Harvard Referencing: Internet/websites

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Harvard Referencing: web content

Basic format to reference material from the web

The basics of a Reference List entry for a Web page or Web document:

  • Author or authors. The surname is followed by first initials.
  • Year.
  • Title (in italics).
  • Publisher. Where there is a corporate author, the publisher and author may be the same.
  • Date viewed.
  • Web address <in angled brackets>.

Cancer Council 2017, Causes of cancer, Cancer Council, viewed 21 May 2018, <https://www.cancer.org.au/about-cancer/causes-of-cancer/>. 

  • Include author(s) name(s) for internet/website references where possible (an author may be a corporate body or organisation responsible for creating, producing or publishing a webpage or website.
  • Where there is no identifiable author or authoring body, use the title of the webpage or website
  • The year is the time of the last update of the web page or document.

Referencing material from the web: Examples

Material Type In-text example Reference List example


Indirect quote

Cancer might be caused by smoking, alcohol consumption, dietary and other factors, but is not due to stress (Cancer Council 2017)

Cancer Council 2017, Causes of cancer, Cancer Council, viewed 21 May 2018,   <https://www.cancer.org.au/about-cancer/causes-of-cancer/>. 

Webpage: No Author

(The Guardian view on Jeremy Corbyn and Ireland 2018)

Only use the first few words of a page title if it is too long.

The Guardian view on Jeremy Corbyn and Ireland: all about the border 2018, The Guardian, viewed 24 May 2018,  <https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/may/24/the-guardian-view-on-jeremy-corbyn-and-ireland-all-about-the-border>.

Webpage: No Date

(Brown n.d.)

Brown, S n.d., 12 ways to save money by using what you’ve got on hand, viewed 29 May 2018, <https://www.stayathomemum.com.au/my-money/money-saving-tips/dozen-hidden-ways-youre-saving-money-didnt-even-realise/>.

Use the abbreviation n.d. for "no date".

Web Document​

(Dugdale et al. 2018)

Dugdale, S,  Holeton, R,  Finkelstein, A,  Johnston, J & Smith, R 2018, 7 Things you should know about emerging classroom technologies, Educause, viewed 29 June 2018, <https://library.educause.edu/resources/2018/4/7-things-you-should-know-about-emerging-classroom-technologies>.

Web Document

Building Code

Australian Building Codes Board states that there are requirements to become accredited (2017, p.2).
The requirements for WaterMark accreditation are set out in the Approved Certifier Agreement…(Australian Building Codes Board 2017, p. 2).

Australian Building Codes Board 2017, Watermark Certification Scheme, Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, Canberra, viewed 21 May 2018, <https://www.abcb.gov.au/Resources/Publications/Certification/WaterMark-Brochure>.

Web Document

Government Report

'The strategy recognised that closing the gap in Indigenous disadvantage would require long-term, generational commitment, with effort to be directed across a range of priority areas' (Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (PMC) 2018, p. 11).

Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet 2018, Closing the gap - Prime Minister's report 2018, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Canberra, viewed 13 February 2019, <https://www.pmc.gov.au/sites/default/files/reports/closing-the-gap-2018/sites/default/files/ctg-report-20183872.pdf?a=1>.

Web Document

Australian Bureau of Statistics

Low wealth households have not experienced any real improvement in net worth in more than a decade (Australian Bureau of Statistics 2017).

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2017, Household income and wealth, Australia, 2015-16, cat. no. 6523.0, ABS, Canberra, viewed 16 March 2018, <http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/

Computer Software (OpenOffice.org 2017)

OpenOffice.org 2017, computer software, downloaded 17 May 2018, <http://www.openoffice.org>.

Video Transcript

Video Transcript: Harvard: Web Content

This introductory video will demonstrate how to reference web pages and web documents using the Victoria University Harvard referencing style.

The essential elements you require to create a web page reference include: The Author. [Call out: The author may be a person, or an organisation]; Year of publication; Title of web page or web document; Publisher; the date you viewed the content in the format day, month, year; and the Web address.

The use of correct punctuation is another important element of Harvard style. [Call out: for the purpose of demonstration we have highlighted some of the elements in red]. And notice that the title of the web page or document is in italics.

Highlighted is the key information on a webpage required to create a full reference. [Call out: You may need to look at the entire page to find all the required information]. Taking the key information from the entire webpage, this is the correct reference for a webpage with an organization as author.

This is an example of a web document. [Call out: note that in this example, the author and the publisher are the same organisation]. You may need to use the website the document was retrieved from, along with the document itself in order to locate all the required information.

The names of organisations as authors are usually listed in full each time they appear in an in-text citation. However, where the organisation’s name is long and the abbreviation is in general use, the name can be abbreviated in subsequent citations. In the first occurrence include the full name as well as the abbreviation.

If there is no date available, use the abbreviation “n.d.”, which stands for "no date“.

In a blog post, note the inclusion of the description ‘weblog post’ and the exact date of the post following the blog title. [Call out: Note the description ‘weblog post’ and the exact date of the post].

Remember all in-text references should be listed alphabetically in the reference list at the end of the document. Your reference list is presented on a separate page titled ‘References’

For further assistance, refer to the VU Harvard Referencing Guide. Or, contact the Victoria University library through ‘Ask a Librarian’ chat or email, or ask for help at any Library service point.

[Video Ends.]