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School of Arts Library Guide: Referencing


This page highlights resources that will help you learn how to reference the sources you are using in academic work correctly.  It also answers the frequently asked questions that students ask year in and year out, and covers using images in your work, which is not covered in most referencing guides. 

If you are new to referencing, or you want to refresh your knowledge, complete the Harvard referencing exercise shown below.

Harvard Referencing workbook

Login to your university Googlemail account, to access this Harvard referencing workbook.  This includes a sample of writing which includes Harvard referencing and a series of questions designed to help you engage with it.  There is also a general introduction to referencing on the first two pages.

Reference manager - MS Word

There are a number of tools you can use to help manage references; you will find information about them here.  However, even experienced researchers in the arts don't always find these worth the effort.  You might however look at the inbuilt reference manager in Microsoft Word to help you create citations and a list of references.  There is help on this LinkedIn Learning course on this..  

Why reference and what style?

Citing or referencing sources is an essential element of academic writing and one of the key things that distinguishes academic writing from most other types of writing.  It is important that you learn how to do it correctly, as if you use other people's work without citing them this is plagiarism and can lead to sanctions.

The most common referencing styles in writing on arts are:

  • Harvard (author-date) style
  • Running notes style (e.g. Chicago - notes and bibliography)

Your course will advise which one you should follow - it is usually Harvard.


A brief introduction to referencing (called citing here) can be viewed in the video below (you will need to register with LinkedIn Learning to view)


Even in published work, errors do occur in references; it is not the end of the world.  The things you should focus on getting right are:

1. consistency - you should follow the same format for every reference

2. accuracy (e.g. spelling of author surnames), and

3. that there is enough information for your reader to find the source.

What is plagiarism and what are the penalties?

There are two parts to the definition of plagiarism set out in the Handbook of Academic Regulations:

  • using others' work without acknowledgement
  • submitting work which you have previously submitted for assessment

(section 10.39)

The penalties for plagiarism are set out in the appendix of section 10 of the regulations.  They differ according to:

  • the extent of plagiarism 
  • whether the plagiarism is verbatim copying or paraphrasing
  • the level of study
  • the number of offences

Avoiding plagiarism

Using direct quotations

  • Put the quotation in quotation marks
  • Cite the source in your text (including the page number if using Harvard)
  • Include a full reference in your list of references

Paraphasing or summarising work

  • Cite the source in your text
  • Include a full reference in your list of references
  • Do more than change a few words - the words and structure need to be your own, even though you are citing another source

The Avoiding plagiarism section of UEFAP sets out reasons for plagiarism, shows examples, gives advice and includes three exercises to complete. The explanation of different types of plagiarism is particularly useful.

Referencing FAQs

How do I cite a source with no author?

If there is no author, you can cite a corporate author.  For example Mintel reports (used by fashion business students) never have named authors, but that does not mean they are anonymous.  The author is Mintel.  This also applies to FAME, WGSN, Euromonitor, MarketLine, etc.

If there is no corporate author then you can cite the title, along with the date of publication.

How do I cite a source with no date?

If there is no date, you can put ‘no date’ in brackets where you would normally put a date.  This is commonly abbreviated to n.d.

How do I cite a source I only know through another source?

Firstly, it's fine to do this a bit, but don’t overdo it.  Ideally, you should seek out the original source and cite that.  

  • Harvard

Cite the source as normal (e.g. author-date) in the text, but also include a citation for the source you have actually consulted, along with the relevant page number.   The citation example in the Referencing your work booklet is as follows: 

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

NB: Only the source you have consulted should be in your list of references (Kline et al in the example above).

  • Chicago

In the Chicago style, you include the details of the original source, and the source you have consulted in the footnote and the bibliography.  Examples below:


1. Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex (New York: Vintage, 1974), 38, cited in Judith Butler, "Performative Acts and Gender Constitution: An Essay in Phenomenology and Feminist Theory," Theatre Journal 40, no. 4 (1988): 519.


Beauvoir, Simone de. The Second Sex. New York: Vintage, 1974. Cited in Judith Butler, "Performative Acts and Gender Constitution: An Essay in Phenomenology and Feminist Theory," Theatre Journal 40, no. 4 (1988): 519-31.

When should I use footnotes?

Footnotes are integral to referencing using the 'running notes' style of referencing.  As well being able to use footnotes to refer your reader to a source, you can also add 'authorial notes' (i.e. text that you think is worth writing but doesn't fit within the main argument).  If you are using Harvard, the assumption is that you don't add that sort of aside; however, it is still acceptable to use footnotes in Harvard - just don't use them for the details of the source.

When should I use op cit, ibid, and et al?

et al - means 'and others' and is used in Harvard for in-text references where there are more than two authors

ibid (ibidem) - means 'in the same place' and is used in Chicago style for a reference in the footnote that is the same as the previous reference.  

op cit (opus citatum) - means 'work previously cited' and is now regarded as old fashioned.  Don't use.

What counts as common knowledge?

