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Harvard Referencing Guide

References or Bibliography?

References or bibliography usually appear at the end of your work. However, do you know which heading you use?

References – a list of all the references you cited in your essay, report or document. This is the heading required by the Harvard style.

Bibliography – most commonly refers to a list containing the sources used in developing a publication and any other sources the author considers might be of use or interests to readers, or including all the sources you read (but not cited) in preparing their work. This heading may be used in more substantial publications (e.g. theses, books, etc.).

Reference list


The reference list should identify an item (e.g. book, journal article, DVD, report, web document etc.) in enough details so that others can locate and consult it. The general layout for a Reference List is outlined below:

  • The reference list usually appears at the end of the document. However any appendices will appear after the reference list.
  • It is headed by the centred title References.
  • References cited in text must appear in the reference list and vice versa. The only exceptions to this rule are personal communication, dictionary and encyclopedia entries - these are also cited in text only and are not included in the reference list.

Reference entries

  • Arrange reference entries in one alphabetical sequence by the surname of the first author or organisational name, or by the first word of the title if there is no author. Ignore the words A, An, and The when alphabetising by title.
  • Start each reference with a new line, no indentation.
  • Titles should have minimal capitalisation, following this general rule: only capitalise the first letter of the first word and all proper nouns. Subtitles should be lower case except for all proper nouns. Journal titles should use maximal capitalisation (see examples).
  • Titles are italicised unless they are a component of a larger work, then the larger work is italicised and the smaller work is within single quotes (see example).
  •  Place of publication: only include the place of publication if it is useful for the reader. More info on this here. Use only the first listed place when there are multiple places of publication. If a publication place is little known or shares its name, you can add the state or country.
  • Page numbers are placed directly after a colon without any spacing and multiple pages are separated with a dash, e.g. :112 or :13-15

Author Names

  • Use only the initial(s) of the author’s given name, not the full name. No comma between surname and initial(s), no spacing between initials.
  • Two or more entries by the same author(s) - list them in chronological order with the earliest first. The name of the author can be repeated but it is preferable to use a 2-em rule (see below). Works published in the same year by the author are listed alphabetically according to the title of the work, and a lower-case letter (a, b, c, ...) is added to the date, e.g. 1988a, 1988b.

The 2-em rule

The 2-em rule is used to avoid repeating an author's name when more than one work by the same author is listed in the reference list (Style manual 2002, p. 107):

     Campbell JY and Shiller RJ (1987) 'Cointegration and tests of present value
     models', Journal of Political Economy, 95(5):1062-88.

     —— (1988a) 'The dividend-price ratio and expectations of future dividends
     and discount factors', Review of Financial Studies, 1(3):195-228.

     —— (1988b) 'Stock prices, earnings, and expected dividends', The Journal
     of Finance
, 43(3):661-76.

     —— (1991) 'Yield spreads and interest rate movements: a bird's eye view',
     The Review of Economic Studies, 58(3):495-514.

Example reference list

This is a sample references list in Harvard style,  The format of the reference list for your specific assessment tasks may differ from the sample - please follow the instructions from your lecturers.

List of abbreviations and expressions

Acceptable abbreviations and expressions to use in citations and reference list include the following:
Abbreviation      Book or publication part
c circa - about
edn, edition
edn, rev, revised edition
2nd edn, second edition
2nd Aust. edn, second Australian edition
(ed) or (eds) editor or editors
et al. and others
in press a work in the process of publication
trans translator(s)
n.d. no date
n.p. no place
para., paras paragraph(s)
suppl. supplement