Harvard referencing style

Reference list format | Using Harvard style | Useful books and websites | Academic integrity and referencing

Reference list format

Every source that is used must be included in a reference list or bibliography included at the end of the document. The format used in the reference list or bibliography varies depending upon the type of source being referred to. Entries in your reference list should be ordered according to the author's last name.

The Harvard system standardises the order and content of reference information, but not the format or page layout. Variations in layout, capitalisation and punctuation are acceptable provided they are used consistently within the document.

Consult your lecturer or department about which style to use.


Surname, Initial(s). Date. Title. Edition. Place of Publication: Publisher. (Series.)

Example 1: Book with a single author

Comfort, A. 1997. A good age. 2nd Edition. London: Mitchell Beazley.

Example 2: Book with 2 to 6 authors

Wit, J. S., Poneman, D. B. & Gallucci, R. L. 2004. Going critical : the first North Korean nuclear crisis. Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press.

Example 3: Book with more than 6 authors

Roeder, K., Howdeshell, J., Fulton, L., Lochhead, M., Craig, K., Peterson, R., et.al. 1967. Nerve cells and insect behavior. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Book chapters

Surname, Initial(s). Date. Chapter title, in Book Title, edited by Editor first name. Editor Surname. Place of Publication: Publisher: Pages in book.


Blaxter, M. 1976. Social class and health inequalities, in Equalities and inequalities in health, edited by Carl J. Carter. London: Academic Press: 120-135.

Journal articles

Surname, Initial(s). Date. Title of article. Title of Periodical, volume(issue number): page numbers.


Wharton, N. 1996. Health and safety in outdoor activity centres. Journal of Adventure Education and Outdoor Leadership, 12(4): 8-9.


Name(s) of inventor(s). Date of issue.Title of Patent, Number of Patent including country of issue.


Smith, P. L. 2002. Particle trap for compressed gas insulated transmission systems, US Patent 4554399.

Article from a database

Surname, Initials. Date. Article Title. Journal Title, volume(issue number): page numbers. (Date accessed, from Database).


Sopensky, E. 2002. Chocolate makes money, Business Journal. 3(1): 20-24. (accessed April 14, 2004, from ProQuest database).


Bibliographic details are arranged in the sequence:

Surname, initial(s). Date (last updated). Title of Website. [Online]. Publisher. Available: URL. [Date you accessed the site].


Dawson, J., Deubert, K., Grey-Smith, S. & Smith, L. 2002. 'S' Trek 6: Referencing, not plagiarism. [Online]. Available: http://lisweb.curtin.edu.au/guides/studytrekk/strek6.html. [4 September 2004].

Using Harvard style

Harvard style referencing involves in-text citation using parentheses. A full reference list must also be included at the end of the document. Citations are included in the text. Author's surname and date of publication should be included. As a rule, page numbers should also be present unless the citation refers to a very general argument or idea. Content of in-text citation varies depending upon the text.



  • This argument was first put forward in the early 19th century (Hulme 1998: 58)

  • The argument was first put forward by Hulme (1998: 58).

  • Smith (1987: 245) noted that "such conduct was largely counter-productive".

  • "Such conduct was largely counter-productive" (Smith 1987: 245).

No author
  • This was obviously not the case before 2001 (Beating the Millennium Bug 2003: 14)
  • In Beating the Millennium Bug (2001: 14), it is claimed that this was not the case before 2001.
Secondary sources
  • Ngu (cited in Larson 1991: 51) reported that such conclusions were generally invalid.
  • Such conclusions are generally invalid (Ngu, cited in Larson 1991: 51).

Useful books and websites

These materials were referred to whilst creating this site.


  • Burger, M. 1992. Reference Techniques. 2nd Edition. Pretoria: University of South Africa.


Last updated: 10 September, 2018