You don't need to provide a reference for information that is regarded as common knowledge, however this can be a grey area.  My example would be as follows: Margaret Thatcher was prime minister of Britain between 1979 and 1990 is common knowledge, and does not need a reference; she was Britain's greatest prime minister - this is not common knowledge!  You need a reference!!

Do I have to cite and reference ephemera (e.g. graffiti, or gallery cards)?

I say not - for these examples anyway.  There are some things where an informal reference in the text is sufficient.  

Do I have to ask permission under copyright law to use someone else's work?

There are exemptions in copyright legislation to allow the use of others work (including images) for the purposes of criticism or review.  The law is explained thoroughly in the Quotation, Criticism & Review section of

Including images in your work

In many assignments in visual arts subjects, you will  be expected to include illustrations.  Check with your lecturer what is required, but the standard practice is to:

  • Caption each image, and refer to the figure number in your essay
  • Provide a list of illustrations at the start of your assignment, arranged in the order in which they appear
  • Include the sources of your illustrations in the references list (Harvard) or bibliography (Chicago)

There is no standard way to do this - it depends on the publisher's requirements.  However, the examples below reflect what is common.

The caption

Include name of artist, Title of artwork. Medium, dimensions, date, collection where the work is held (if appropriate)

Fox Talbot - A tree in winter

Fig 1 William Henry Fox Talbot,  An oak tree in winter. Photograph, 19 × 17 cm, c. 1842-3, The J. Paul Getty Museum

In text reference shown in Figure 1 (Fox Talbot, c. 1842-43)

List of figures

Include the same information as in the caption, plus the page in your work on which the image appears

Fig 1 William Henry Fox Talbot,  An oak tree in winter. Photograph, 19.4 × 16.6 cm, c. 1842-3, The J. Paul Getty Museum......... Page 2

List of references / bibliography

Include the full information on the source


Fox Talbot, W. H. (c. 1842-3).  An oak tree in winter [photograph].  The J. Paul Getty Museum. Available from:,0.7913,0.98 [Accessed 26th March 2019]

Annotated bibliography

You may be asked to create an annotated bibliography.  This handy guide is from the LinkedIn Learning course, Information Literacy.

Useful sources

Academic Phrasebank - referring to sources

This section of the academic phrasebank gives examples of phrases introducing and discussing sources in different ways which you can incorporate in your own writing. There are 11 main sections for different ways that sources can be discussed.


Referencing examples

Suggested referencing for Oxford Bibliographies Online


In text:
Szeto (2016)

List of references:
Szeto, K. (2016).  Ang Lee.  In: Oxford Bibliographies Online in Cinema and Media Studies. Available from [Accessed 15 July 2020].


Kin-Yan Szeto, "Ang Lee," in Oxford Bibliographies Online in Cinema and Media Studies, 

Shortened note:

Szeto, "Ang Lee."


Szeto, Kin-Yan, "Ang Lee," in Oxford Bibliographies Online in Cinema and Media Studies, 


Fashion management sources (Harvard style)

Suggested referencing examples for Fame
In text:
(FAME, 2013)

List of references:
FAME (2013). Company report: Tesco PLC. Bureau van Dijk. Available from: [Accessed 31 May 2013].  

Suggested referencing example for Mintel
In text:
(Mintel, 2013)   or   “data from Mintel (2013) suggests…..”

List of references:
Mintel (2013). Womenswear- UK- April 2013.  London: Mintel.  Available from: [Accessed 31 May 2013].  

Suggested referencing example for Factiva
In text: 
(Spanier, 2013) or Spanier (2013) reports.....

List of references: 
Spanier, G. (2013).  Guardian appointment prompts paywall speculation. The Independent. 4 June, 46-47. Available from: [Accessed 21 August 2013].

Suggested referencing example for an e-journal article
In text:
(Rosenkrans and Myers,  2012)

List of references:
Rosenkrans, G. and Myers, K. (2012).  Mobile advertising effectiveness.  International journal of mobile marketing. 7 (3), 5-24. Available from: [Accessed 28 August 2013].

Suggested referencing example for WGSN
In text: 
(WGSN, 2014)

List of references:
WGSN (2014). A/W 14/15: trended VM & campaign inspiration. WGSN. Available from: [Accessed 17 October 2017].

Suggested referencing example for Global Data
In text: 
(Global Data, 2017) or Global Data (2017) reports.....

List of references: 
Global Data (2017). What Britain wears: niche clothing. Global Data. Available from: [Accessed 17 October 2017].

Suggested referencing example for Euromonitor
In text: 
(Euromonitor, 2014) or Euromonitor (2017) reports.....

List of references: 
Euromonitor (2017). Luxury leather goods in India. Euromonitor. Available from: [Accessed 17 November 2017]

Suggested referencing for MarketLine report
In text:
(MarketLine, 2018)

List of references
MarketLine (2018).  Kering SA: Company profile.  Available from: [Accessed 28 January 2019].



Image used with permission: William Henry Fox Talbot (English, 1800 - 1877) [An Oak Tree in Winter], probably 1842–1843, Salted paper print from a paper negative 19.4 × 16.6 cm (7 5/8 × 6 9/16 in.), 84.XM.893.1 The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles