Skip to content

Toggle service links

Quick guide to Harvard referencing (Cite Them Right)

Home Help and Support Quick guide to Harvard referencing (Cite Them Right)

There are different versions of the Harvard referencing style, and this guide is a quick introduction to the commonly-used Cite Them Right version. You will find further guidance on the Cite Them Right database, available through the OU Library.

For help and support with referencing, have a look at the Library’s page on referencing and plagiarism (http://www.open.ac.uk/library/help-and-support/referencing-and-plagiarism). 

In-text citations and full references

Referencing consists of two elements:

  • In-text citations, which are inserted in the body of your text and are included in the word count. An in-text citation gives the author(s) and publication date of a source you are referring to. If the publication date is not given, the phrase 'no date' is used instead of a date. If using direct quotes, you also need the page number, if available, or paragraph number for web pages.
  • Full references, which are given in alphabetical order in a reference list at the end of your work and are not included in the word count. Full references give full bibliographical information for all the sources you have referred to in the body of your text.

Difference between reference list and bibliography

  • Reference list: only includes sources you have referred to in the body of your text; 

  • Bibliography: includes sources you have referred to in the body of your text AND sources that were part of your background reading that you did not use in your assignment.

Examples of in-text citations

There are a number of ways of incorporating in-text citations into your work. Examples are provided below:

One author Two authors Three authors Four or more authors

It has been emphasised that good referencing is an important academic skill (Harris, 2015).

OR 

Harris (2015) emphasised that good referencing is an important academic skill.

It has been emphasised that good referencing is an important academic skill (Shah and Papadopoulos, 2015).

OR 

Shah and Papadopoulos (2015) emphasised that good referencing is an important academic skill.&nbsp

It has been emphasised that good referencing is an important academic skill (Wong, Smith and Adebole, 2015).

OR 

Wong, Smith and Adebole (2015) emphasised that good referencing is an important academic skill.

It has been emphasised that good referencing is an important academic skill (Wong et al., 2015).

OR 

Wong et al. (2015) emphasised that good referencing is an important academic skill.

Note: When referencing a chapter of an edited book, your in-text citation should give the author(s) of the chapter

Corporate author When no author, use the title of the resource in italics

It has been emphasised that good referencing is an important academic skill (The Open University, 2015)

Information from The Open University (2015) emphasises that good referencing is an important academic skill.

 

​It has been emphasised that good referencing is an important academic skill (Information Literacy in Higher Education, 2015)

Information from Information Literacy in Higher Education (2015) emphasises that good referencing is an important academic skill. 

 

Secondary referencing  Page numbers

Fernandez (2015, quoted in Nabokov, 2017) states that…

Use ‘quoted in’ if directly quoting, and ‘cited in’ if summarising from a source.

The full reference will give only the source you read (in this case: Nabokov, 2017). 

Harris (2015, p. 5) argues that…

Wong et al. (2015, pp. 35-49)…

Use page numbers for direct quotations or when you use ideas from specific pages. 

Note: When referencing a chapter of an edited book, your in-text citation should give the author(s) of the chapter. 

Examples of full references

Module websites and Online module materials

Surname, Initial. (Year of publication) 'Title of item'. Module code: Module title. Available at: URL of VLE (Accessed: date).

OR, if there is no named author:

The Open University. (Year of publication) 'Title of item'. Module code: Module title. Available at: URL of VLE (Accessed: date).

Examples:

Peake, S. and Hearne, R. (2019) ‘Session 3 Exposure’. TG089: Digital photography: Creating and sharing better images. Available at: https://learn2.open.ac.uk/mod/oucontent/view.php?id=1425928 (Accessed: 19/03/2019).

The Open University. (2017) ‘3.1 The purposes of childhood and youth research’. EK313: Issues in research with children and young people. Available at: https://learn2.open.ac.uk/mod/oucontent/view.php?id=1019389&section=1.3 (Accessed: 07/03/2018).

