Harvard Referencing: Getting started with Harvard referencing

In-text reference

All sources of information such as quotes or borrowed ideas must be acknowledged in your work.

In the Harvard  'author/date' style an in-text reference consists of the surname of the author/authors or name of the authoring body and year of publication.  Click on the 'Sample In-Text References' tab above for examples of how to use in-text citations in your work.

An in-text reference will consist of:


If you quote directly from an author or to cite a specific idea or piece of information from the source, you need to include the page number of the quote in your in-text reference.


The Reference List

Your Reference List should be located on a separate page at the end of your essay and titled: Reference List. It should include the details of all your in-text citations, arranged alphabetically A-Z by author surname, click on the 'Sample Reference List' tab above for more details. The terms ‘Bibliography’ and ‘Reference List’ are often used interchangeably, however a Reference List only includes items you have referenced in your assignment whereas a Bibliography also includes items used to prepare your assignment. Check with your lecturer or tutor which one they require.

Reference List entry for a book


Reference list entry for a journal article


Reference list entries contain all the information that someone needs to follow up your source. Reference lists in Harvard are arranged alphabetically by author. If there is no author, use the title of the resource.

How to use quotes in Harvard

Direct quotes under 25 words are included in the body of your essay enclosed in single inverted commas and followed immediately by your in-text citation, e.g.

in recent years this has become more apparent. As Jennifer Craik notes 'at best, an Australian sense 
of style is regarded as anything that is practical, informal and casual' (Craik  2010, p. 158).

If a direct quote is 25 words or more it is called a block quote. For block quotes, omit the quotation marks, start the quote as a new paragraph on a new line and indent the whole quote 1 cm from the left-hand margin of the page. Don't indent from the right hand margin. Introduce the quote with a colon. As a rule block quotes should be used sparingly in your essay. As for a short quote your in-text citation is added immediately after the quote, e.g.

The Australian cultural renaissance of the post-war era is well documented but it is debatable whether the concept of an Australian fashion identity has permeated beyond our shores: 

The idea of "fashion" as being a characteristic of Australian culture is frequently regarded as a non sequitur. Fashion is seen as belonging to far-flung cosmopolitan sites elsewhere while Australia is a far-flung site cut off from the trappings of civilization. Equally, Australia has long been regarded as being cut off from the "finer things" of civility, fashion,and good taste. At best, an Australian sense of style is regarded as anything that is practical, informal, and casual—T-shirts, practical footwear, moleskin trousers, and wide-brim hats; as an outfit thrown together without much thought (Craik  2010, p. 158).

Secondary Sources: or what if I want to reference a quote that someone else has referenced?

If you read an article or book which references a quote that you want to reference, always refer to the source where you found the information, not the original source. For example:

Sue reads an article by Alex Byrne in the Australian Library Journal in which he cites or refers to statements made by Tim O'Reilly on his website at http://www.oreillynet.com/pub/a/oreilly/tim/news/2005/09/30/what-is-web-20.html Sue wants to refer to O'Reilly's statement in her assignment.

Sue would acknowledge O'Reilly in her text but her reference is to the source where she saw the information. Sue might write as her in-text reference:

(O'Reilly, cited in Byrne 2008)

In her Reference List Sue would write a reference for Byrne's article because that's where she sourced the information. The entry in her References would be:

Byrne, A 2008, 'Web 2.0 strategies in libraries and information services', The Australian Library Journal, vol. 57 no. 4, pp. 365-376.

Video transcript

In this presentation, you will learn the basics of how to create an in-text reference and a reference list in Harvard Style.

So, what is the Harvard style of referencing? The Harvard style is an author-date referencing system, which draws upon the sixth edition of the ‘Style Manual for Authors Editors and Printers’. Each work or source referred to within the body of your writing is given an in-text reference and an entry in the Reference list at the end of the document.

So, how do I format an in-text reference? When formatting your in-text reference you need to consider the following: Are you quoting directly, or in other words copying the exact words as well as the ideas from a source? Or, are you paraphrasing or summarising the words or ideas of others in your own words? If using a direct quote from a source, include the Author’s family name, the year of publication and the page number in round brackets and place single quotation marks around the direct quote. Alternatively, the Author’s name can be used anywhere within the sentence. In this case, place the year of publication and the page number in round brackets directly following the Author’s family name. When paraphrasing or summarising the ideas or opinions of others, include the author’s family name and the year of publication in round brackets before the full stop at the end of the sentence. If including the author anywhere in the sentence, place the year of publication in round brackets directly after the author’s family name.

So, how do I reference when there is more than one author of a particular source? Here are some examples of how you would do an in-text reference when there is more than one author of a particular source.

The next component of Harvard Referencing is to compile a Reference list. A reference list includes the full details of all your in-text references and is listed on a separate page at the end of you assignment, titled ‘References’. It is arranged in alphabetical order by Authors’ family names.

For further assistance, refer to the Harvard Referencing guide OR Contact us through ‘Ask a Librarian’.

(Video ends)