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Library Guides

Citation and Referencing Guide: Referencing your work

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

Citing references in text

Citations appear in the text of your assignment. The examples below show you how to cite in the text using the Westminster Harvard style. 

Keeping good records of your research sources will help you reference correctly (Kirton, 2011).   
Kirton (2011) recommends keeping good records of your research sources to help you reference correctly.

If your source has two or three authors you should include all names in the text using ‘and’, not ‘&’, between the final two authors’ names.

Class activities need to be aligned with intended outcomes and should build on relevant knowledge (Biggs and Tang, 2011).

Establishing agreed ground rules is vital in effective group working (Ramsay, Maier and Price, 2010).

If there are more than three authors you should include the first named author’s surname and then add ‘et al.’

Knowledge of what managers do is a prerequisite of studying management accounting (Seal et al., 2015).

If an organisation (e.g. Department of Health, Arcadia Group Limited) is named as the author of a work rather than a person, you should cite the organisation’s name. Always use the full name, e.g. always use ‘Department of Health’, don’t abbreviate to ‘DoH’. If you cannot find an author, personal or corporate, use the title of the source.

Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States together receive more than 50% of all foreign students worldwide (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, 2013).

When referring to a chapter or section which is part of a larger work, you should cite the author of the chapter not the editor of the whole work.

“The growth of sectors such as ecotourism show that there is a strong touristic desire to connect to the natural environment” (Cater, 2013, p119).

If you quote directly from a source you must use quotation marks and insert the author’s surname, year of publication and the page number of the quotation. Check with your school if they require single or double quotation marks as this varies.

“Search engine optimization and marketing communication are keys to finding and keeping customers” (Poloian, 2013, p217).
Poloian states that “search engine optimization and marketing communication are keys to finding and keeping customers” (2013, p217).

When citing online sources, the author’s name is followed by the publication date in the text, as explained previously. If you are quoting directly from a website it is impossible to cite exact page numbers.

Citation from online source with an author:
“Salinger plays on readers’ dependence on Holden’s worldview—and unreliable narration—often, and perhaps most subtly through language” (Wright, 2013).

Citation from online source without an author:
The Arcadia Group comprises nine high street brands, eight online stores and employs 45,000 people (Arcadia Group Limited, no date).

If you cite two or more works written in the same year by the same author, then you must differentiate between them in both the text and your list of references by listing them as a, b, c etc.

Natural selection can cause rapid adaptive changes in insect populations (Ayala, 1965a) and various laboratory experiments have been conducted to assess this theory (Ayala, 1965b).

When citing a secondary source, include the surname of the author and year of publication of that source in your text, followed by ‘cited in’ and the surname of the author and year of publication of the primary source you are actually reading. Only the source that you have read and used, i.e. Kline et al. in the example below, should be listed in your references. Ideally, you should only cite secondary sources if you are unable to locate and read the original source yourself.

Sheff (1993) notes that Nintendo invested heavily in advertising (cited in Kline et al., 2003, p118).


The list of references appears on a separate page at the end of your work and gives the full details of every source that you have cited in your text in alphabetical order according to the author’s surname. This list of references may be called the bibliography.

Your tutor may ask for the ‘bibliography’ to be more than just a list of references, as outlined above. They may also want to see the full details of everything you have read during the research of your assignment, regardless of whether or not you cited the source in the text.

Remember to check your course handbook/ guidelines so you are familiar with exactly what your school or department requires. All sources must be referenced in a consistent way. The examples given here provide a guide to the format and punctuation you should use.

For shorter assignments or when you need to quickly compile a reference list, we recommend using ZoteroBib — see our YouTube video for more information. Otherwise, you may wish to use reference management software — see the other tabs in this guide for more details. Whichever you use, you must beware that no referencing tool will be perfect and you will still need to check it has formulated the references correctly, and manually edit them if not.

