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The Coventry University Guide to Referencing in Harvard Style: Online & Electronic Sources

How to reference online and electronic sources

General guidance on referencing online and electronic sources


If you incorporate information from online or electronic sources into your text, you must provide both an in-text citation and matching entry in your end List of References. These two components are referenced differently for different types of books. Click on the relevant tab above to see examples.

Web pages


In-text citation

 

Example

Writing support is provided to all undergraduate students (CAW n.d.).

Components

  • Surname of the author(s) in a list format. If appropriate, use 'et al.'.

N.B. If the report is produced by an organisation, list the name of the organisation as the author (i.e. corporate author).

  • Year the webpage was created or last updated. If appropriate, use 'n.d.'

List of References entry

 

Example

Centre for Academic Writing (CAW) (n.d.) Undergraduate Support [online] available from <http://www.coventry.ac.uk/study-at-coventry/student-support/academic-support/centre-for-academic-writing/support-for-students/undergraduate-support/> [17 December 2015]

Components

  • Author's name and initials (or the name of the corporate author).
  • Year the web page was created or last updated.
  • Title in italics. You may need to make up an appropriate title. 
  • The word 'online' in square brackets.
  • The words 'available from'.
  • Full URL within chevron brackets, i.e. < >.
  • Date you accessed the website (see date format in the example above). 

Emails

In-text citation
 
Example
 
In an email, Androulla Athanasiou explained that she is ‘completely against’ recent moves to erect a new football stadium in Coventry (Athanasiou 2006).

Components

  • Surname of the person you are citing.
  • Year the email was sent.

List of References entry
 

Example

Athanasiou, A. (2006) Local Development Planning [email] to Patterson, P. H. [23 May 2017]

 

Components

  • Author's surname and initial(s). 
  • Year the email was sent, in brackets.
  • Title in italics. (Use the 'subject' header or make up an appropriate title.)
  • The type of communication in square brackets, i.e. 'email'.
  • The word 'to', followed by the surname and initials of the person that the communication was addressed to. 
  • Date the email was sent in square brackets. (See the date format in the example above.) 

CDs, DVDs and Streamed Content


In-text citation
 

Example

Dance is an effective form of therapy (Allen 1954).

Components

  • Surname of the artist(s), director(s) or producer(s) in list format. If this information is unavailable, use the corporate author.
  • Year of release. 

List of References entry

 

Example 1 (A physical source, e.g. a DVD or CD)

Radford, M. (2005) The Merchant of Venice. [DVD] United Kingdom: MGM Home Ent. (Europe) Ltd.

 

Components

  • Surname of the artist(s), director(s) or producer(s) in list format. If this information is unavailable, use the corporate author.
  • Year of release in brackets.
  • Title in italics, followed buy a full stop.
  • Format in square brackets, e.g. [DVD] or [CD].
  • Place of release, followed by a colon. If there are a number of places, provide the first.
  • Name of production company. 

Example 2 (A source accessed online)

Allen, L. (1954) Suddenly [online] available from <http://www.archive.org/details/suddenly> [12 August 2009]

 

Components

  • Surname of the artist(s), director(s) or producer(s) in list format. If this information is unavailable, use the corporate author.
  • Year of release in brackets.
  • Title in italics, followed buy a full stop.
  • Format in square brackets, e.g. [online].
  • The words 'available from'. 
  • Full URL in chevrons, i.e. < >.
  • Date you accessed the source in square brackets following the format in the first example above.

Broadcasts/Podcasts


In-text citation
 

Example

Solid archival research makes BBC historical documentaries such as Henry VII: The Winter King reliable historical accounts (2003). 

Components

  • Title of the broadcast/podcast in italics.
  • Year of the broadcast. 

List of References entry
 

Example 1 (Broadcasted television or radio (i.e. listened to/watched live)

Henry VII: The Winter King (2013) BBC2 [30 May, 20:00]

Components

  • Title of the broadcast in italics.
  • Year of the broadcast in brackets.
  • Broadcasting station/channel.
  • Exact date and time separated by a comma, in square brackets. See date/time format in above example. 

Example 2 (A podcast, or 'on demand' television or radio (i.e. listened to/watched via an online catch-up service))

Henry VII: The Winter King (2013) [online] BBC2. 30 May, 21:00. available from <http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b021ng66/henry-vii-the-winter-king> [18 September 2017]

Components

  • Title of the broadcast/podcast in italics.
  • Year of the broadcast/podcast in brackets.
  • The word 'online' in square brackets. 
  • Broadcasting station/channel, followed by a full stop.
  • Exact date and time, followed by a full stop. See date/time format in above example. 
  • The words 'available from'.
  • Full URL within chevron brackets, i.e. < >.
  • Date you accessed the programme in square brackets.

Recorded programmes


In-text citation
 

Example

An exceptional BBC documentary presents John Berger's notable contributions to art criticism and his cultural politics of 'looking' (John Berger: The Art of Looking 2016). 

Components

  • Title of the programme or series in italics.
  • Year.

List of References entry
 

Example 

Pedigree Cattle (2003) [VHS video] BBC1

Components

  • Title of the programme or series in italics.
  • Year in brackets.
  • Format of the recording in square brackets.
  • Broadcasting station.
  • Exact day and time of broadcast if known (see date format above). 

Computer software/games


In-text citation
 

Example

The latest version of IBM Statistics SPSS has just been released (IBM 2017).

Components

  • Surname of the author(s) or corporate author.
  • Year of release. 

List of References entry
 

Example 

Microsoft Office Corporation (2009) Encarta Premium 2009 [online] available from <http://www.microsoft.com/learningspace/encarta_eol.aspx> [12 August 2009] 

Components

  • Surname and initial(s) of the author or the corporate author who produced the software.
  • Title of the software package in italics. 
  • The word 'online' in square brackets.
  • The words 'available from'.
  • Full URL within chevrons, i.e. < >.
  • Date of access in square brackets. (See date format in example above).

Online discussion forum/mailing list


In-text citation

 

Example

Curry argues that academics in sciences often refer to the reporting and discussion of their findings as 'story-telling' (2017).

Components

  • Surname of the author of the email.
  • Date of the email.

List of References entry

 

Example 

Curry, M. J. (2017) 'Story-Telling in Academic Writing'. European Association for the Teaching of Academic Writing (EATAW) Listserv [online] 29 August 14:39. available from <https://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/cgi-bin/webadmin?A2=ind1708&L=EATAW&F=&S=&P=5151> [4 September 2017]

Components

  • Surname and initial(s) of the author.
  • Year in brackets.
  • Subject of the email thread within single quotation marks, followed by a full stop.
  • Name of the listserve in italics.
  • The word 'online' in square brackets, followed by a full stop.
  • Exact date and time of email. (See date/time format in example above).
  • The words 'available from'.
  • Full URL within chevrons, i.e. < >.
  • The date of access in square brackets. (See date format in example above).

An electronic book


  • See eBooks in the Books section

An electronic journal article


An electronic visual source


An electronic newpaper article


An electronic conference paper


An electronic interview


An electronic dissertation or thesis


A lecture available as a recording or online podcast


  • See lectures in the Spoken Sources section, which includes examples for a lecture available as a recording and a lecture podcast.

An electronic dictionary or encyclopedia


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