RSNZ Referencing Style Guide

(N.Z. Journal of Botany; N.Z. Journal of Geology and Geophysics; N.Z. Journal of Zoology; Journal of the Royal Society of N.Z.)


When preparing an assignment or research paper, it is vital that you acknowledge the resources you have used:

  • Failure to do so constitutes plagiarism.
  • Readers need to be able to retrieve the source information you have used.

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.
  • in the list of references at the end of your assignment or research paper.

The Royal Society of New Zealand uses a variation of the Harvard Referencing Style.

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

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 de Lange & Gardner (2002) the new subspecies is an "ultramafic endemic confined to the 120 hectare Surville Cliffs Serpentinite Formation at North Cape" (p. 25).

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 in these minerals (Snowdon & Birch 2004).

Snowdon & 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 "as cited in". In the reference list at the end of your paper, list only the secondary source.


Cheeseman (as cited in de Lange & Gardner 2002, p. 32) stated that these species could not be included as he had not seen the original material.

Males may travel outside their territorial boundaries during summer (Wheatley, as 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, 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. References must be listed in alphabetical order.

Note: Ensure that each resource you have used in the text of your assignment 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 this would include place of publication and publisher's name - if two or more publisher locations are given, give the location listed first in the book.
    • for journals this would include volume, issue number and page numbers.
    • for websites this would include 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.

Note: Reference electronic books and online journal articles in the same way as print resources unless otherwise specified.


Whole book

Author (surname then initials, comma between multiple authors) Year. Title. Place of
        publication, Publisher.


Ryan P 1988. Fiji''s natural heritage. Auckland, Southwestern.

Brownsey PJ, Smith-Dodsworth JC 2000. New Zealand ferns and allied plants. Rev.
        ed. Auckland, David Bateman Ltd.

An article (chapter) in an edited book

Author of article/chapter Year. Title of article/chapter. In: Name of editor(s) ed. Title of
        book. Place of publication, Publisher. Pagination of article/chapter.


Pascoe IG 1990. History of systematic mycology in Australia. In: Short PS ed. History
        of systematic botany in Australasia. Melbourne, Australian Systematic Botany
        Society. Pp. 259-264.

Journal articles

Author/s Year. Title of article. Title of journal Volume (Issue): page numbers.


Sakai A 1971. Freezing resistance of relicts from the Arcto-Tertiary flora. New
        Phytologist 70: 1199-1205.

McKenzie EHC, Buchanan PK, Johnston PR 2000. Checklist of fungi on Nothofagus
        species in New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Botany 38: 635-720.


Author/s Year. Title of report. Who the report was prepared for (if available). City,
        Publisher. Pages.


May TW, Avram J 1997. The conservation status and distribution of macrofungi in
        Victoria. A report prepared for the Australian Heritage Commission. Melbourne,
        Royal Botanic Gardens. 43 p.

Blackwell RG 1997. Abundance, size composition, and sex ratio of blue cod in the
        Marlborough Sounds, September 1995. NIWA Technical Report 88. 52 p.

Bell JD 1997. Results from the Akaroa Harbour recreational fishing survey 1997. Final
        Research Report for Ministry of Fisheries Project REC9705. 51 p. (Unpublished
        report held by Ministry of Fisheries, Wellington).

Conference papers


Kingston J, Sherwood A, Bengtsson R 2001. Morphology and taxonomy of several
        Fragilariforma taxa from Fennoscandia and North America. In: Economou-
        Amilli A ed. Proceedings of the 16th International Diatom Symposium, Athens,
        Greece. University of Athens, Greece. Pp. 73-88.

Evans HC 1977. The occurrence of pathotypes of Crinipellis perniciosa (Stahel)
        Singer in the tropical forest ecosystem. Proceedings of the 6th International Cocoa         Research Conference, 1977, Caracas, Venezuela. Cocoa Producers Alliance,
        Lagos, Nigeria. Pp. 166-170.

If the conference proceedings have volume numbers, reference as you would a journal article:

Morales E, Siver P, Trainor F 2001. Identification of diatoms (Bacillariophyceae)
        during ecological assessments: Comparison between light microscopy and
        scanning electron microscopy techniques. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural
        Sciences of Philadelphia 151: 95-103.


Author/s or corporate author Year of publication. Title of webpage. Webpage
        address/URL (date accessed).

If a year of publication does not appear on the web page, use n.d. in place of the year.


May TW, Milne J, Wood AE, Shingles S, Jones RH, Neish P 2006. Interactive
        Catalogue of Australian Fungi. Version 3.0. Canberra, Australian Biological
        Resources Study, Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne. (accessed July 2011).

Websites with no author

Mariner 2002: Undergraduate student information 2002.
         (accessed 3 April 2002).

Websites with no date

Central South Island Glacial Geomorphology (n.d.). (accessed 3 August 2004).


Author Year. Title. Unpublished MSc/PhD etc thesis, Name of university, Town,


Randall PM 1990. Pollen dispersal across the Southern Alps, South Island, New
        Zealand. Unpublished MSc thesis, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New


If the name of the originator (cartographer, compiler, editor, maker etc.) is known, the following elements are included in a reference for a map:

Originator's name Year. Title of map. Scale of map. Place of publication, Publisher.


Mason J 1832. Map of the countries lying between Spain and India. 1:8,000,000.
        London, Ordnance Survey.

Land Information New Zealand 1988. North Cape. 1:50,000. Wellington, Land
        Information New Zealand.

If the name of the originator is not known, the following elements are included in a reference for a map:

Title of map Year. Scale of map. Place of publication, Publisher.