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Referencing - BU Harvard 22-23 Full Guide: Unpublished sources e.g lectures

Unpublished sources (lectures, internal documents, leaflets, posters etc)

  • We recommend that references to personal communications such as letters and emails are given only within the main text of your work and are not added in the reference list at the end of your work.
  • You may be instructed, or choose, to include evidence of personal communications in an Appendix section (check with academic setting your assignment before including Appendices).
  • Cite personal communications only in the main text of your work. Give the name and/or occupation of person. Provide an accurate date when the communication took place.

e.g. According to Professor J.O. Reiss, many designers do not understand the needs of disabled people (personal communication, 18 April 2014, Appendix 1).

  • When citing research data which you have collected (your own primary research) it is recommended you include copies or summaries of this data in Appendices.
  • If you wish to use photos you have taken, ensure you have considered ethics / confidentiality, and, check it is acceptable to use your own photos with BU academics who set and mark the assignment. If you choose to use personal photos, insert them as figures following the instructions on Citing in the main text of your work - point 6, and, an example is shown in the Example Essay.

If academic staff authorise that you can use an unpublished source, follow this guidance:

  • University lectures are not published sources to be used as academic evidence in your work (except when an academic grants permission to do so). The purpose of an academic's lecture (e.g. recordings, slides and notes posted on Brightspace units) is to aid your learning and direct you to sources for independent study and revision.
  • Guidance on private / internal documents or guidelines (e.g. internal NHS organisation information that must remain confidential) is available on the Guidelines or Codes of Practice page of this guide.
  • Cite in the main text i.e. using author date and reference the source at the end of your work as you would a published document.
  • You may wish to include a copy of the unpublished source in an appendix (Note: this is not always possible where the document is very large or the content is confidential.

Surname/Family Name, INITIALS., Year (if available). Title of unpublished source [type of source]. Place: Organisation if available. Collection/archive details if available (Collection, Document number, Geographical Town/Place: Name of Library/Archive/Repository). Unpublished.

  • e.g. Breen, A.C., 2013. Research Protocol - Characteristics of lumbar spine intervertebral kinematics in healthy adults and their reproducibility over time: A standardised reference and reliability study for future explanatory trials of mechanical interventions for non-specific low back pain, Version 2. Bournemouth: Anglo-European College of Chiropractic. Unpublished.

This is based on APA, 2009. Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. 6th ed. Washington: APA. Further advice on citing unpublished documents can be found in BS 6371:1983 (access via British Standards Online).