Skip to Main Content

Library Guides

Referencing: FAQs

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


This page provides a quick guide to frequently asked questions, as well as some general advice on referencing. More comprehensive guidance is available from the Cite Them Right online guide.



For anything not here, or for clarification, use Cite Them Right

No author
Most sources without an author can be attributed to an organisation (e.g. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, 2013) - a good tip is to check who the copyright is attributed to. 

Abbreviations for organisational names
You can abbreviate organisation names in subsequent in-text references as long as you indicate the abbreviation in the initial reference (e.g. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development [OECD], 2013).

No date
If there is no date, you can put ‘no date’ in place of the date or abbreviate this to n.d.

Online sources - date accessed
For now, Harvard (Cite Them Right) asks for the date accessed for sources unless you are using a DOI (Digital Object Identifier) instead of a URL.  Some other styles (e.g. APA, Chicago) do not require this. 

Cite Them Right also allows you to cite an ebook as if you are citing the print version, providing the pagination is the same as the print version.

Westminster Harvard asks for the date accessed whether using a DOI or not. 

Images - references and including images in your work

Cite Them Right provides advice on referring to images but does not include advice on including images in your work, such as how to caption an image and create a list of figures.  See the advice here.

Reprints / Facsimile editions

In Harvard styles, use the original date of publication in the text, and supplement with the full publication details in the list of references - e.g. Shelley (1818) in the text, and the following in the list of references:  Shelley, M. (1818) Frankenstein. Middlesex: Penguin, 1992.

You should only cite a specific chapter if the book is a collection of texts rather than one continuous work.

Secondary referencing
In Harvard approaches, when using a source you only know ‘second hand’ (i.e. through another source), you should indicate this in the text:

Smith 2008, cited in Jones 2010

You should only include the text you read in your reference list (i.e. Jones, 2010).  This is not the same in every style - e.g. Chicago asks you to provide both sources.

CIte Them Right video on secondary referencing here.

TIP: Keep secondary referencing to a minimum, and use only when you cannot locate and read the original source.

Two references with the same name/date (Harvard)
If you have two references with the same name/date, you can add letters to distinguish between them (e.g. Singh, 2022a, Singh, 2022b).  Make sure you do this in the in-text reference and the list of references,

Four or more authors
If there are four or more authors, abbreviate this using 'et al' meaning 'and others' (e.g. Smith et al, 2022).  This applies to in-text references and the list of references. 

NB: Some courses may specify that they want to see all authors in the list of references.

Ibid & Op Cit

Neither 'ibid' nor 'op cit' should be used in Cite Them Right Harvard.  In running notes styles, 'ibid' indicates the same source as the immediately preceding source.  The use of 'op cit' for other previously used sources is no longer recommended.

Texts in languages other than English
If referencing a book in its original language, you can give the title exactly as shown in the book or a transliteration from the original language into Roman script. You may also provide a translation of the title in square brackets after the title in the original script:

Pu, S. (1982). 聊齋誌異 [Strange stories of Liaozhai]. Taiyun: Shanxi Renmin Chubanshe.

More examples on Cite Them Right here.

Books in translation
Reference the translation you have read, not the original work.

Deilbes, M. (2013). The path. Translated from the Spanish by G. Haycraft and R. Haycraft. London: Dolphin Books.

Bibliography vs a list of references 
A list of references is used in Harvard approaches and only includes sources referenced in the text. A bibliography is used in running notes styles or created as a work in its own right and might include background reading that you have not referenced in the text.   There is a lot of confusion around this, so you might be asked to create a bibliography, even if you are using Harvard.

Footnotes (Harvard)
Footnotes are not used in the Harvard approach for references. However, while uncommon, you could still use footnotes for other authorial notes if you wish.

Word count - are references included?
A list of references should be excluded from the word count.

How many references do I need?
The number of references you use depends on so many factors its not possible to say how many you should aim for.  For a two thousand-word essay, it could be five or maybe less or more than twenty.  Rather than focus on the number, focus on finding good quality sources that help you address the question posed in your assignment.

Cite Them Right vs Westminster Harvard

The university's style guide 'Westminster Harvard" has been phased out.

Whatever referencing style you use, follow the guidelines as carefully as possible, as marks are often allocated for your referencing.  If you are unsure, please ask a member of the AELD team for help.

Check with your module leader which referencing system you should use if you are unsure.


How is Cite Them Right different to Westminster Harvard?


There is very little difference between Cite Them Right Harvard and Westminster Harvard.  When using Cite them right Harvard, you should note the following, which are different to Westminster Harvard or watch our short video: Cite Them Right Harvard v. Westminster Harvard

In-text references

  • Page numbers should be included when referring to specific pages of a book or article, even if you don’t use a quotation.

List of references

  • Article titles in Cite Them Right are 'formatted like this', with single quote marks ending with a comma instead of no quote marks and ending in a full stop as in the Westminster style.
  • There is no full stop after the date of publication.
  • For chapters or journal articles, include pp. before the page numbers.
  • For online sources, the date accessed should be in round brackets instead of square brackets.
  • When referencing an ebook with the same pagination as the print version, refer to it as if you are referring to the print version. 
  • Do not include the date accessed when using a DOI (Digital Object Identifier) instead of a URL for journal articles.
  • For media from streaming services (Netflix, Box of Broadcasts, etc), include the name of the service but not the URL.