Most programmes and modules (except Psychology and Law) will require you to use the Harvard style of referencing. 

The Harvard referencing style has many variations. Abertay University has adopted the most widely used version of Harvard, based on the book Cite Them Rightavailable to borrow from 808.027 PEA. Alternatively, we've produced a quick Harvard Referencing Guide listing the main reference types.

What is referencing?

There are two parts to Harvard referencing:

  • the in-text citation, and
  • the reference list
The in-text citation eg (Grover, 2017) appears as part of your text to acknowledge where an idea, research, statistic, quotation etc came from - this avoids plagiarism. For help with how to integrate your citations, see our page on Harvard Citing.
The reference list appears at the end of your work, listing in alphabetical order the full details of all the citations in your text - this informs the reader of what you've read and allows them to track the reference if required. See the information below, or our Harvard Referencing Guide for reference examples.

Top tips:

  • ensure every citation has a matching entry in the reference list
  • make sure each reference in your reference list includes all the information needed, in the correct order, and formatted correctly
  • if you're making a quotation, always include a page number in your in-text citation
  • be consistent in your style
  • check the positioning of your in-text citations - is it clear to the reader where an idea has come from?

Quickly test your knowledge with this short quiz:

Reference types

A few examples of the main reference types in Harvard:

Journal articles
Images/tables/photographs etc

General points

Whatever type of resource you're referencing, there are general points that apply across the board. Examples include:

  • Your citation should include the author and year, eg (Grover, 2017). If the author's name already forms part of your sentence, just add the year in your citation, eg Research by Grover (2017) suggests....
  • Always add a page number to your citation if making a direct quotation, or using a graph or image taken from a particular page.
  • If the item has more than 3 authors, use et al. in your citation, eg (Grover et al., 2017)
  • If the item has no named authors, use the company or organisation as the author
  • If the item has no date, acknowledge this in your citation, eg (Grover, no date). If you don't do this, it just looks as if you've forgotten to add a date!
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