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Harvard Science Referencing Style Guide

When preparing an assignment or research paper, it is vital that you acknowledge the resources you have used, as failure to do so constitutes plagiarism. Also, readers may need to be able to retrieve the source information.

Your sources must be cited in the text of your assignment or research paper (in-text citations) where you have referred to information obtained from a particular source, and the list of references at the end of your assignment or research paper.


Guides and Examples


In-Text Citations

Short citations included in the text of a research paper or assignment will enable your readers to find the full details of the source in the reference list.

When citing references within the text of an assignment:

  • Citations must be in parentheses (brackets), or included as part of a statement.
  • Citations must be in the form (author/date) to enable your reader to find the full details of the source in the reference list e.g. (Smith 1998). If there are two authors for a particular reference, cite the names in the order in which they appear e.g. (Smith & Green 1998). If there are more than two authors of a cited reference, use et al. e.g. (Platt et al. 2004).
  • Page numbers may or may not be included, depending on the specificity of the reference e.g. (Jones 1995, p.82) to indicate a specific page or (Green et al. 1990, pp. 34-40) to indicate a range of pages.

If you are using electronic sources that have no page numbers, you may use a paragraph number (abbreviation para.) to indicate to which part of the document you are referring.

When referring to two or more texts by different authors, separate them with a semicolon (;) e.g. (Smith 1995; Green 1992).

Direct quotations:

Use double quotation marks to enclose another author's words. A location reference (page numbers or paragraph numbers) must be provided. If your direct quotation is more than 40 words, indent the quoted section without quotation marks.

According to Sharpe and Rosell (2003), the dominant behaviours of the beavers were "travelling, foraging and being in the lodge" (p. 1063).

Indirect quotations:

If you paraphrase another author's ideas or research findings, integrate them as part of your text in your own words. When paraphrasing or referring to an idea contained in another work, you are not required to provide a location reference (page number), but may do so if appropriate. Make it very clear where their ideas end and yours begin.

Soils across the Iron Cove catchment area are enriched by these minerals (Snowdon & Birch 2004).

Snowdon and Birch (2004) suggested that the catchment area is enriched in these minerals, but I think that ...

Citations from a secondary source:

If you use an idea from an author cited by another author, use "cited in". In the reference list at the end of your paper, list only the secondary source.

Wheatley (cited in Sharpe & Rosell 2003, p.1065) stated that males may travel outside their territorial boundaries during summer.

Males may travel outside their territorial boundaries during summer (Wheatley, cited in Sharpe & Rosell 2003, p.1065).

Citations for works with no author or anonymous author/s:

When a work has no author, or if the author is anonymous, the in-text citation consists of the first few words of the title (italicised), followed by the year and page number.

This was apparently not the case in other catchment areas (Mineral deposition in catchment areas 1999, p.34).


The list of references/bibliography

The list of references or bibliography will be at the end of your assignment/research paper, and will usually have the heading References or Bibliography. References must be listed in alphabetical order.

Note: Ensure that each citation in the text of your assignment also appears on your reference list, and that they are identical in spelling and year.

The following elements must be included in a reference:

  • Author's or editor's name/s.
  • Publication date.
  • Title of the item.
  • Publication information:
    • for books, give the publisher's name and place of publication and if two or more publisher locations are given, give the location listed first in the book;
    • for journals, give volume, issue number and page numbers;
    • for websites, give the full Web address (URL).

Works by the same author and published in the same year are distinguished by letters appended to the year. Example: If you are using two references by R.M. Smith, and both were published in 1998, one will bear the date 1998a and the other 1998b, and in-text citations will reflect this.

Use web sites mainly to find references in the primary literature, not as sources in themselves (because they are not all peer-reviewed and not permanent).


References used for this guide

Style manual for authors, editors and printers 2002, John Wiley, Milton, Qld.

Located in Central Library (Level 3 Books) at Call Number Z253.S8 2002.