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Referencing - BU Harvard 22-23 Full Guide: Reference books, Encyclopedias and Formularies

Referencing Encyclopaedia or Dictionary - Do not reference Wikipedia

Referencing an encyclopaedia or dictionary: details, order and format

Instructions how to reference an encyclopaedia or dictionary entry

Click on the headings below for instructions

Citing in the main text of your work

  • e.g. Ecotourism can be defined as "tourism to areas of ecological interest" (OED 2015).

[Cannot insert page numbers for this quotation because there are no page numbers provided on this page of OED].

Referencing in list at the end of your work

If a dictionary or encyclopaedia is the co-operative work of many individuals, none of whom are the main editor, the title of the work may be used instead. For edited dictionaries and encyclopaedias follow our contribution in an edited book instructions.

Author / Editor, Year. Title of contribution. In: Title of source [online] (if applicable). Edition (if not first). Place of publication: Publisher.

  • e.g. OED, 2015. Ecotourism. In: Oxford English dictionary [online]. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • CREDOreference is a source that BU librarians recommend using for university work instead of Wikipedia (citing and referencing Wikipedia is discouraged at BU). Current BU students and staff can access it via our dictionaries and encyclopaedias databases webpage.
  • Using CREDOreference is easy! You can search for a term / subject / topic / theory and results are retrieved from a variety of credible, reliable sources in a wide range of subject areas.

You need to identify which type of source a CREDOReference search result is from to figure out which of our instructions to follow:

  • Some CREDOreference search results come from encyclopaedias and dictionaries: follow our instructions above on how to reference an encyclopaedia or dictionary entry.
  • Some CREDOreference search results come from e-books (shown in the screenshot below): follow our instructions on how to reference an e-book.

Screenshot showing example of a CREDOReference search result, found in an e-book:

Credoreference screenshot

  • Some CREDOreference search results come from other sources: identify what type of source it is, then select and follow our appropriate BU Harvard instructions (if you need any help with this, just ask BU Library Staff).


British National Formulary

The style for referencing the printed version of the BNF using the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts is as follows:

  • Joint Formulary Committee. British National Formulary. [edition number] ed. London: BMJ Group and Pharmaceutical Press; [year of publication]

The style for referencing the online version of the BNF is as follows:

  • Joint Formulary Committee. British National Formulary (online) London: BMJ Group and Pharmaceutical Press <> [Accessed on [date]

In a reference list in BU Harvard, this would look like:


Joint Formulary Committee (JFC), 2022. Etanercept [online]. London: BMJ Group and Pharmaceutical Press. Available from: [Accessed  1st August 2022]



(Joint Formulary Committee [JFC] 2022) - first time of citing, then (JFC 2022) for all succeeding citations.