Note: if a complete journal article has been uploaded to a module website, reference the original journal article.

Forum messages

Surname, Initial. (Year of publication) 'Title of message', Title of discussion board, in Module code: Module title. Available at: URL of VLE (Accessed: date).

Example:

Thomas, D. (2016) ‘Submitting your TMA', Tutor Group discussion, in A215: Creative writing. Available at: https://learn2.open.ac.uk/mod/forumng/discuss.php?d=2239139 (Accessed: 22/03/2017)

Books

Note: When an eBook looks like a printed book, with publication details and pagination, reference as a printed book.

Surname, Initial. (Year of publication) Title. Edition if later than first. Place of publication: publisher. Series and volume number if relevant.

Example with one author:

Bell, J. (2014) Doing your research project. Maidenhead: Open University Press.

Example with two or three authors:

Goddard, J. and Barrett, S. (2015) The health needs of young people leaving care. Norwich: University of East Anglia, School of Social Work and Psychosocial Studies.

Example with four or more authors:

Young, H.D. et al. (2015) Sears and Zemansky's university physics. San Francisco, Calif.: Addison-Wesley.

 

Young, H.D., Freedman, R.A., Sandin, T.R., and Ford, A.L. (2015) Sears and Zemansky's university physics. San Francisco, Calif.: Addison-Wesley.

Chapter in edited book

Note: Books that have an editor, or editors, where each chapter is written by a different author, or authors.

Surname of chapter author, Initial. (Year of publication) 'Title of chapter or section', in Surname of book editor, Initial. (ed.) Title of book. Place of publication: publisher, Page reference.

Example:

Franklin, A.W. (2012) 'Management of the problem', in Smith, S.M. (ed.) The maltreatment of children. Lancaster: MTP, pp. 83–95

Journal articles

Surname, Initial. (Year of publication) 'Title of article', Title of Journal, volume number (issue number), page reference. Doi: doi number if available OR Available at: URL (Accessed date).

Examples: 

Shirazi, T. (2010) 'Successful teaching placements in secondary schools: achieving QTS practical handbooks', European Journal of Teacher Education​, 33(3), pp. 323-326 

Shirazi, T. (2010) 'Successful teaching placements in secondary schools: achieving QTS practical handbooks', European Journal of Teacher Education​, 33(3), pp. 323-326. doi: 10.1080/02619761003602246. 

Barke, M. and Mowl, G. (2016) 'Málaga – a failed resort of the early twentieth century?', Journal of Tourism History, 2(3), pp. 187–212. Available at: http://www.tanfonline.com/full/1755182.2016 (Accessed: 23 April 2018).

Newspaper articles

Surname, Initial. (Year of publication) 'Title of article', Title of Newspaper, Day and month, Page reference.

Surname, Initial. (Year of publication) 'Title of article', Title of Newspaper, Day and month, Page reference if available. Available at: URL (Accessed: date).

Examples:

Mansell, W. and Bloom, A. (2012) ‘£10,000 carrot to tempt physics experts’, The Guardian, 20 June, p. 5.

Roberts, D. and Ackerman, S. (2013) 'US draft resolution allows Obama 90 days for military action against Syria', The Guardian, 4 September. Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/sep/04/syria-strikes-draft-resolut... (Accessed: 9 September 2015)

Web pages

Surname, Initial. (Year that the site was published/last updated) Title of web page. Available at: URL (Accessed: date).

Organisation (Year that the page was last updated) Title of web page. Available at: URL (Accessed: date).

Examples:

Burton, P.A. (2012) Castles of Spain. Available at: http://www.castlesofspain.co.uk/ (Accessed: 14 October 2015).

The British Psychological Society (2018) Code of Ethics and Conduct. Available at: https://www.bps.org.uk/news-and-policy/bps-code-ethics-and-conduct (Accessed: 22 March 2019).

Note: Cite Them Right Online offers guidance for referencing webpages with no authors and dates. However, be extra vigilant about the suitability of such webpages.