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Harvard Referencing (AGSM)

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

Title formatting

All titles in this version of Harvard style should be in sentence case. That is, you should format the title the same way you would format a sentence and only put a capital letter:

  • On the first word of the title (subtitles do not get a capital letter on the first word)
  • On any proper nouns (e.g. names of people, places, business, projects, etc.)
  • On the names of journals - these are treated as proper nouns like company names.

The formal title of a complete published work goes into italics. For example, the title of a book, journal, legal act, film, artwork (see more here).

The title of a section of a work does not go into italics. It has single quotation marks. For example, the title of a book chapter, journal article, individual poem, episode of a TV show, etc.

This is an example of a chapter in an edited book:

Holmes K and Mair J (2018) 'Events, festivals, and sustainability: the Woodford Folk Festival, Australia', In Brinkmann R and Garren SJ (eds) The Palgrave handbook of sustainability: case studies and practical solutions, Springer International Publishing, Cham, doi:10.1007/978-3-319-71389-2_31.

Note that the title of the chapter is in 'single quotation marks' and the name of the festival and country have capitals, but not the rest of the title. The title of the book is in italics, and the name of the company has a capital letter, but the rest of the title does not.

Here is an example of a journal article:

Russo-Netzer P, Sinai M and Zeevi M (2020) 'Meaning in life and work among counsellors: a qualitative exploration', British Journal of Guidance & Counselling 48(2):209-226, doi:10.1080/03069885.2019.1625026.

Note that the title of the article is in 'single quotation marks' and sentence case. The title of the journal is in italics - it has capitals on all the major words because you treat journal titles like company names.

Notes on titles

Some notes about titles:

Spelling and punctuation

You retain the spelling and punctuation of the titles, so an & in the title is not changed to "and", and American spelling is not changed to Australian.

Hyperlinking titles

The AGSM is an "online first" publication and assumes most reference lists will be available in an electronic format. Therefore it states that you should hyperlink the title for an electronic source - however, if the reference list is in a print document, the URL should come at the end of the reference, as a hyperlinked title cannot work in print.

We recommend you treat your reference list as if it is going to be a printed document, and include the URL at the end of the citation.

If you choose to hyperlink your titles as well, the hyperlink always goes on the title of the item (i.e., the chapter title for a chapter of an edited book; the article title for a journal article) and you should consistently hyperlink the title of every reference to online material. Make sure your use of hyperlinks is consistent, and check with your lecturer to see if they have a preference.

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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.