance and the scientific nature, while Hovde (2000) emphasizes the periodicity and availability of sources. Clarke and Oppenheim (2006) relate quality with the accuracy and validity, while Delgado López-Cózar, Ruiz-Perez and Jimenez-Contreras (2006) link it to the validity, representativeness and integration of national and international scientific literature.
Regardless of the basis upon which it is based the quality of references, Gonzalez, Alfonso and Henrique (2015) express a series of recommendations to optimize this in the quotations:
- To follow the manual of elaboration of references published in each scientific journal.
- At least 80% of the references must come from scientific journal articles.
• Use of the bibliography located in the last 5 to 10 years from the moment that the research starts.
In the rules of “Comunicar”, Scientific Journal of Communication and Education, it is corroborated what was mentioned:
- The quotes should outline in the form of references to the text.
- It should not include bibliography not cited in the text. Its number should be sufficient and necessary to contextualize the theoretical framework, the methodology used and the results of research in a space of international research.
- Presentation in alphabetical order of cites by the author’s first last name (by adding the second only in case that the first one is of very common use, and attached with the hyphen).
- Extraction of the original documents –preferably magazines and to a less extent books, indicating always the beginning page and the last one of the work from which they come from, with the exception of complete works.
- Correct citation according to the APA Standard 6.
- Assessment of prestigious international cites.
Also, in the document for the checking prior to shipment of the manuscript of the same scientific journal, which is used as a base for the evaluation of the reviewers, it emphasizes on the importance of references:
- The manuscript specifies and properly cites the employed sources and materials.
• The cites in the text adapt strictly to the APA standard, reflected in the instructions.
• The final references have been rigorously reviewed and include only those that have been cited in the text.
- The final references adjust in style and format to “Comunicar” international standards.
• Footnotes are not accepted
- The number of references is around 40.
- DOI in all references.
- Web address shortened with Google Shortner references.
In summary, authors should consider as premise that a content of relevance and significance needs quality references adapted to the rules of each journal that are established according to its validity and internationalization.