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Biomedical Resources Guide: Referencing

Which style to use?

In general, Biomedical Sciences use the Harvard referencing system.

However you should always check your subject outline to see if another style is required!

About the author-date Harvard system

About the author-date Harvard system

The author-date, or Harvard, style of referencing is widely accepted in academic publications, although you may see a number of variations in the way it is used.

This style of referencing requires that you acknowledge the source of your information or ideas in two ways:

  • in the text of your work, in-text (parenthetical) citations, and
  • in a reference list at the end of your essay, which contains a full alphabetical list of all the references you have used.

The information and examples on these pages are based on the:

Formatting in-text citations using Harvard

Formatting in-text citations

Author not mentioned in text:

The author's name is entered where appropriate in the sentence.

Example: The literature (Reynolds 2000) shows that pioneers....

Example: While aboriginal people are often depicted by....(Reynolds 2000) , others have found that....

Author mentioned in text:

The year in entered in brackets after the author's name in the text.

Example: According to Reynolds (2000) this is not....

Exact quotes include page numbers:

The page the quote comes from is entered after the year, in the format - year, p.number. Note the spacing of the page number.

Example: ...there was no impact on the outcome (Reynolds 2000, p.32).

Example: Reynolds (2000, p.32) determined that...

How many authors to list?

One author:

The author is always listed.

Two or three authors:

All authors are always listed.

  • Names within brackets are separated by the & symbol:

Example: Some have argued (Gilbert & Gilbert 2010) that this is not ...

  • Names included within the text are joined with the word and:

Example: According to Cooper, Krever and Vann (2007) the use of this process leads to greater accuracy.

Four or more authors:

The first author is entered and the words et al. are added after their name to indicate additional authors:

Example: In their conclusion, Leeder et al. (1996, p.10) argued ...

Harvard reference list formats

Formatting the Reference List

General rules

  • The reference list appears at the end of your document, before any appendices.
  • All authors for the work are listed in each reference.
  • Titles are entered in sentence case - i.e the first letter of the first word and any proper nouns (e.g. place names, acronyms) are capitalised. Every other word is in lower case.

Ordering Reference lists

References in your reference list are entered in alphabetical order by the first author's surname.

  • If there are several entries by the same author:
    • First, list all books etc written or edited solely by this author, in chonological order
    • Next, list co-authored or co-edited works that list this author first, in alphabetical order (by the next co-author’s name)
  • If there are entried by the same author, with the same date, list alphabetically by title. Add a, b, etc, to the date in both reference list and in-text citations.

Below are the most common types of references with examples.

Book Format

Author, AA year of publication, Title: subtitle, Publisher, Place of publication.

Example reference:

Reynolds, H 2000, Black pioneers, Penguin, Ringwood, Vic.

Chapter from a Book Format

Chapter author, AA year of publication, 'Title of chapter', in AA Editor (ed.), Title of book, Publisher, Place of publication, pp. xx-yy.

Reference List:

Huth, E 2005, 'Fragments of participation in architecture', in P Blundell Jones & J Till (eds), Architecture and participation, Spon Press, London, pp. 141-8.

Journal Article Format

Author, AA year of publication, 'Title of article', Title of Journal, vol. volume number, no. issue number, pp. xx-xx.

Reference List:

Rogers, G 2009, 'Reflections on teaching remote and isolated children', Education in Rural Australia, vol. 9, no. 2, pp. 65-8.

Online Journal Article Format

Give the URL of the journal homepage.

Author, AA year of publication, 'Title of article', Title of Journal, vol. volume, no. issue number, pp. xx-xx, viewed Date Month Year, DOI: xx.xxxx/xxxx, <URL of journal>.

Reference List:

Vessenes, PM 2003. 'The secrets of managing your time', Journal of Financial Planning, vol. 16, no. 8, pp. 30–2, viewed 20 November 2009, <>.

Website Format

Author (person or organisation) Year (site created or revised), Name (and place if applicable) of sponsor of the site, date month year of viewing the site, <URL>.

Reference List:

National Library of Australia 2010, National Library of Australia, Canberra, viewed 30 March 2010, <>.

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