Bibliographic Referencing

Where to find the details needed in a reference list

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Where to find the details needed in a reference list


The details needed for a book can be found on the front and back of the title page. Make sure you locate the name of the publisher rather than the printer or typesetter. You need the name of the publisher in your reference list. The Library Catalogue gives the publisher's name if you are in any doubt.

Ignore any reprint dates; you need the date when the first, second, third edition etc. of the book was published according to which edition of the book you are using.
Journal articles

The details needed for a journal article can usually be found on the contents list, front cover or article itself.

Printed publications: examples of references


The basic pattern for a reference to a book is:

Author, Initials. (Year). Title of book. Place of publication: Publisher.


Moore, M. H., Estrich, S., McGillis, D., & Spelman, W. (1984). Dangerous offenders: the elusive target of justice. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

Note: List up to 6 authors. The 7th and subsequent authors are abbreviated to et al.

Article in edited book (Chapter)

The basic pattern for a reference to a chapter in an edited book (where the chapters have been written by several different people) is:

Author of chapter, Initials. (Year). Title of chapter. In Initials. Name of Editor/s (Ed.) Title of book (pp.start and end page numbers of chapter). Place of publication: Publisher.


Vygotsky, L. S. (1991). Genesis of the higher mental functions. In P. Light, S. Sheldon, & M. Woodhead (Eds.), Learning to think (pp. 32-41). London: Routledge.

Encyclopedia entry

Lijphart, A. (1995). Electoral systems. In The encyclopaedia of democracy (Vol. 2, pp. 412-422). London: Routledge.

If the entry has no author, begin the reference with the entry title followed by the date of publication.
Government publication

Great Britain. Command Papers. (1991). Health of the nation (Cm 1523). London: HMSO.


Birney, A. J., & Hall, M. M. (1981). Early identification of children with written language difficulties (Report No. 81-502). Washington DC: National Educational Association.

Conference paper in published proceedings

Borgman, C. L., Bower, J., & Krieger, D. (1989). From hands-on science to hands-on information retrieval. In J. Katzer, & G. B. Newby (Eds.), Proceedings of the 52nd ASIS annual meeting: Vol. 26. Managing information and technology (pp. 96-100). Medford, NJ: Learned Information.

Journal article

The basic pattern for a reference to a journal article is:

Author, Initials. (Year) Title of article. Title of journal, Volume number - if there is one (Issue number), start and end page numbers of article.


Noguchi, T., Kitawaki, J., Tamura, T., Kim, T., Kanno, H., Yamamoto, T., et al. H. (1993). Relationship between aromatase activity and steroid receptor levels in ovarian tumors from postmenopausal women. Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 44(4-6), 657-660.

Weekly magazine article

Barrett, L. (2001, August 23). Daewoo's drive to survive in the UK. Marketing Week, 22-23.

Newspaper article

Caffeine linked to mental illness. (1991, July 13). New York Times, pp. B13, B15.

Young, H. (1996, July 25)

Battle of snakes and ladders. The Guardian, p. 15.

Two or more works by the same author(s) with the same publication date

Where an author (or particular group of authors) has more than one work in a particular year, list them in title order and follow the date with a lower case letter a, b, c, ... For example:

Harding, S. (1986a). The instability of the analytical categories of feminist theory. Signs, 11(4), 645-64.

Harding, S. (1986b). The science question in feminism. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

When referred to in the text these letters are also used (see last page section b).
Anonymous works

If a work is signed "Anonymous", your reference must begin with the word Anonymous, followed by date etc. as normal.

If no author is shown, put the title in the normal author position.
Note on page numbers

Use pp. for page range only for encyclopedia entries, multi-page newspaper articles and chapters or articles in edited books. For articles in journals or magazines use the numbers alone.

Electronic sources: examples of references
The basic pattern for a reference to an electronic source is:

Author, Initials. (Year). Title. Retrieved month, day, year, from Internet address.


Banks, I. (n.d.). The NHS Direct healthcare guide. Retrieved August 29, 2001, from

  • If no date is shown on the document, use n.d.

  • If the author is not given, begin your reference with the title of the document.

  • If a document is part of a large site such as that for a university or government department, give the name of the parent organisation and the relevant department before the Web address:

Electronic journal articles which are duplicates of the printed version

Use the same reference format as for a printed journal article but add "Electronic version" in square brackets after the article title:

Lussier, R. N., & Pfeifer, S. (2001). A crossnational prediction model for business success [Electronic version]. Journal of Common Market Studies, 39(3), 228-239.
If you are referencing an online article where the format differs from the printed version or which includes additional data or commentaries, you should add the date you retrieved the document and the Web address (URL).
Articles in Internet-only journals

Korda, L. (2001, July). The making of a translator. Translation Journal, 5(3). Retrieved August 21, 2001 from

  • Use the complete publication date shown on the article

  • Note that page numbers are not given

  • Whenever possible, the URL you give should link directly to the article itself

  • Break a URL that goes onto another line after a slash or before a full-stop. Do not insert a hyphen at the break.

Articles retrieved from a database

Use the format appropriate to the type of work retrieved and add a retrieval date, plus the name of the database:

McVeigh, T. (2000, July 9). How your gestures can do the talking. The Observer, p.7. Retrieved September 10, 2001, from The Guardian and The Observer on CD-ROM database.

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