Why do I need to Reference?
Referencing is important in any piece of written work whether it is for publication, course work or sharing with colleagues.
Why referencing is important:
- to demonstrate the body of knowledge that your work is based upon
- to avoid plagiarism and credit other authors whose work you have used
- to allow others reading your work to trace your sources easily
There are two parts to referencing your written work:
- In-text citations: how you reference your sources in the actual body of your work
- Bibliography: a list of all the sources you have consulted during your research, including background reading. This list appears separately at the end of your work.
Please note this is a guide only and only refers to Harvard (author-date) referencing style. There are other styles available such as Vancouver (numeric) style and APA style. If you are planning to submit an article for publication you should check with the journal as it will have a preferred style. If you are submitting coursework as part of a university or other course, you should conform to the institution’s referencing style.
** RefWorks – a database which formats your references for you – is available freely via the NHS Scotland Knowledge Network at www.knowledge.scot.nhs.uk. Ask Library staff for details.**
Harvard referencing style
Harvard referencing style is also known as the Author and Date system.
In-text citations give the author’s surname and the year of publication in brackets, or just the publication year in brackets if you have already used the author’s name in the text.
If you are using an exact quotation or your work refers to more than one part of a document at different points then your in-text citation should also give page numbers.
Direct quotations which are a few lines or more should be separate from the rest of your text and indented. Shorter quotes can be included in the body of the text as normal.
Your bibliography will list your references at the end of your work in alphabetical order using author surnames.
If there are more than two authors then your in-text citations should use the first author’s surname followed by ‘et al’ to indicate there are other authors. Your bibliography would also use the first author followed by ‘et al’.
References in Harvard style do not normally use abbreviations for journal titles. These should be written out in full.
Please note that no one authority sets the rules for this style of referencing: institutions and publications will have their own variations of Harvard style.
Smith (2004, p. 21) stated that “NHS staff are more likely to practice evidence based medicine than they were three years ago”. This can be attributed to increased readership of professional journals (Jones et al, 2007).
Standard journal article
Gallagher, T.H. et al, (2007). Disclosing harmful medical errors to patients. New England Journal of Medicine, 356(26) pp. 2713-2719.
Book with personal authors
Chambers, R. et al, (2007). Clinical Effectiveness and Clinical Governance Made Easy. 4th ed. Oxon: Radcliffe Publishing.
Book with editor
Flower, M.A. (ed.) (2012). Webb’s physics of medical imaging. 2nd ed. London: CRC Press.
A chapter in a book
Walters, G. (2011). Clinical diagnosis of symptoms associated with the cardiovascular system, in Jevon, P. (ed.) Clinical diagnosis. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, pp. 18-43.
Online journal article
Koes, B.W. et al, (2007). Diagnosis and treatment of sciatica. British Medical Journal [Online], 334 pp.1313-1317. Available: www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/334/7607/1313 [Accessed: 20 August 2007].
Online journal article with doi
Koes, B.W. et al, (2007). Diagnosis and treatment of sciatica. British Medical Journal. 334 pp.1313-1317. doi: 10.1136/bmj.39223.428495.BE.
Author. (Date of message) Subject [email to recipient’s name]. Available email: recipient’s email address.
Smith, S. (20 August 2007) Lunchtime seminar [email to M. Jones]. Available email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine (2017). 2016 annual review. Available at: https://www.ipem.ac.uk/ScientificJournalsPublications/AnnualReportandReview.aspx [Accessed: 18 February 2018].
Cook, D. (2000). Developing franchised business in Scotland, Small firms: adding the spark: the 23rd ISBA national small firms policy and research conference. Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, 15-17 November. Leeds: Institute for Small Business Affairs, pp. 127-136.
Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine (2017). Annual clinical and scientific computing symposium. University of Manchester, Manchester, 12 December 2017. York: Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine.
Axis (2009). AXIS Q7404 video encoder: installation guide. Lund: Axis Communications.
British Medical Association (2019). Reference styles. Available at: https://www.bma.org.uk/library/library-guide/reference-styles [Accessed: 17 May 2019].
British Standards Institution (1990) BS5605: Recommendations for citing and referencing published material. London: British Standards Institution.
Pears, R. & Shields, G. (2016). Cite them right: the essential referencing guide. 10th ed. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.