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By default, you will see our most frequently used templates. You can switch to view specific types of materials, or see them all.
- Appendices (Documents)
- Apps (Online)
- Artwork - Not Reproduced (Art & Culture)
- Artwork - Reproduced (Art & Culture)
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- Authored Books (Books)
- Blogs (Online)
- Case Law (Legal)
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- Cochrane Library (Healthcare)
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- Conferences (Documents)
- Confidential Documents(Documents)
- Culture (Art & Culture)
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- Dissertations, Theses (Documents)
- Edited Books (Books)
- European (Legal)
- Exhibition Catalogues (Art & Culture)
- Computer Games (Computing)
- Generative AI
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Frequently Asked Questions
This is called secondary referencing.
For example, you are reading an article published in 2014 by Caroline Anderson. In her article, Caroline talks about an interesting theory outlined and discussed in a different journal article, published in 2010 by Michael Scott, and she correctly cites and references Scott 2010.
You want to paraphrase that idea in your essay. Who do you reference, Anderson 2014 or Scott 2010?
Scott (cited in Anderson 2014) suggests that in order to have a better brew, you should put the milk in first, then the teabag, then the boiling water. I strongly disagree with that.
Scott's theory (cited in Anderson 2014 p.25) states that "the correct order for an optimal brew is milk, teabag, boiling water".
ANDERSON, C., 2014. The history of a good cuppa. T Journal, 54(2), pp. 24-28.
The reference list will only include the source you have read.
This happens quite often with websites, if you want to reference different pages from the same organisation which are published in the same year. Take for example these two pages from NHS Choices, published in 2017: Four cups of coffee not bad for health and Can fizzy water make you fat?
Following a systematic review looking at the consumption of coffee in adults, it has been found that "400mg/day of caffeine is not associated with significant concern for cardiovascular mortality" (NHS Choices 2017b). A different study, looking at water consumption, suggests that there is a difference between how fizzy water and non-fizzy drinks can affect the body (NHS Choices 2017a).
NHS CHOICES, 2017a. Can fizzy water make you fat? [online]. London: NHS Choices. Available from: http://www.nhs.uk/news/2017/05May/Pages/Can-fizzy-water-make-you-fat.aspx [Accessed 23 May 2017].
NHS CHOICES, 2017b. Four cups of coffee 'not bad for health' suggests review. [online]. London: NHS Choices. Available from: http://www.nhs.uk/news/2017/04April/Pages/Four-cups-of-coffee-not-bad-for-health-suggests-review.aspx [Accessed 23 May 2017].
If two or more of these are from the same year, follow the guidance from the previous FAQ and add a, b, c, etc. to differentiate between the different entries, for example:
SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT, 2004. Report on...
SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT, 2005a. Children and...
SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT, 2005b. Juvenile justice...
SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT, 2014. Advice on...
- Citations appear in reverse chronological order (most recent first)
- If several works are published in the same year, then list those in alphabetical order
- Separate the citations with semi-colons
- Don't forget to include a full reference for each citation
This is the bit where I am paraphrasing a really cool idea which is going to make me sound very smart (Wilson 2012; Allen 2002; Green and White 2002; Brown, Jones and Smith 1998; Anderson et al. 1965).
No, if the book or journal article also exists on paper, you would reference the source as the paper version, regardless of whether you read it online.
The good news is almost all E-Books, or E-Journals will have been published in paper too. It doesn't matter whether you find the book via our Library catalogue, GoogleBooks or any other service. You should be able to find the necessary information to create a standard reference for the book/journal article.
But what if they only exist online?
There are very rare cases in which a book has only been published online. In these cases, reference like a webpage, something like this:
BROWN, C., 2013. My love affair with referencing. [online]. London: Little & Large. Available from: http://www.littlelarge.com/brown [Accessed 17 December 2016].
I can't find the publisher...
In general, the organisation on whose website the web page sits will be the publisher. If this is not clear, look for ‘About Us’ or ‘Contact us’ information, or scroll to the bottom of the page and look for copyright information; you should see an organisation mentioned.
