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Harvard Referencing (AGSM)

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

Formatting DOIs and URLs in references

The placement of the full stop at the end of a reference depends on whether you are including a DOI or a URL.

  • For print materials you do not need to include a DOI or URL. Place the full stop after the last element in the reference.
  • For materials with a DOI, include the DOI before the full stop in the format doi:#. (with no spaces)
    e.g. Kral A and Lomber SG (2015) 'Deaf white cats', Current Biology, 25(9):R351-R353, doi:10.1016/j.cub.2015.02.040.
  • For materials with a URL, place the URL after the full stop which is placed after the last element in the reference (before the URL).
    e.g. Chan J (16 June 2021) Los Angeles with kids, Lonely Planet website, accessed 26 October 2021.
    e.g. Cooper GM (2000) The cell: a molecular approach, 2nd edn, Sinauer.

Using URLs

The Style Manual states to hyperlink the title, however

  1. the source URL will not show when in print format 
  2. linking titles does not work in citation software (i.e. EndNote). 

Instead we recommend that you follow the Style Manual advice for print documents and include the URL text at the end of the reference after the full stop.

What are DOIs?

How AGSM formats DOIs

This version of Harvard style formats DOIs in the reference list like this:


They are placed at the end of the reference. The full stop at the end of the reference comes after the DOI, if one is included.

What are DOIs?

A DOI (Digital Object Identifier) is a unique number for an article that provides a persistent link to its location on the internet.

It is often found in citations and references to articles, books and conference papers.

The video below explains DOIs using APA style as the example style. Do not follow the formatting shown in the video.

How to find a DOI

How to identify a DOI

A DOI always starts with the number 10.

The information can often be found in the section showing the citation information for the article on a journal webpage

NB: The video below explains DOIs using APA style as the example style. Do not follow the formatting shown in the video.

Finding the DOI in a URL

  • Sometimes the DOI number will be included as part of a URL and you can use this part of the URL as a DOI instead - e.g.
  • Check the URL to see if it has a section starting with 10. You can copy the text from 10. onwards to get the DOI number to include in your reference. e.g. 10.1080/17508487.2015.1053960

If you cannot find the DOI then you can use the URL instead if a URL is needed. Note that sources from library databases (e.g. One Search, PubMed, Proquest) do not require a URL if there is no DOI. 

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