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Harvard Referencing (AGSM)

Guide to the Harvard Referencing Style, as used by Australian Government bodies

Date of publication


For in-text citations, give only the year of publication: 

Narrative citation: As Brown (2019) noted...

Parenthetical citation: (Brown 2019).

If two or more works are published by the same author with the same year, add a letter after the year in accordance with the order in the reference list. See the information regarding 'Two authors have the same name'. 

Reference list:

Harvard referencing requires only the year of publication in the reference list for most instances however, there are instances where the full date is required using the format DD MONTH YEAR.

Full date format is required for the below sources:

  • Newspaper and magazine articles
  • Social media and blog posts
  • Online videos, podcasts and radio programs
  • Media releases
  • Conference papers


Starling M & McGreevy P (6 February 2020) '8 things we do that really confuse our dogs', The Conversation, accessed 18 October 2021.

No date

If there is no date use 'n.d.' (for 'no date') in both the in text citation and the reference list.


In text:

In the late 1950s, white Australians became more aware of indigenous living conditions reported in the news (National Museum Australia n.d.).

The civil rights movements started to gain momentum in Australia as "events in the late 1950s brought the sufferings of the few into the living rooms of the many" (National Museum Australia n.d.).


Reference list:

National Museum of Australia (n.d.). The fight for civil rights. NMA website, accessed 18 October 2021.


Regarding reference list order:

If you have several works by the same author, and one of the works has no date but the other works are dated, (n.d.) is treated as the oldest work for ordering your references

If you have multiple citations from the same author which also do not have a date, you will follow the same instructions as you would if there was a date.

Order the citations in your reference list alphabetically by title, and place an 'a', 'b', etc after the date.


Reference list:

National Museum of Australia (n.d.-a). Nelson the Newfoundland's dog collarNMA website, accessed 18 October 2021.

National Museum of Australia. (n.d.-b). Newcastle bakery cartNMA website, accessed 18 October 2021.

Accessed dates

Some reference types require an accessed date in the reference list, because the work might changed or be removed.

The accessed date goes before the URL at the end of the reference in the format 'accessed DD MM YYYY.' For example:

Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (n.d.) Become a regular donor, RSPCA website, accessed 01 November 2021.

This should be the last date you checked to make sure the information was still current and accessible.

We acknowledge the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the first inhabitants of the nation and acknowledge Traditional Owners of the lands where our staff and students, live, learn and work.Acknowledgement of Country

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Except where otherwise noted, this work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike (CC BY-SA) 4.0 International License. Content from this Guide should be attributed to James Cook University Library. This does not apply to images, third party material (seek permission from the original owner) or any logos or insignia belonging to JCU or other bodies, which remain All Rights Reserved.