Skip to main content

Referencing - BU Harvard: PDF Guide


This Guide is not for BU students who study our Psychology course (Faculty of Science and Technology), History, or Law courses (both in Faculty of Media and Communications). Check the 'Who should use this guide' section below for more details.

For 2019-20 academic year - PDF Guide to download and print

Creative Commons License:

Attribution - Noncommercial - Sharealike

Usage and Attribution of this Guide
If you wish to cite this document please use the following notation:

Bournemouth University, 2019. Guide to citation and referencing in the BU Harvard style [online]. Poole: Bournemouth University. Available from: [Accessed Date].

Accessibility notice: If you require a Word version of this document you may email


Changes made to the September 2019 PDF guide for the 19/20 academic year

  • Referencing is a two part process description, and, why you need to reference clarified – page 2 of PDF guide and on the Introduction page of this online guide.
  • Separation of guidance for newspaper and magazine articles (previously merged under section titled Newspaper or Magazine article) – page 10 of PDF guide and on the Newspaper page and Magazine page of this online guide.
  • Thesis example updated to include URL and accessed date for e-thesis – page 11 of PDF guide and the Thesis page of this online guide.
  • Translated materials re-titled ‘Translated materials (non-English sources)’ and extended to cover when you translate sources into English – page 12 of PDF guide and on the Translated Materials page of this online guide.
  • Computer Program example updated – page 12 of PDF guide and on the Computer Program page of this online guide.
  • 'Online Tools & Apps' tab re-titled 'Referencing Generator Tools & Apps' page 14 of PDF guide and relevant page of this online guide.


There are some extra details added to this online guide that we could not fit into the PDF guide (we're doing our best to keep the PDF document to maximum 14 pages long!):

  • Data (for Postgraduate Researchers and Academics) page added the Reference List tab's drop down menu of links this online guide.
  • Extra notes added to Images or Photographs page of this online guide recommending you choose to use copyright free / creative commons licensed, free to use images and photos. Connects to guidance how to layout figures.
  • Encyclopaedia or Dictionary example extended to instruct how to reference information found using CREDOreference in the Encyclopaedia or Dictionary page of this online guide.

Who should use this guide

  • The majority of courses at BU require you to use our Harvard style of referencing, except these courses: Law, History (both in Faculty of Media and Communications), and Psychology (in Faculty of Science and Technology).
  • Law students should follow BU’s online guides Referencing – International law and Referencing – UK & EU Law.
  • Psychology students should follow APA style.
  • History students should follow Chicago Style.
  • If you are an academic or PhD research staff writing for external publication please follow author guidelines issued to you by your publisher.