OSCOLA Referencing

Other Books


The following are examples of how to reference older books, books of authority, encyclopaedias and looseleaf services.


Older Works

For books from before 1800, include the original publication date as well as for the edition you have read.


Template (Footnote/Table of Legislation):

Author, | Title | (first published | original edition year, | current edition publisher | Year).


Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan (first published 1651, Penguin 1985).

Books of Authority/Institutional Works

Books of Authority or Institutional Works should be referenced in the same manner as books. A number of abbreviations exist that can be used to abbreviate the names of these works in footnotes:

Stair, Institutions of the Law of Scotland Institutions
Bankton, An Institute of the Laws of Scotland in Civil Rights Institute
Blackstone, Commentaries on the Law of England Bl Comm
Bracton, On the Laws and Customs of England Bracton
Brooke, La Graunde Abridgement Brooke Abr
Coke, Commentary upon Littleton Co Litt
Coke, Institutes of the Laws of England Co Inst
Fitzherbert, La Graunde Abridgement Fitz Abr
Fitzherbert, La Novel Natura Brevium Fitz NB
Glanvill, Treatise on the Laws and Customs of England Glanvill
Hawkins, A Treatise on the Pleas of the Crown Hawk PC
Hale, The History of the Pleas of the Crown Hale PC


Cite an encyclopaedia as a book, but exclude the author and publisher and include the edition and year of issue/reissue. When an encyclopaedia credits an author for a segment, give both the author and the segment title at the beginning of the citation. If citing an online encyclopaedia, give the web address and date of access.


Halsbury’s Laws (5th edn, 2010) vol 57, para 53.

CJ Friedrich, ‘Constitutions and Constitutionalism’, International Encyclopaedia of the Social Sciences III (1968) 319.

Leslie Green, ‘Legal Positivism’, The Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy (Fall edn, 2009) <https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/fall2009/entries/legal-positivism/> accessed 20 November 2009.

Looseleaf Services

Cite the title of the work in italics, excluding the name of the current author or editor, but including names which have become part of the title. Do not give publication details.



Ryde on Rating and the Council Tax.

Cross on Local Government Law, para 8–106 (R 30 July 2008).

Parker’s Law and Conduct of Elections, vol 1, para 9–24 (issue 29).