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Harvard Referencing

What is Harvard style?
Harvard is an author/date style of

  • It consists of two main elements:

Citations: These appear in the body of your text referring to a particular author’s work or source of information. Citations consist of an author’s surname and a year in parenthesis – there is no numbering system used.

References: These appear listed at the end of the essay or dissertation giving the complete details of all documents, books, journals articles or websites referenced in the text, arranged in alphabetical order.
In addition you may also be asked to produce a bibliography listing both the references and all other relevant sources you consulted in the course of the project.

Example of in text citations:

If the author's surname is part of the sentence you only put the date in brackets: (Date of publication)

In a study by Smith (1997) coping with illness was investigated... or According to Smith (1997) coping with illness...

If the author's surname is not part of the sentence you put the author's surname and date in brackets: (Name, Date or publication)

The skills and expertise required to reflect effectively are often misunderstood and are poorly developed (Johns, 2002).

When you have more than two authors of one article or book, use et al. (et al. is in italics with a full stop after al)

Traynor, Boland, Buus (2010) identify the implications for practice... [Use as first citation in text.]

Traynor et al. (2010) identify the implications for practice... [Use as subsequent citation thereafter.]

Implications for practice have been previously identified (Traynor et al., 2010). [comma separating et al. from the year]


References (at the end of paper)

References should be listed in alphabetical order by author's name and then by date (earliest first), and then if more than one item has been published during a specific year by letter (1995a, 1995b etc).

Details should be taken from the title page of a publication and not from the front cover.

Each reference should include the elements and punctuation given in the examples below.

Authors' forenames can be included if given on the title page but they are not required to be. The title of the publication should either be in italics or underlined.


Referencing Common Sources

1. Printed book

Reference elements Author / Year / Title / Place of publication / Publishers 
Reference  Murray, P.R., Rosenthal, K.S. and Pfaller, M.A. (2009) Medical microbiology, Philadelphia, PA: Mosby Elsevier.    

2. Electronic book

Reference elements   Author / Year of Publication  / Title / e-book reader name/ Edition/ Place of publication / Publisher / 
Reference Chiu, A., Palmer, J.N. and Adappa, N.N. (2019) Atlas of Endoscopic Sinus and Skull Base Surgery [ClinicalKey], 2nd ed. Philadelphia: Elsevier.

3. Chapter of an edited book

Reference elements  Author / Year / Title of Chapter / Editor / Title of book / Place of publication / Publishers Page numbers 
Reference  Weir, P. (1995) ‘Clinical practice development role: a personal reflection’ in K. Kendrick et al., eds., Innovations in nursing practice, London: Edward Arnold, p. 5- 22.


1. With DOI:

Reference elements Author / Year / Title / Title of Journal / Vol(Issue) / pp-pp / DOI:
Reference Schwitzgebel, V.M. (2014)  ‘Many faces of monogenic diabetes’, Journal of Diabetes Investigation, 5(2), 121-133, available: doi: 10.1111/jdi.12197.


2. Without DOI:    

Reference elements Author / Year / Title / Title of Journal / Vol(Issue) / pp-pp / available: http:// / Accessed Day Month Year
Reference  Roham, P., Keane, K., Nason, G.J. and Caulfield, R.H. (2018) 'Is The Consent Process Appropriate - The Interns’ Perspective?',  Irish Medical Journal, 111(4), available [accessed 10 April 2019].


1. Print version:

Reference elements Author / Year / 'Title of article' / Newspaper / Date / p.xx
Reference  White, M. (1998) ‘£68m to cut NHS waiting lists’, Guardian, 18 May, p.8.

2. Online version:

Reference elements Author / Year / 'Title of article' / Newspaper / Date / Available: http:// / Access date
Reference Malhortre, A. (2018) ‘Why modern medicine is a major threat to public health’, Guardian, 30 Aug, available: [accessed 22 Mar 2019]


Reference elements                  Author/Owner of the Image / Year / Title [type of image] / available: http://www … / [accessed Day Month Year]‚Äč

Southern California Orthopedic Institute. Fracture of the Talus [image], available: [accessed 04 November 2019]

RCSI Printable Guide: Harvard Referencing


If you are using EndNote, choose Cite Them Right-Harvard or APA rather than "Harvard".  The EndNote "Harvard" style is the American version.  The European Harvard style is closer to Cite Them Right-Harvard or APA.

Tutorial on Harvard Referencing