FAQs: in-text citations
For the purpose of accuracy, if you cannot find the date, it is best to write ‘n.d.’, which means ‘no date’. For example:
If no individual author name/s is/are provided, check carefully if you can identify a corporate author (an organisation, governmental department etc.) and use this instead (e.g. NHS, UK Government etc.). If neither individual nor corporate authors are provided, for online sources you should use the name of the website (e.g. The Guardian, MSN News etc.).
If all this fails, you still have two options:
Option 1: If the source is anonymous, you can write ‘Anon.’ instead of the author. For example:
Option 2: You can also give the title of the document instead of the author. For example:
Cite more than one author in the same sentence if they deal with the same topic or make similar points or use similar methods or evidence. List the sources in alphabetical order and separate each one with a comma. For example:
Option 1: For up to three authors, give all the authors’ surnames in your in-text citation. For example:
Option 2: However, if there are more than three authors, use ‘et al.’ For example:
N.B. 'Et al.' is short for ‘et alii’ meaning ‘and others’ in Latin. Note that there is a full stop after ‘al.’ because it is an abbreviation (a shortened form of the original word). Remember that although only one surname is given, you are referring to multiple authors, so the next verb in your sentence must agree in the plural rather than the singular.
If two or more of your cited authors have the same surname, include their initial to differentiate them. For example:
Even when quoting, do not use a full stop until AFTER your in-text citation in brackets because the in-text citation is part of your sentence. For example:
Put the title of a print publication in Italics (do not use bold or underline). The titles of all the main documents must be italicised, such as titles of books, titles of journals, titles of websites, etc. so that readers can see at a glance which physical sources you have cited.
Put foreign words in italics except for Latin/Greek words and abbreviations that are part of writing and citation conventions, such as e.g., etc., et al., ibid.
Do not use italics for the title of journal articles or book chapters. Instead, use single quotation marks. The title of any sub-document or sub-section of a main document, such as the article or chapter that sits within a publication, must sit within single quotation marks.
Do not write quotes in italics.
If page numbers are provided in the original source, include a page number or page range in your in-text citation whenever you make reference to information that can be retrieved on a specific page (or a limited number of pages). This enables readers to locate the exact passage you have cited for their own use, or to check that you have quoted, re-phrased or summarised the source accurately. For example:
FAQs: List of References
If you list different sources by the same author, put them in reverse chronological order with the most recent first.
If you list sources by the same author which are produced in the same year, label them as a and b, etc.
The three places to look for information are: the front cover, inside cover and the title page. If many dates of publication are given, you should usually use the copyright one (e.g. ©2001) because the other dates are just reprints. However, if the book has been revised and you consulted the revised, 2nd or 3rd edition etc., you must record that it is a revised edition, because the content and page numbers may be different from the original. See below for detailed guidelines.
Give the author’s surname and initials, the date of the edition you are using in brackets, the title in italics followed by a full stop and then write ‘2nd edn.’, ‘3rd edn.’ or ‘rev. edn.’ as appropriate. Then write the place of publication followed by a colon, and finally the publisher. Fo example:
You can find the place of publication either on the title page of a book or the inside cover of the book (the copyright page). If more than one place is given, reference only the first place.
N.B. The place comes before the publisher in your reference.
If there is only one editor, give the editor’s name and write ‘ed.’ in brackets. If there are two or more editors, give their surnames followed by a comma and their initials in the order they are listed in the book and write ‘eds.’ in brackets. Then give the date in brackets and the title in italics followed by a full stop. Finally, give the place of publication followed by a colon then the publisher. For example:
If a source has both an author and an editor (which is more rare), give the author’s surname and initials as usual and the date in brackets, followed by the title in italics then a full stop, then write ‘ed. by’ and give the editor’s surname and initials. Finally, give the place of publication followed by a colon then the publisher. For example:
Option 1: If there is also an author, the surname and initials of the translator go after the title preceded by ‘trans. by’. For example:
Option 2: If the author is also the translator, enter the author as normal and also give the translator after the title. For example:
If the source is anonymous, you can write ‘Anon.’ instead of the author. For example:
If the book comes in multiple volumes, write the volume number after the title of the book. For example:
Reference it as any other book in English but give the official or personal translation of the title in square brackets after the original title. For example:
A List of References gives full information for sources you have cited in the main body of your document. A Bibliography is a list of all the sources you have read, including both those you have cited and those you have not cited in the main body of your document . Bibliographies are not normally used in the CU Harvard Reference Style, but your module tutor/editor etc. may ask you to include one.
N.B. Despite the difference highlighted above, sometimes these terms are used interchangeably. Please check with your module tutor or editor (as appropriate) if you are not sure about the requirements for a specific piece of writing.
The Coventry University Guide to Referencing in the Harvard Style by The Centre for Academic Writing is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.