Harvard Referencing: Books & e-books

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Harvard Referencing: books and e-books

Basic format to reference a book

The basics of a Reference List entry for a book:

  • Author or authors. The surname is followed by first initials.
  • Year.
  • Title (in italics).
  • Edition.
  • Publisher.
  • Place of Publication.

Dwyer, J 2013, Communication for business and the professions: strategies and skills, 5th edn, Pearson Australia, Frenchs Forest, New South Wales.


  • For books with multiple authors, edited books, e-books and chapters in books see examples below.
  • Do not add edition number for the first edition of a book.

Referencing a book: Examples

Material Type In-text example Reference List Examples

Direct Quote

Book: Single Author

Indirect Quote


A student's aspirations and attitudes are influenced by 'the interplay of class alongside other equally important factors including for example, gender, ethnicity, levels of trust, self-confidence and self-identification' (Fuller 2011, p. 162).


Self-identification is one of many factors that influence a student's aspirations (Fuller 2011).

Fuller, C 2011, Sociology, gender and educational aspirations: girls and their ambitions, Continuum International, New York.  

Book: 2 or 3 Authors

According to Weinberg and Gould (2011)
... this is evident (Weinberg & Gould 2011)

Weinberg, RS & Gould, D 2011, Foundations of sport and exercise psychology, Human Kinetics, Champaign, IL. 

Book: More Than 3 Authors

Allen et al. (2011) have found...
Special events are a celebration (Allen et al. 2011)

Show only the name of the first author or body, followed by et al.

Allen, J, O'Toole, W, Harris, R & McDonnell, I 2011, Festival and special event management, 5th edn, John Wiley & Sons, Milton, QLD.

Provide the names of all authors in the reference list.

Book: No Author

According to the Style manual for authors, editors and printers (2002, p. 197)...

When there is no author, the title is used as the first element in the reference (Style manual for authors, editors and printers 2002, p. 197).

Style manual for authors, editors and printers 2002, 6th edn, AGPS, Canberra, ACT.

If no author or editor, the title is used as the first element of the reference.
Edition number is placed after the title (not necessary for first edition).

Book: Editor

(ed. Ashwin 2006)
edited by Ashwin (2006)

Ashwin, P (ed.) 2006, Changing higher education: the development of learning and teaching, Routledge, London.

When more than one editor, use (eds.).

Chapter or part of a Book to which a number of authors have contributed    

Boud (2006, p. 23) states that 'self-directed learning...' OR 'Self-directed learning is...' (Boud 2006, p. 23)

In the in-text reference, name the author of the chapter.

Boud, D 2006, 'Aren't we all learner-centred now?: the bittersweet flavour of success', in P Ashwin (ed.), Changing higher education: the development of learning and teaching, Routledge, London, pp. 19–32.

Book: Translator & Author

(Marklund 2011) Marklund, L 2011, Exposed, trans. N Smith, Random House, Canada.
Book: Organisation as Author

(Australian Bureau of Statistics 2011)

Department of Health and Family Services prepared the guidelines (DHFS 2007)

Abbreviations can be used for long organisational names but be consistent.

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2011, 2011 census dictionary, cat. no. 2901.0, ABS, Canberra.

Department of Health and Family Services 2007, Youth suicide in Australia: the National Youth Suicide Prevention Strategy, AGPS, Canberra.

E-book (Rosen 2011)
Rosen (2011) regards...

Rosen, L  2011, The culture of Islam: changing aspects of contemporary Muslim life, University of Chicago Press, Chicago.

E-books are referenced in the same way as print books.

Book on eReader

(Tsiolkas 2010)

For direct quotations of online material without pagination, name the major sections, chapter section, and paragraph number.

Tsiolkas, C 2010, The slap, eReader version, accessed 14 September 2011 from Amazon.com.
Multiple works same author Marketing requires matching your customers needs (McDonald & Payne 1996, 2006)
McDonald and Payne (1996, 2006) state...

McDonald, M & Payne, A 1996, Marketing planning for services, Butterworth-Heinemann, Oxford.

