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Library Guides

Referencing: Hom

This guide provides resources to support your citation and referencing practice in line with academic requirements

Introduction to referencing

This guide provides a quick introduction to referencing to those who are new to the practice.

For a longer introduction and comprehensive guidance use Cite Them Right

Bloomsbury Cite them right - a student's must-have online referencing tool

Referencing basics

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).

Why reference?
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:

  1. Shows the reader the research undertaken to create a piece of writing
  2. Gives the reader the information to find the sources used
  3. Makes it clear what work is original to you and what you have sourced from research, so that the work can be assessed appropriately (i.e. you are not plagiarising others work)

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:

  • OSCOLA (Law)
  • APA (Psychology)
  • IEEE (Computing)
  • Oxford (Architecture, and History)
  • Chicago (MA Photography)

Referencing examples

Harvard approach
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


Westminster Harvard

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.  

In-text references

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

  • When referencing an ebook which has the same pagination as the print version, refer to it as if you are referring to the print version. 
  • When using a DOI (Digital Object Identifier) instead of a URL for journal articles, do not include the date accessed.
  • The date accessed should be in round brackets instead of square brackets.
  • There is no full stop after the date of publication.
  • For chapters or journal articles, include pp. before the page numbers.
  • For media from streaming media (Netflix, Box of Broadcasts, etc) include the name of the service, but not the URL.

Referencing tools

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.

Library Search
Use the citation feature to generate a reference.

Google Scholar
Copy and paste references from the ‘cite’ tab on Google Scholar.

Microsoft Word
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

Reference managers
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.