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Home > Services > Library  > Study resources > The Harvard Referencing System

The Harvard Referencing System


To complete an assignment, always give a list of the sources you consulted when researching your topic. This list is placed at the end of your text on a separate page in alphabetical order. A bibliography lists all relevant works consulted when researching the assignment, including those mentioned in the text. List only those works actually cited or referred to in the text.

Bibliographies can help to:


A common format is used when constructing a bibliography. The most popular formats are the Harvard (author/date), Vancouver (footnote/endnote) and APA - the format recommended by the American Psychological Association. The Harvard system is widely used in scientific writing and is the preferred style at SkillsTech Australia.

Harvard format example: Cooper, BM 1990, Writing technical reports, Penguin, Harmondsworth, England

Referencing within your assignment (the in-text reference)

If you directly quote an author, discuss their research or paraphrase their text in your assignment, always acknowledge their name, the date and the relevant page number(s) of their publication in your text. This is called referencing and there are some examples below. List references in alphabetical order in your bibliography along with the other sources you have consulted.

Three ways of acknowledging sources in your text:

Variations in the Harvard system

Different authorities give variations in punctuation and format when describing the Harvard system. Whatever punctuation/format you decide to use, it is important that you remain consistent. Consult one of the library's resources for the punctuation/format used to describe different sources of information (books, journal articles, newspaper articles, annual reports, internet documents, etc.)

Keeping a record

Note the bibliographical details (i.e. author, date, title, date of publication etc) of your sources as you do your research. This saves time at the end of your assignment. These details can be found:

Guides to the Harvard Referencing System


On the Internet

Online Harvard Tutorial

To help you get started, have a look at the short tutorial produced by the University of Southern Queensland at

Sample bibliography

The following bibliography demonstrates the use of the Harvard system of referencing. Please note that this is not a comprehensive list but some examples using the system.

Book with one author - Levy, SM 2005, Building contractor's checklists and forms, McGraw-Hill, New York

Book with two or three authors - Pethebridge, K &Neeson, I 2002, Electrical wiring practice, 6th edn, McGraw-Hill Australia, North Ryde, N.S.W

Book with more than three authors - Adelstein, F, Gupta, SKS, Richard GG &Schwiebert, L 2004, Fundamentals of mobile and pervasive computing, McGraw-Hill, New York

Book with editor, not author - Davies, A ed. 1998, Handbook of condition monitoring, Chapman & Hall, London

Book without author - McGraw-Hill dictionary of engineering2003, 2nd edn, McGraw-Hill, New York

Chapter within a book - Reddish, A, "Energy resources", in Energy, resources and environment, 2nd edn, Hodder& Stoughton, London, pp.3-42

Video recording - Grand designs2008, DVD, Channel Four Television Corporation, (London?)

Newspaper article - "PM told nuclear is best hope" 2009, The Australian, July 22, p. 1

Journal article - Brown, A 2009, "Total carbon control in greensand systems" in Foundry trade journal international, Vol. 182, No. 3665, pp 138-140

Article in an electronic journal, eg. from a website - McGarr, O 2009, "A review of podcasting in higher education: its influence on the traditional lecture" in Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, Vol. 25 No. 3. Retrieved July 30 2009 from

Full text journal article from electronic database - Castelvecchi, D 2009, "Toxic Assets" in Scientific American300, no. 6 p. 57. Retrieved July 30, 2009 from Vocational and Career Collection database.

Email - Bloggs, C. ( 2009, Learning how to reference, [E-mail] personal email to J. Bloggs ( [27 July 2009]
N.B.Permission must be granted by both parties to include emails in reference/bibliography lists

Website - Report writing FAQ, 2009, University of New South Wales. Retrieved July 30 2009 from

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