Harvard referencing

The HARVARD system cites the author’s surname and year of publication in the text, e.g. (Bond, 2004), and provides a reference list (of these citations), in alphabetical order by author, at the end of the assignment. It is here additional bibliographical details are noted, such as the title and publisher.

The first part of this guide looks at Harvard referencing within the text of your report, essay or assignment. The second part looks at compiling the Reference list or Bibliography from examples, such as books and journal articles. The third part lists examples of other types of documents, such as Government reports and Law Cases.

Reference to sources may be cited in the text in different ways depending on the nature of the sentence/paragraph that you are writing.

When you are making reference to an author and his work in the text of your essay, report or other assignment, and you directly mention the author, this is followed by the date of the work in brackets (parentheses), and forms part of the sentence. If you make reference to a work or piece of research without mentioning the author in the text of your essay, then both the author’s name and year are usually placed at the end of the sentence in brackets.

Where the author’s name is cited in your essay and is part of the sentence, put the author’s name, followed by the year of publication, in brackets.

Cormack (1994) states that ‘when writing for a professional readership, writers invariably make reference to already published works’

In general, when writing for a professional publication, it is good practice to make reference to other relevant published work. This view has been supported in the work of Cormack (1994). Where the author’s name is not cited directly in the essay, both the author’s name and year are usually placed at the end of the sentence, in brackets.

Making reference to published work appears to be characteristic of writing for a professional audience (Cormack 1994).

Where more than one author’s work is cited in your essay Where reference is made to more than one author in a sentence, and they are referred to directly, these can be listed,

Jones (1946) and Smith (1948) have both shown……

Where more than one authors’ works are not cited directly in your essay they can be listed at the end of the sentence, putting the author’s name, followed by the date of publication, separated by semi-colons and within brackets.

(Jones 1946; Smith 1948)

Where there are two authors for a particular work When there are two authors for a work, these should all be noted in your text.

White and Brown (1964) in their recent research paper found……..

with regard to PREP and the role of libraries, Crane and Urquhart (1994) suggest…

Or indirectly

(Slater and Jones 1996)

(White and Brown 1966) Where there are more than two authors for a work Where there are several authors (more than two), only the first author should be used, followed by “and others” or “et al”.

Green et al. (1995) found that the majority ……………

Or indirectly

Recent research has found that the majority of……(Green et al. 1995)

Where there is no author Use the title of the work and date of publication, (or you may use Anonymous or Anon). The title should be written in italics. Every effort should be made to establish the authorship, if you intend to use this work in an academic submission.

Marketing strategy (1999)

Where there is no date The abbreviation n.d. is used to denote this

Smith (n.d.) has written and demonstrated…………..

Or indirectly

(Smith n.d.)

Page numbers Including page numbers, from where a reference is made, (particularly for quotations), will help the reader trace your sources.

Lawrence (1966, p.124)

Or indirectly

(Lawrence 1966, p.124)

Note page numbers from books are a single p, from journals pp

Where there are several works by one author If you are referring to more than one publication from the same author to illustrate the same point where the works are published in different years, the reference may be cited with the earliest publication year first,

as suggested by Bloggs (1992, 1994).

Or indirectly

(Bloggs 1992, 1994) …

If the same author is responsible for several works written over one year which you are quoting from, these can be differentiated by adding a lower case letter after the year for each item.

Earlier research by Smith (1993a) found that …but later research suggested again by Smith (1993b) that…….

If several works published in the same year are referred to on a single occasion – or an author has made the same point in several publications, they can all be referred to by using lower case letters (as above),

Bloggs (1993a, b) has stated on more than one occasion that…

Quotations Where you are quoting portions of published text If you want to include a statement from a published work in your essay, the sentence(s) must be included within quotation marks, and may be introduced to by such phrases as

…the author states that…or …the author writes that … .

In order for a reader to trace the quoted section, it is good practice to give the number of the page where the quotation was found. Additionally, highlight the quotation (especially if it runs to several lines) by placing it as an indented paragraph within your work and enclosing the quotation within speech marks. This clearly identifies the quotation as the work of someone else and not your own.

On the topic of professional writing and referencing, Cormac (1994, p. 32-33) states:

‘When writing for a professional readership, writers invariably make reference to already published works’.

Edited works Where you are referring to the work of an author that appears as a chapter or part of a larger work edited by someone else Within the text of your essay, the reference should be cited using the name of the author of the part or chapter of text to which you are referring, and not the editor of the whole volume.

In his work on health information, Smith (1975) states…

In the reference list details of both the part and the entire document should be given This is given in the reference list as,

Smith, J., (1975). A source of information. In W. Jones, ed. One hundred and…

Corporate authors Where you are referring to a publication by an association, company or a government department etc. If the work is by a recognised organisation and has no personal author, then the author of the work is usually cited under the body that commissioned the work eg.

Department of the Environment or Royal College of Nursing

It is acceptable to use standard abbreviations for these bodies, i.e. DoE or RCN in your essay text, provided the full name is given once at the first citing within the text, with the abbreviation in brackets. The full name is the preferred format in the reference list. Some reports are written by groups or committees. Such reports can be cited by the name of the committee

Committee on Nursing (1972).

Second-hand references (secondary sources) Where an author mentions another’s work, and you wish to refer to this other work, this is a secondary reference. These should only be cited if you are unable to read the original work being referred to: Indirectly

(Brown 1966 cited in Bassett 1986)


Research recently carried out by Brown (1966 cited in Bassett 1986) found that White, as cited by Black (1994), suggests that…

In this citation, White is the primary source, and therefore the original; Black (the secondary) may have taken White’s ideas forward and altered the meaning slightly, if not directly quoted. Therefore it would be prudent to try and access White’s work and read the original. When citing the reference in the reference list, cite only the work that you have read; i.e. for this the secondary source, Black (1994).

For Tables and Diagrams

Where you are reproducing data from a diagram or table, or copying the entire table or diagram, in your essay, a reference should be made to the source. A reference within the text of your essay to a Table taken from a book should include the author and page (Smith 2005, p.33) to enable the reader to verify the data.

Where the source of the data is not the author’s own, but obtained from another source, this is a second hand reference and needs to be cited thus (United Nations 1975 cited in Smith 2005, p.33) Where the table is reproduced in its entirety, place the citation as a footnote to the table. Be particularly careful to note the original source of data, as well as the authorship of document you have found it in. Fuller details should be included in the reference list at the end of the essay.