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Quick guide to Harvard referencing: Introduction

An online guide to referencing and citing using the Harvard style

What's in this guide?

This is a quick introduction to the Harvard style of referencing in DkIT.

It explains the basics of the Harvard referencing system and how to reference common items like books, journal articles and webpages.

For detailed information and more examples check the full length version of DkIT's Guide to Harvard referencing (previously called 'Credit Where Credit Is Due'). This is updated whenever necessary, so if you decide to print the guide make sure you're using the most recent version.

What's referencing?

Referencing is when you acknowledge that you have used someone else's material or ideas in your own work.

  • It allows the reader to source the information you have used
  • It shows the research you have carried out for your work and helps you to back up your arguments
  • It indicates when you are using someone else's work so that you're not accused on plagiarism, cheating or copying

Is this the right style for you?

DkIT uses a specific version of the Harvard style of referencing, which is supported by the Library and covered in this guide.

Your lecturer might want you to use a different referencing system, such as footnotes or numbers. Check with them before you start your assignment.

What's the Harvard style of referencing?

The Harvard referencing style has two parts:

1. Citation

  • A note, in the main text of your assignment, to say that you are using someone else's work.
  • It's usually written in the format (Author Year). For example (Drury 2013).
  • If you are using the author's name in a sentence you can add the year in brackets straight after it. For example "Drury (2013) outlines the key steps required".

2. Reference List

  • A detailed list at the end of your assignment of the sources you have used in your assignment.
  • It's written in alphabetical order by author's surname.
  • It only contains the sources you cited in the main text of your assignment.

Academic integrity