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Library and Learning Services

Reference list/bibliography.

In the Harvard system, you should usually provide a full bibliography at the end of your work, which incorporates both the works you have cited in the text, and others you have read and not cited.

Some lecturers require only a list of references, which will only include the works you have cited. You should check in your programme or module handbook which is required.

The list of references and the bibliography (if you include one) should be in alphabetical order of originator (e.g. author of a book or article). If an author has published more documents in the same year, distinguish between them by adding lower-case letters:

e.g. In recent studies by Smith (1999a, 1999b, 1999c)....

Tip: If you are referring to a corporate author that starts with 'The' e.g. The Times, for the purposes of the alphabetical list, ignore 'The'. You should list the item under Times.

Compiling a bibliography or reference list

Compiling individual references is a matching game. You need to:

  1. Identify the type of material you need to reference e.g. is it a book, journal article, web resources etc.?
  2. Use lists of examples such as those included in the Harvard guide produced by Library Services.
  3. Match the example with your item to create the correct reference for your item.
  4. Identify the elements you need for your reference.

To identify the elements you need, remember that a reference consists of five essential elements:

  • Author details - individual, company or organisation
  • The date of publication or when the website or resource was created, last amended or accessed
  • The title of the item, document or page
  • The publisher or the source (e.g. the name of a journal, the owner of the website etc.)
  • the place of publication, the full web address (URL) or the type of resource if it is not a web site (e.g. an email) or page numbers if it is a journal

To reference the different types of resources such as books, journal articles, web resources, chapters in books, conference papers, lecture notes, government publications, personal emails, images and many more, refer to the Harvard guide created by Library Services.