McDonald, M & Payne, A 2006, Marketing plans for service businesses: a complete guide, 2nd edn, Elsevier Butterworth-Heinemann, Oxford.

Multiple works same author, same year

The illustrations in Branford & Coutts (2015a, 2015b) highlight how line drawings add to the textual message ... 

Branford, A & Coutts, L 2015a, The precious ring, Walker Books Australia, Newtown, NSW.

Branford, A & Coutts, L 2015b, The wishing seed, Walker Books Australia, Newtown, NSW.

Secondary Sources: When you are referring to the ideas or words of an author who has been referenced in the book you are referencing 

'...optimistic, independent yet good at collaboration' (Tapscott, cited in El-Shamy 2004, p. 25).

Provide names of both authors.

El-Shamy, S 2004, How to design and deliver training for the new and emerging generations, Wiley, San Francisco.

Provide the reference for the book that you actually read.

Classical Works

'Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself' (John 15:4, New International Version).

If you are quoting a verse or extract, you do not need to provide a reference enty.

If you are referring to a particular edition for a significant reason, reference in the same way as a print book.

William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, act 3, scene 2, line 74 illustrates the involvement of family ....

You do not need to provide a Reference List entry.


Video Transcript

2017 Harvard Book reference – video transcript

This video will demonstrate how to reference a book using Victoria University’s Harvard style. Follow the same steps to reference an e-book.

Slide 2 Image on screen: In text- example. Open Bracket first author’s surname name ampersand second authors surname year close bracket. Bibliography example. Explanation: In Harvard Style you must acknowledge your sources of information in the text of your writing and in a reference list at the end. Brief details of your sources are provided in the text of your writing, full details are listed in the reference list. References in your reference list are listed in alphabetical order by the author’s last name.

Slide 3 Image on screen: Paragraph of writing. Explanation: When presenting ideas or information from a source, such as a book include the authors’ surname and date of publication in brackets within the text of your writing. Where you refer to the author’s name in the body of the text, include the date of publication in brackets. When quoting directly from the source include the page number and place quotation marks around the quote.

Slide 4 Image on screen: Book details. Title page. Verso page. Explanation: The information needed to reference a book can be found on the title page and verso page. The verso page is the page following the title page.

Slide 5 Image on screen: Title page image. Author’s name highlighted on title page. Author’s name added to Step 1 text box. First author’s surname, initial & Second author’s surname, initial. Explanation: When creating a reference for a book to include in a reference list the first element is the author’s name.  Include each authors’ surname, followed by their initials.

Slide 6 Image on screen: Verso page image. Date of publication highlighted on Verso page. Publication year added to text box. Explanation: The date of publication is next, this is found on the verso page. Where multiple publication dates are given select the most recent, as this is the publication you have read.

Slide 7 Image on screen: Title page image. Title highlighted on title page. Title: subtitle (in italics) added to Step 3 text box. Explanation: Following the date of publication is the title and subtitle. The title and subtitle are always in italics.

Slide 8 Image on screen: Title page image. Edition statement highlighted on title page. Number of edition followed by edn added to text box. Explanation: The edition number is placed after the title of the book, followed by the abbreviation edn. It is not necessary to include edition information for a first edition.

Slide 9 Image on screen: Verso page. Publisher information highlighted on verso page. Name of publisher added to text box. Explanation: Next is the publisher’s name.

Slide 10 Image on screen: Verso page. Publisher information highlighted on verso page. Place of publication added to text box. Explanation: The publisher’s name is followed by the place of publication. If two or more cities are listed as places of publication include only the first-listed.

Slide 11 Image on screen: Elements of a reference. Author, year, Title: subtitle, edition, publisher, place of publication. Notice all of the elements of the reference are separated by commas. Explanation: This is your complete Harvard reference ready to be included in your Reference list in alphabetical order.

Slide 12 Further help available on Victoria University’s Harvard libguide (http://libraryguides.vu.edu.au/harvard) or go to the contacts and help page on the library website.

(video ends)