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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).

Resource with two authors use both names with and

(Thon and Jucks, 2017) or Thon and Jucks (2017)

When you have three authors write the authors as listed on the book using and between the second and third name.

Traynor, Boland and Buus (2010) identify the implications for practice...

Implications for practice have been previously identified (Traynor, Boland and Buus 2010).

Four or more of one article or book, write the name of the first author followed by et al. (et al. is in italics with a full stop after al)

McGeady et al. (2006) suggests….

It has been suggested (McGeady et al., 2006)….

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.

Tutorial on Harvard Referencing

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) 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' in Editor, Title of book, Place of publication:Publishers, pp. XX-XX
Reference  Weir, P. (1995) ‘Clinical practice development role: a personal reflection’ in K. Kendrick et al., eds., Innovations in nursing practice, London: Edward Arnold, pp. 5- 22.


1. With DOI:

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


2. Without DOI:    

Reference elements Author (Year) 'Title', Title of Journal, Vol(Issue), pp. XX-XX, 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, p. 111(4), available [accessed: 10 April 2019].


1. Print version:

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

2. Online version:

Reference elements Author (Day Month Year) 'Title of article', Newspaper, available: http:// [accessed: Day Month Year]
Reference Malhortre, A. (30 Aug 2018) ‘Why modern medicine is a major threat to public health’, Guardian, available: [accessed: 22 March 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 (2021) Fracture of the Talus [image], available: [accessed: 04 November 2023]

Reference elements                  Author A (Day Month Year) Title or your own descriptive title of class/topic [type of medium], Full name and code of unit, Name of University.

Nelson, S. (20 April 2015) Human resource management: topic 2 [PowerPoint slides], Human Resource Management MNG00724, Southern Cross University.


In-text citation: (Nelson 2015) OR (Nelson 2015, slide 2)

Reference elements                  Creator’s surname, Initials or Corporate author (Year or release date) Title of app (version number) [Mobile app] (accessed: Day Month Year)

NHS Choices (2023) Change4life smart recipes (Version 2.1.2) [Mobile app] (accessed: 28 May 2013)


In-text citation: (NHS Choices, 2023)

Endnote & Reference Style

N.B. If you are using EndNote, you can choose:

"Cite Them Right-Harvard", to be sure of referencing following the RCSI Harvard rules.


The EndNote "Harvard" style is the based on British Standard rules so if you choose this style, you may have to make some manual adjustments. Always refer to the library guide.