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Referencing - BU Harvard 22-23 Full Guide: Finding information to create a reference list

A Book's Title and Reverse Page will give you all the information you need for your Reference List

Each reference should use the elements, punctuation and format shown in the source examples with instructions (linked on this page, or, use the drop down menu under the tab for this page).

Note: PDF is a format not a source type, so you need to identify what source the PDF is.

  • At the end of a piece of work add a list of references to sources cited in the text. This list may be titled ‘References’ or 'Bibliography'. See What is the difference between a reference list and a bibliography? for an explanation.
  • In the Harvard system, all references are listed in alphabetical order by author name in a single list. The only exceptions are when citing unpublished sources and legal materials, which should be listed separately after the main list of sources.
  • Check your Faculty's handbooks or ask academic staff for clarification, if necessary.

Example Title Page

Author published more than one source in same year

  • They should be listed chronologically (earliest date first), and by letter (2015a, 2015b) if more than one item has been published in the same year.
  • You will usually find bibliographical reference information on the title page of the publication.

Organisations or corporate authors

  • Where authorship is attributed to an organisation or corporation instead of an individual author, ascribe authorship to the organisation.
  • In academic writing, names of organisations may be abbreviated once they have been given in full e.g. Office for National Statistics (ONS 2013). You must always give the full names of organisations in your list of references.

Example Reverse Page

Place of Publication

  • Use the city or town. If more than one city is listed give the first city or location of publisher’s / organisation's head office.
  • If the city is not well known, you may add a county, region or state. In the United States of America, states are denoted by a two letter code e.g. Hillsdale, NJ.

Referencing sources where a URL is required

  • URLs (Uniform Resource Locator / web address) can be formatted with hyperlinks either included or removed.
  • Including an accessed date is very important because webpage links can change or break.

Example of Title and Reverse Page