I can't find the place of publication...
The address of the organisation’s headquarters should be mentioned in ‘About us’, ‘Contact us’ or ‘Our Offices’. You can treat the town or city where the organisation is based as the place of publication.
If you still can't find it, you can omit mentioning the place of publication.
I can't find the year of publication...
On some pages, a date may be given at the top of the page. If no date is listed there, scroll down to the bottom of the web page and look for a copyright or ‘last updated’ date.
If you still cannot find a date, but the page you are looking at, and the rest of the website, seems to be continually updated and there are no indications that the page is older, you can use the current year as your date.
If you are in any doubt, however, use n.d. (meaning no date) for the year.
We know this isn't what you want to hear, but we're afraid there's no exact answer to this question.
In some cases, your lecturers will tell you specifically how many references they expect from you in a particular assignment. More often though, the number of references will be determined by the nature of the assignment and it will be down to yourself and what you have written and the sources you have consulted. If you are worried you have not used enough sources, and therefore do not have enough references, we would suggest you seek guidance from whoever is marking your assignment.
Of course! We're a friendly bunch who are here to help, support, and give you all the right tools to get those references right!
What we can do for you
- If you're a beginner or would like a refresher, we organise Harvard Referencing classes throughout the academic year. Have a look at the timetable and sign up for a class when it suits you best.
- You can organise a 1 hour virtual 1-1 appointment with one the team.
- We can also help by email! If you have a quick question or are struggling with a pesky reference, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
What we can't do for you
- We can't proofread your reference list. If sending your reference list to us we advise highlighting those you're having particular difficulty with. Otherwise, we'll can scan a portion of your reference list, ensuring we cover a good range of source types, and provide advice.
- We won't check and correct your entire reference list. We'll give you some guidance as to where you've gone wrong, but it's your responsiblity to apply that advice to your full list and fix any mistakes.
- We can't normally check a reference list more than once. This is because referencing is a marked part of assignments so lecturers are expecting to see your own work. Applying the advice we give for a first check should help you to correct your list and feel more confident about sumitting it.
What you can do to help yourself
- Attend one of our Harvard Referencing workshops. These run twice weekly, one online and one in person, and you can find details on our workshops calendar. These are an excellent way of getting to grips with referencing.
- Have a look through the online guides and make sure your reference list conforms to the RGU Harvard templates. We recommend copying and pasting the template examples into your own assignment and overwriting with your own information. That'll help with making sure the punctuation and formatting are correct.
- If you get stuck with a reference and can't find the answer in the templates or our guidance then get email it to us for advice. We can't write your references for you (references are ususually a marked part of an assignment and your lecturers are expecting to see your own work) but we don't want you to struggle in silence!
Support for Referencing
If you need further support with Harvard referencing please visit our Workshops and Appointments page where you will find:
- A calendar of workshops that can be booked online. There are twice-weekly sessions on Harvard referencing
- Recordings of previous workshops
- Information on how to book 1-1 or small group support appointments with one of our team
How we can help
If you're not sure which template is right for your source or if you're struggling to identify the information you need then you can email the team for support. This is a high demand service and we can't always guarantee a quick response. Please use the information we provide online to help yourself as much as possible first. This includes looking at the templates and ensuring that you have adhered to these when writing your references. We can't offer a proof-reading or correction service for your entire reference list. As referencing is a marked part of most assignments your lecturers are expecting to see your own work.
Appointments, workshops, and email support are available during the Academic Support Team working hours of Monday-Friday 9am-5pm.
Appointment and email response times will depend on team availability and demands on the service. These are high demand services so please make sure you contact us well ahead of your deadline.
We can support your academic skills development in a variety of areas including literature searching, databases, search techniques, referencing and more. We will:
- Scan a selection of your reference list, ensuring we cover a good range of source types, and provide useful comments where we notice issues. However, we can't carry out a full proofreading or correction service and we can't write references for you.
- Advise on your search strategy, providing guidance to help you search more effectively and offer suggestions on where to search, but we don't carry out searches on your behalf.