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Harvard Referencing (AGSM)

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

Everything must match!

Remember, you have to cite every piece of information that came from another source, whether or not it is in your own words. Coins showing Heads and Tails

With the exception of personal communication, everything cited in the text must appear in the reference list, and everything in your reference list must be something you have referred to in text. Make sure you don't have anything in one place that isn't in the other.  


Setting out the reference list

Notes on the layout for your reference list:

Layout of page:

  • The reference list starts on a new page, after your assignment and before any appendices. Place the word "References" in a heading style at the top of the page. The heading level should be logical within the structure of your assignment - for example if the title of your assignment would be in Heading 1, References is Heading 2. However, you may have specific instructions for your assignment layout, so check your subject outline and ask your lecturer.
  • Each entry in the reference list is formatted left hand margin, so that all lines of the entry is flush with the left margin.
  • Some types of specialised sources need their own reference list (for example, works of art).  Cite these sources in a separate list after the reference list with its own title, such as 'Works of art'.

Order of references:

  • For Harvard, the reference list is arranged in alphabetical order of authors' surnames.
  • Arrange by first author's name, then by second author if you have the same first author, etc. (check the page on Authors for how to lay out the reference if you have more than one author).
  • If there are two references by the same author (or the same authors in the same order), list them in order of publication date with the older one first, and replace the author(s) with two unspaced em dashes.
    Tip: You can create em dashes by using ALT + 0151
    For example:
    Bloggs JS (n.d.)...
    ——(in press)...
    N.B. In text, you would use the author's surname for each of these references: Bloggs (2018a).
  • If references by the same author have been published in the same year, list them alphabetically by title. Letters 'a', 'b', etc. are placed after the year, e.g. (2019a), (2019b).
    For example:

    ABS (Australian Bureau of Statistics) (n.d.a) Region summary: Cairns, ABS website, accessed 20 February 2022.
    ——(n.d.b) Region summary: Townsville, ABS website, accessed 20 February 2022.
    N.B. In text, you would use the author's official abbreviation for each of these references: ABS (n.d.b).

Formatting titles

  • Capitalise all proper nouns, the names of periodicals and the first word of titles.
  • Use lower case for all other words.
  • See the page on Titles for more information.

Example reference list

Below is an example of a reference list formatted in Harvard style.

This list has been single spaced for this guide, but you will probably be asked to double-space your assignment, and that includes the reference list. Check your subject outline or ask your lecturer.


  • Use a heading style to start your references that fits logically with the headings used for your document. For example, if the title of your document is Heading 1, References should be Heading 2.

  • Photographs, illustrations and other works of art should be cited in a separate list after the reference list with its own title, such as ‘Artworks’. If your References are given a Heading 2, the titles of these sections should be Heading 3.

  • In very long reference lists, such as in reports and theses, the same author may be cited many times. To avoid repetition, you can use 2 unspaced em dashes for works by the same author cited immediately afterwards.

  • Include the URL at the end of the reference after the full stop. The Style Manual states to hyperlink the title, however when in print form, the source URL will not be evident and also linking titles does not work in citation software (i.e. EndNote).  Therefore, we recommend including a live URL instead.


AIHW (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare) (2020a) 'Australia’s health 2020 data insights', Australia’s Health Series 17, catalogue number AUS 231, AIHW, Australian Government, accessed 18 February 2022.

——(2020b) 'Australia’s health 2020: in brief', Australia’s Health Series 17, catalogue number AUS 232, AIHW, Australian Government, accessed 18 February 2022.

——(2021) 'Australia’s welfare 2021 data insights', Australia’s Welfare Series 5. Cat. no. AUS 236, AIHW, Australian Government, accessed 18 February 2022.

APSC (Australian Public Service Commission) (2021) ‘Author–date’, Australian Government Style Manual,, accessed 3 October 2021.

Department of Education (11 November 2020) Physical activity and health, Queensland Government, accessed 01 November 2021.

Jarvis S (2017) 'Dogs should look like dogs', The Veterinary Record, 181(14):354, doi:10.1136/vr.j4588.

Kral A and Lomber SG (2015) 'Deaf white cats', Current Biology, 25(9):R351-R353, doi:10.1016/j.cub.2015.02.040.

Lane W (2015) The horses, Transit Lounge Publishing.

McIlwraith CW, Nixon AJ and Wright IM (2015) Diagnostic and surgical arthroscopy in the horse, 4th edn, Mosby, doi:10.1016/B978-07234-3693-5.01001-8.

Quaranta A, d'Ingeo S, Amoruso R and Siniscalchi M (2020) 'Emotion recognition in cats', Animals, 10(7):1-13, doi:10.3390/ani10071107.

Rolf F and Burston A (2020) 'Safety', in Berman A, Frandsen G, Snyder S, Levett-Jones T, Burston A, Dwyer T, Hales M, Harvey N,  Moxham L, Reid-Searl K, Rolf F and Stanley D (eds) Kozier and Erb’s fundamentals of nursing (5th Australian edn). Pearson.


Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (n.d.) Go slow for those below [photograph], Australian Government website, accessed 1 November 2021.

Dobell William (1940) The Cypriot [artwork], QAGOMA website, Australian Art Collection, South Brisbane accessed 2 November 2021.

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