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Referencing - BU Harvard 22-23 Full Guide: Source cited or quoted in another source (citing second hand)

Source cited or quoted in another source (citing second hand)

Sometimes you will find information, diagrams, theories, quotations, etc. which were not originally written by the author(s) of the source you are reading. If you want to refer to this information, it is best research practice to try and find the original work and read it yourself. 

This allows you to check that the information is correct, represented accurately and that you have the full details.

If it is not possible to find the original source, you can cite second hand.

In this example, you have read a source by Jones written in 2015. Jones has described and cited a 1999 study by Carson:-

  • e.g. In a popular study Carson (1999 cited by Jones 2015) argued that we have to teach good practices…
  • e.g. As Carson (1999 cited by Jones 2015, p.21) said, "good practices must be taught" and so...

You should only include the source you have read in the list of references at the end of your work; Jones 2015 in this example.

It is recommended you mention the person’s name and must cite the source author:

  • e.g. Richard Hammond stressed the part psychology plays in advertising in an interview with Marshall (2013).
  • e.g. “Advertising will always play on peoples’ desires”, Richard Hammond said in a recent article (Marshall 2013, p.67).

You should list the work that has been published, i.e. Marshall, in your list of references.