What is referencing?
Referencing is a standardised system of referring to sources of information or knowledge in your work. It comprises a marker in the text, which refers the reader to a list of references (Harvard approach) or footnotes/endnotes (running notes approach).
Referencing is one of the things that distinguishes academic writing from most other types of writing. There are three key reasons that we ask for references:
What referencing style should I use?
Most courses recommend the 'Cite them right' version of Harvard. However, some courses specify or give the option of specific styles, which may or may not follow the Harvard approach. These include:
In the Harvard approach the author surname, date of publication, and page numbers (if relevant) are included in the text of your work, as follows:
Agamben (1993, pp. 178-179) argued that "the milk should go in before the tea."
It has been argued that "the milk should go in before the tea." (Agamben, 1993, pp. 178-179)
These in-text references refer your reader to a list of references, which include the full reference:
Agamben, G. (1993) The Coming community. Minneapolis, MN: Minnesota University Press.
Running notes approach
In the running notes approach a number is used in the text instead:
It has been argued that the "milk should go in before the tea" (1)
This number refers the reader to a footnote or endnote:
1. Giorgio Agamben, The coming community (Minneapolis, MN: Minnesota University Press), pp. 178-179
Up until 2022, the library has maintained a specific style for the university called Westminster Harvard. This is being phased out in favour of the version of Harvard provided by Cite them right. There is very little difference between the two, with the key differences listed below.
Page numbers should be included when referring to a specific section of a book or article, even if you don’t use a quotation.
List of references
The following tools can help you automatically generate references. Some references generated this way, need a little editing to make sure they are consistent with the referencing style you are using.
Use the citation feature to generate a reference.
Copy and paste references from the ‘cite’ tab on Google Scholar.
Import references into Microsoft Word using the Researcher feature under the References tab.
Generate references for hundreds of styles using a URL or ISBN number
There are also a number of reference managers (e.g. Refworks) that can help you manage a large database of references if you are a more experienced researcher, or are keen on technology. There is more information about these here.