Reference files are lightweight links, symlinks or shortcuts to original files. Many references can exist for one original file.
You can tell when a file is a reference, as the owner's avatar will be displayed in the top left hand corner:
Any metadata added to a reference file is automatically embedded in the underlying original file.
References are created when:
More on reference files:
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Reference files are seen in collections and smart collections
Find an original file from a reference
1. Select the reference file.
2. Click Show Original in the right-hand sidebar.