How to reference a journal article in Harvard style

In Harvard style, to reference a journal article, you need the author name(s), the year, the article title, the journal name, the volume and issue numbers, and the page range on which the article appears.

If you accessed the article online, add a DOI (digital object identifier) if available.

In-text citation example(Poggiolesi, 2016)
Reference templateAuthor surname, initial. (Year) ‘Article title’, Journal Name, Volume(Issue), pp. page range. doi:DOI.
Reference examplePoggiolesi, F. (2016) ‘On defining the notion of complete and immediate formal grounding’, Synthese, 193(10), pp. 3147–3167. doi:10.1007/s11229-015-0923-x.

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How to reference websites in Harvard style

To reference a website in Harvard style, include the name of the author or organization, the year of publication, the title of the page, the URL, and the date on which you accessed the website.

In-text citation example(Google, 2020)
Reference templateAuthor surname, initial. (Year) Page Title. Available at: URL (Accessed: Day Month Year).
Reference exampleGoogle (2020) Google terms of service. Available at: https://policies.google.com/terms?hl=en-US (Accessed: 11 May 2020).

Different formats are used for other kinds of online source, such as articles, social media posts and multimedia content.

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How to reference a book in Harvard style

To reference a book in Harvard style, you need an in-text citation and a corresponding entry in your reference list or bibliography.

A basic book reference looks like this:

Reference templateAuthor surname, initial. (Year) Book title. City: Publisher.
Reference exampleSzalay, D. (2017) All that man is. London: Vintage.
In-text citation example(Szalay, 2017, p. 24)

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How to create a Harvard bibliography or reference list

In Harvard style, the bibliography or reference list provides full references for the sources you used in your writing.

  • A reference list consists of entries corresponding to your in-text citations.
  • A bibliography sometimes also lists sources that you consulted for background research, but did not cite in your text.

The two terms are sometimes used interchangeably. If in doubt about which to include, check with your instructor or department.

The information you include in a reference varies depending on the type of source, but it usually includes the author, date, and title of the work, followed by details of where it was published.

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A complete guide to Harvard in-text citation

An in-text citation should appear wherever you quote or paraphrase a source in your writing, pointing your reader to the full reference.

In Harvard style, citations appear in brackets in the text. An in-text citation consists of the last name of the author, the year of publication, and a page number if relevant.

Up to three authors are included in Harvard in-text citations. If there are four or more authors, the citation is shortened with et al.

Harvard in-text citation examples
1 author(Smith, 2014)
2 authors(Smith and Jones, 2014)
3 authors(Smith, Jones and Davies, 2014)
4+ authors(Smith et al., 2014)

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The dissertation: What, why, and how?

A dissertation is a large research project undertaken at the end of a degree. It involves in-depth consideration of a problem or question chosen by the student. It is usually the largest (and final) piece of written work produced during a degree.

The length and structure of a dissertation vary widely depending on the level and field of study. However, there are some key questions that can help you understand the requirements and get started on your dissertation project.

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A quick guide to OSCOLA referencing

The Oxford University Standard for the Citation of Legal Authorities (OSCOLA) is a referencing style used by students and academics in law.

OSCOLA referencing places citations in footnotes, which are marked in the text with footnote numbers:

The judge referred to the precedent established by Caulfield v Baldwin.1

1. Caulfield v Baldwin (1994) 96 Cr App R 215.

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A quick guide to Vancouver referencing

Vancouver is a system of referencing commonly used in biomedicine, among other scientific disciplines. In Vancouver style, you place a reference number in the text wherever a source is cited:

Davies et al. state that the data is ‘unreliable’ (1, p. 15).

This number corresponds to an entry in your reference list – a numbered list of all the sources cited in your text, giving complete information on each:

1. Davies B, Jameson P. Advanced economics. Oxford: Oxford University Press; 2013.

This quick guide presents the most common rules for Vancouver style referencing. Note that some universities and journals have their own guidelines for the formatting of Vancouver references.

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A quick guide to APA referencing

APA citation

APA style referencing is commonly used in the social and behavioural sciences. An APA reference consists of two elements:

  1. The in-text citation: A brief reference in brackets when you mention a source, citing the author’s last name and the year of publication, e.g. (Smith, 2019). It identifies the full source in the reference list.
  2. The reference list entry: Full publication details listed on the reference page, which appears at the end of your paper. The reference provides all the information needed to find the source, e.g. Smith, P. (2019, April 18). Citing Sources in APA Format. Retrieved April 21, 2019, from https://www.scribbr.com/apa-style/

This citation guide is based on the 6th edition of the APA Manual. The 7th edition, introduced in October 2019, is not yet supported, but we have compiled a quick guide to the most important changes.

Scribbr APA Citation Generator

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How to write a dissertation proposal

A dissertation proposal describes the research you want to do: what it’s about, how you’ll conduct it, and why it’s worthwhile. You will probably have to write a proposal before starting your dissertation as an undergraduate or postgraduate student.

A dissertation proposal should generally include:

  • An introduction to your topic and aims
  • A literature review of the current state of knowledge
  • An outline of your proposed methodology
  • A discussion of the possible implications of the research
  • A bibliography of relevant sources

Dissertation proposals vary a lot in terms of length and structure, so make sure to follow any guidelines given to you by your institution, and check with your supervisor when you’re unsure.

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