Harvard referencing rmit university Library guide



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Harvard referencing examples

RMIT University Library

Updated: June 2017

Important: This is a guide only. To avoid losing marks:



  1. Confirm referencing requirements of your school with your lecturer, and

  2. Use Snooks & Co 2002, Style manual: for authors, editors and printers, 6th edn, John Wiley & Sons, Milton QLD to clarify referencing rules or if you need more examples. This guide is based on this publication.

Harvard is an author-date referencing style. You need to follow this style when acknowledging your information sources.

Harvard style requires in-text references and the reference list. In-text references appear within the body of the document. They include the author(s) family name and the year of publication, with extra details if required, such as page numbers. A reference list provides full details of all in-text references at the end of the document.


In-text references

General rules


  • Use in-text references to acknowledge each author or source of information (print or online) used within your writing either by paraphrasing or using a direct quote.

  • In-text reference details include the author(s) family name (or company or organisation name, if the author is a company or organisation) and year of publication, with extra information if required, such as page numbers.

  • Use an ampersand (&) when listing authors in parentheses. For example: (Lewis & Lewis 2015). Use the full word 'and' when mentioning an author(s) in a sentence. For example: Lewis and Lewis (2015) ... .

  • When a work has two or three authors, always list all author(s) names every time the reference occurs in the text.

  • When a work has four or more authors, list the first author(s) name followed by et al. For example: Haslam et al. (2013) ... or (Haslam et al. 2013).

  • If the author of a reference is unknown, list the reference based on the title of the work. For example: Aged care providers are starting to introduce new fee schemes in response to changes to Federal government funding (The Sunday Age 2 October 2016).

  • If the publication date of a reference is unknown, use n.d.

Direct quote is when you are using the exact words of the author(s). Do not overuse direct quotes. Put direct quotes between single inverted commas (quotation marks), and add a page number. If no page number is available, include the location of the quote using a paragraph number or section heading. The word paragraph can be abbreviated to para.

If you omit words from a direct quote, you will need to add a space followed by three ellipsis dots (...) and another space. For example: Cannon (2012, p. 165) argues that 'changes in corporate approaches to such sensitive areas ... will require coherent change strategies'.

Paraphrasing is when you are expressing the ideas of the author(s) in your own words.

An in-text reference can be inserted at the beginning, middle or end of a sentence.




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