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How to...
Use the Harvard reference system

Harvard referencing – also known as parenthetical referencing – is the most common referencing system in academic literature. It's vital for students and academics to get it right, which is why we've created this guide.

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When do you use the Harvard referencing system?

Use it:

  • When you use a direct quotation from another author
  • When you are quoting someone else’s opinion or research

Interesting characteristic:

A simple parenthetical reference is made in the body of the text. For example, 'While information sharing between the private and public sector has improved since 9/11, sharing of information requires additional enhancements (Dacey, 2002).'

The post-quote addition indicates the way by which it is also known: the author-date system.

How to reference within the text

Surname and date of publication in parenthesis, style as appropriate.

Vroom's results (1960) were quite striking

or

The results (Vroom, 1960) were quite striking

  • Two authors use and (not &)
  • Three or more use et al
  • String of references should list authors’ names alphabetically, separated with a semi-colon

Elements

Books

  • Surname of author(s) followed by initial(s)
  • Year of publication
  • Title of article
  • Title of book in italics
  • Publisher

Vignali, C. (2001), "McDonald’s: “think global, act local” – the marketing mix", British Food Journal, Vol. 103 No. 2, pp. 97–111

Chapters from an existing book

  • Surname of chapter author(s) followed by initials
  • Year of publication
  • Title of chapter
  • In:
  • First name and surname of Editor(s)
  • Title of book in italics
  • Publisher
  • Page range

Belk, R.W., Tian, K. and Paavola, H. (2010), “Consuming cool: Behind the unemotional mask”, In: Belk, R.W. (Ed.) Research in Consumer Behavior, Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp. 183–208.

Journal articles

  • Surname of author(s) followed by initial(s)
  • Year of publication
  • Title of article
  • Title of journal in italics
  • Volume number
  • Page number

Vignali, C. (2001), "McDonald’s: “think global, act local” – the marketing mix", British Food Journal, Vol. 103 No. 2, pp. 97–111

Electronic source

  • Surname of author(s) followed by initial(s)
  • Year of publication
  • Title of website in italics
  • [online]
  • Publisher
  • Date you accessed the website
  • Available from: followed by the web address (URL)

Government or commercial reports

  • Department's name
  • Year of publication
  • Title of paper in italics
  • Paper number
  • Place of publication
  • Publisher
  • Date you accessed the paper
  • If paper is online put Available from: followed by the web address (URL)

Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (2011) The natural choice: securing the value of nature. CM8082. London: HMSO. Available from http://www.ocial-documents.gov.uk/document/
cm80/8082/8082.pdf [Accessed 2 July 2013].

Other points

References following quote: After the full stop for long, indented quotes. However, after the quotation marks and before the full stop at the end of a sentence
For example, National culture is “perhaps the broadest social context within which negotiation can occur” (Carnevale, 1995, p 310).

Use 1999a, 1999b, for example, where authors have published more than once that year.

You may want to refer to company or government documents. In which case, the organization
may become the author and the form of entry would be:

  1. Organisation name
  2. (year of publication)
  3. Title of report
  4. Publisher and place of publication (may be same as author)

Using bibliographic software

As an example, EndNote can which can help you create bibliographies, by:

  • Organiaing your references and formatting them according to a particular style.
  • Working within Microsoft Word and exporting and importing from EndNote.
  • Searching online bibliographic databases.