Referencing Styles: Harvard

(also called Author / Date)

This guide will look at how you would reference using the Harvard citation style.

In-Text Citing

In addition to formatted references, you need to cite the author of the source in text whenever you refer to their work, or ideas. This is known as in-text citing. 

Harvard in-text citation requires that you cite in brackets the name of the creator of the work, and the date of publication.

In-Text Example 1: when the authors name forms part of the sentence:

Brown (2013) states that the key …….

In-Text Example 2: when the source is attributed but the authors name does not form part of the sentence:

Extensive research (Brown, 2013) indicates that…..

In-Text Example 3: when citing a direct quote you must include page numbers:

The possibility has been said to be “beyond the limits of our society’s understanding” (Brown, 2013, p.23).

In-Text Example 4: when citing the same article or book as the previous citation, you can (if you want) use 'ibid.', and if the page number is different include it:

... according to Brown (ibid., p.24). 

You must provide a list of the references that you have cited, formatted in the Harvard style, and in alphabetical order by author, in a bibliography at the end of your work. We will now look at how you would format your references in the bibliography.


Formatting references in the bibliography


Format: Author surname, Initial. (Year). Title. Edition if not the 1st. Place of publication: Publisher.

Example: Bassey, M. (1999). Case study research in educational settings. 2nd ed. London: Open University Press.

Books with two or three authors

Example: Bloor, M., Wood, F. (2006). Keywords in Qualitative Methods: a vocabulary of research concepts. London: Sage Publications.

Books with more than three authors – give the name of the first author, followed by ‘et al.’ (which means 'and others').

Example: Rice, R. et al. (2001). Accessing and browsing: information and communication. Cambridge: MIT Press. 

Journal Articles

Format: Author surname, Initial. (Year) Title of article. Title of journal, Vol. no. (Part no./Issue/Month), Pages, use p. or pp.

Example: Ball, R. (2003) Libraries and distance education – a German view. Libri, 53(2), pp.71-81

Web Page

Format: Author surname, Initial. (Year) Title of document [Online] Organisation responsible (optional). Available from: web address [Accessed date].

Example: Castles, S. (2004), Confronting the Realities of Forced Migration [Online] Migration Policy Institute. Available from: [18 September 2018].

Thesis or Dissertation

Format: Author surname, Initial. (Year). Title. Designation (Level, e.g. MSc, PhD.), Institution.

Example: Rajaram, P.K. (2002). Exile and desire: Refugees, aesthetics and the territorial borders of international relations. Unpublished thesis (PhD.), London School of Economics and Political Science.

Newspaper Articles

Format: Author surname, Initial. (Year) Article title. Newspaper title, Day and Month (abbreviated), Pages, use p. or pp. (if no page number e.g. an online newspaper state the date accessed).

Example: Crosbie, J. (2013) More refugees in 2012 than for 20 years, says UN. Irish Times, 19 June, p. 11

Variations of Harvard

There is no single definitive way to use the Harvard referencing style. If you use Summon or RefWorks to convert items into Harvard (our reference management software page explains how to do this), you'll notice that the format is slightly different to the guidance on this page. Remember that what is important is that:

  • You have referenced each time you have referred to someone else's work
  • You have included all of the relevant information in your reference
  • That information is in the right order
  • All of your references are formatted consistently

Follow any guidance given on your VLE. If you have any concerns, contact your tutor or student relationship manager.