Book with one, two or three authors​
Poloian, L.R. (2013). Retailing principles: global, multichannel, and managerial viewpoints, 2nd ed. New York: Fairchild.
Biggs, J. and Tang, C. (2011). Teaching for quality learning at university, 4th ed. Maidenhead: Open University Press.
Ramsay, P., Maier, P. and Price, G. (2010). Study skills for business and management students. Harlow: Longman.

Book with more than three authors
Some schools/departments require you to list all the authors of a work, others allow you to use ‘et al.’ in your list of references. Make sure you know which style is preferred by your subject area(s).

Listing all the authors:
Seal, W.B., Garrison, R.H., Rohde, C. and Noreen, E.W. (2015). Management accounting, 5th ed. Maidenhead: McGraw-Hill.
Using ‘et al.’ instead of listing all four of the authors:
Seal, W.B. et al. (2015). Management accounting, 5th ed. Maidenhead: McGraw-Hill.

Cater, C. (2013). Nature bites back: impacts of the environment on tourism. In: Holden, A. and Fennell, D. (eds.) The Routledge handbook of tourism and the environment. London: Routledge, 119-129.

Roast, C. (2012). Constraining and creating solutions: reflections on the analysis of early design. In: Winckler, M. Forbrig, P. and Bernhaupt, R., eds. Human-centred software engineering: 4th international conference, HCSE 2012. Toulouse, France. 29-31 October 2012. Heidelberg: Springer, 130-145.

Khan, A. (2013). How to reference. General discussion [forum post]. Research methods. Available from [Accessed 29 July 2014].

Rear window (2010). Directed by Alfred Hitchcock [DVD]. United Kingom: Universal Pictures.

Murphy, E. (2014). Referencing help guide. [email]. Sent to Sara Goddard, 16 July.

Rothko, M. (1959). Red on maroon [image]. Available from [Accessed 29 July 2014].

Electronic journals (e-journals)
Electronic journals may have a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) and/or a URL. Either can be used to say where the article is available from.

E-journal article reference using URL
Pintz, C. and Posey, L. (2013). Preparing students for graduate study: an eLearning approach. Nurse Education Today, 33 (7), 734-738. Available from [Accessed 13 January 2015].

E-journal article reference using a Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Pintz, C. and Posey, L. (2013). Preparing students for graduate study: an eLearning approach. Nurse Education Today, 33 (7), 734-738. Available from

Print journals
Dolgin, E. (2012). Rewriting evolution. Nature, 486 (7404), 460-462.

If the same author has two articles published in the same year, distinguish as follows:

Ayala, F. J. (1965a). Evolution of fitness. Science, 150 (3698), 903-905.
Ayala, F.J. (1965b). Relative fitness of populations. Genetics, 51 (4), 527-544.

Smith, J. (2013). Week 3: how to reference your work [lecture notes]. Research methods. Available from [Accessed 29 July 2014].

The Housing Act 2004, c.34.

Smith v Northamptonshire County Council [2009] 4 All ER 557.

Petridis, A. (2015). Rocking the casbah: the gig of a lifetime back on stage. The Guardian, 16 March. Available from [Accessed 16 March 2015].

Mowlam, A. et al. (2012). Active at 60: local evaluation research: final report. London: Department for Work and Pensions. Available from _data/file/214572/rrep786.pdf [Accessed 26 March 2015].

Dedicated Followers of Fashion (2012). Britain On Film, [television programme]. BBC Four, 27 November 20:30. Available from [Accessed 31 July 2014].

Goldacre, B. (2015). I did a Newsnight thing about how politics needs better data. Bad Science. Available from http://badscience/2015/02/ [Accessed 12 March 2015].

University of Westminster (2014). Welcome to the library. YouTube. Available from [Accessed 12 March 2015].


In cases where you are unable to identify an actual person as the author of a publication, particularly when using internet sources, you should use the name of the company or organisation shown most prominently on the source, e.g. BBC, Office for National Statistics. If you are unable to identify the date use (no date).

British Dyslexia Association (no date). Dyslexia and specific difficulties: Overview. British Dyslexia Association. Available from [Accessed 12 March 2015].