This guide provides a quick introduction to referencing to those who are new to the practice. It also explains the transition from Westminster Harvard to the version of Harvard provided by Cite Them Right in 2022/23.
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 Harvard approach, also known as the author-date approach. However, some courses/modules specify or give the option of specific styles, which may or may not follow the Harvard approach. These include:
Check with your course/module what specific style you should use.
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 at the end of your work, which are organised alphabetically, and 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 of the author/date:
It has been argued that the "milk should go in before the tea" (1)
This number refers the reader to a footnote (at the bottom of the page) or endnote (at the end of the text):
1. Giorgio Agamben, The coming community (Minneapolis, MN: Minnesota University Press), pp. 178-179
If you are using a running notes approach, you may be asked to also include a bibliography which lists the sources you have used alphabetically by surname, along with any other sources you have read but not referred to in the text.
Up until 2022, the library maintained a specific style for the university called Westminster Harvard. This is being phased out during the academic year 2022/23 in favour of the version of Harvard provided by Cite them right.
For students still required to use Westminster Harvard, we have retained the guidance for it on this library guide and the Westminster Harvard PDF guide is still available.
Cite Them Right Harvard
There is very little difference between Cite Them Right Harvard and Westminster Harvard. The key differences in Cite Them Right Harvard in comparison to Westminster Harvard are listed below.
List of references
NB: courses differ in the extent to which they attend to the finer details of referencing when it comes to marks. Ask whoever is marking your work if you are unsure whether to use Westminster Harvard or Cite Them Right Harvard.
The following tools can help you automatically generate references.
NB: References generated this way often need 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 (does not include URLs).
Microsoft Word (365)
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.