Guide to Citing Bibliographic References

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A Guide to Citing Bibliographic References
When writing an assignment you will need to refer in your text to material written or produced by others. This procedure is called citing or quoting references. Consistency and accuracy are important to enable readers to identify and locate the material to which you have referred. The same set of rules should be followed every time you cite a reference. There are many different systems for referencing. Our course uses the Harvard System.
It is important to cite references for three main reasons:

  • to acknowledge the sources and ideas of others you have used in establishing your own argument.

  • to enable those reading your work to identify and trace the sources you have used to formulate your ideas.

  • failure to do so in an appropriate way could result in an accusation of plagiarism, which is regarded as a serious offence in academic institutions.

Harvard System
All statements, opinions, conclusions etc. taken from another writer’s work should be cited, whether the work is directly quoted, paraphrased or summarised.
In the Harvard System cited publications are referred to in the text by giving the author’s Surname and the year of publication (see section 1, Citation in the Text) and are listed in a bibliography at the end of the text (see section 2, References at the end of a piece of work).
Originators / authors: the person or organisation shown most prominently in the source as responsible for the content in its published form should be given. For anonymous works use ‘Anon’ instead of a name. For certain kinds of work, e.g. dictionaries or encyclopaedias, or if an item is the co-operative work of many individuals, none of whom have a dominant role, e.g. videos or films, the title may be used instead of an originator or author.
Dates: if an exact year or date is not known, an approximate date preceded by ‘ca.’ may be supplied and given in square brackets. If no such approximation is possible, that should be stated, e.g. [ca.1750] or [no date].
All examples are fictitious and any resemblance to existing works is coincidental.

  1. Citation in the text

Quotations – as a general rule in the University, if the quote is less than a line it may be included in the body of the text in quotation marks. Longer quotations are indented and single-spaced, quotation marks are not required. For citations of particular parts of the document the page numbers etc. should be given after the year in parentheses.
Summaries or paraphrases – give the citation where it occurs naturally or at the end of the relevant piece of writing.
Diagrams, illustrations – should be referenced as though they were a quotation if they have been taken from a published work.
If details of particular parts of a document are required, e.g. page numbers, they should be given after the year within the parentheses.
Rules for citation in text for printed documents also apply to electronic documents except where pagination is absent. If an electronic document does not include pagination or an equivalent internal referencing system, the extent of the item may be indicated in terms such as the total number of lines, screens, etc., e.g. "[35 lines]" or "[approx. 12 screens]".
i) If the author’s name occurs naturally in the sentence the year is given in parentheses:-
e.g. In a popular study Potts (1992) argued that we have to teach good practices…

e.g. As Potts (1992, p.21) said, “good practices must be taught” and so we…

ii) If the name does not occur naturally in the sentence, both name and year are given in x


e.g. A more recent study (Skellett, 1998) has shown the way theory and practical work interact.

e.g. Theory rises out of practice, and once validated, returns to direct or explain the practice (Skellett, 1998).

iii) When an author has published more than one cited document in the same year, these

are distinguished by adding lower case letters (a,b,c, etc.) after the year and within the

e.g. Johnson (1994a) discussed the subject…

iv) If there are two authors the Surnames of both should be given:-
e.g. Matthews and Jones (1997) have proposed that

v) If there are more than two authors the Surname of the first author only should be given,

followed by et al.:-

e.g. Membership costs amount to 20% of total costs in the leisure business (Wilson et al., 1997)
(A full listing of names should appear in the bibliography.)
vi) If the work is anonymous then “Anon” should be used:-
e.g. In a recent article (Anon, 1998) it was stated that…

vii) If it is a reference to a newspaper article with no author the name of the paper can be

used in place of “Anon”:-

e.g. More people than ever seem to be wearing latex (The Times, 1996).
(You should use the same style in the bibliography.)

viii) If you refer to a source quoted in another source you cite both in the text:-
e.g. A study by Smith (1960, cited Jones, 1994) showed that…
(You should list only the work you have read, i.e. Jones, in the bibliography.)

ix) If you refer to a contributor in a source you cite just the contributor:-
e.g. Hardware development has been given as the cornerstone in this industry (Smith, 1995).
See Section 2 below for an explanation of how to list contributions (chapters in books, articles in journals, papers in conference proceeding) in the bibliography.

x) If you refer to a person who has not produced a work, or contributed to one, but who is

quoted in someone else’s work it is suggested that you should mention the person’s name

and you must cite the source author:-
e.g. Sue Bock stressed the part psychology plays in athletic performances in an interview with Marshall (1999).

e.g. “Psychology plays a very important part in athletic performances”, Sue Bock said in a recent article (Marshall, 1999, p.67).

(You should list the work that has been published, i.e. Marshall, in the bibliography.)

xi) If there is more than one reference at the same point in the text, they should be listed in

order of publication date (earliest first):-

e.g. Smith (1958), Brown (1964) and Jones (1992) all believe that …

This can also be written using semicolons to separate the authors:-

e.g. Several pieces of research have been undertaken (Smith, 1998; Brown, 2001; Jones, 2004) indicating that …
Personal communications:-

  • Taken from: APA, 1983. Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. 3rd ed. Washington: APA.

They do not provide recoverable data and so are not included in the reference list. Cite personal communications in the text only. Give initials as well as the Surname of the communicator and provide as exact a date as possible.

e.g. Many designers do not understand the needs of disabled athletes according to P.A. Ross (personal communication, May 18, 1999).

2. References at the end of a piece of work
At the end of a piece of work list references to documents cited in the text. This list may be called a Bibliography or more commonly References. Exceptionally you may be asked to list references not cited in the text but which make an important contribution to your work.

In the Harvard System, the references are listed in alphabetical order of authors’ names.
If you have cited more than one item by a specific author they should be listed chronologically (earliest first), and by letter (1993a, 1993b) if more than one item has been published during a specific year.
Whenever possible, elements of a bibliographical reference should be taken from the title page of the publication.
For place of publication give the city. If more than one town/city is listed give the first one or the location of the publishers head office. If the town/city is not well known, you may in addition add a county, region or state. Note that in the United States of America states are denoted by a two letter code, for example Hillsdale, NJ:
For the publishers name omit superfluous terms such as Publishers, Co, or Inc. Always retain the words Books or Press. Where the publisher is a university and the place or location is included in the name of the university, do not repeat the place of publication.
Each reference should use the elements and punctuation given in the following examples for the different types of published work you may have cited.

i) Reference to a book
Author’s Surname, Initials., Year of publication. Title. Edition (if not the first). Place of publication: Publisher.
e.g. Roderick, M.J. (2006). The Work of Professional Football: A labour of love? London: Routledge.
e.g. Coakley, J.J. (2003). Sport in Society: Issues and Controversies (8th edn). Boston. McGraw-Hill
ii) Reference to a contribution in a book
Contributing author’s Surname, Initials., Year of publication. Title of contribution. Followed by In: Initials. Surname, of author or editor of publication followed by ed. or eds. if relevant. Title of book. Place of publication: Publisher, Page number(s) of contribution.
e.g. Cooper, D. (2006). My favourite medicated shampoos. In: R. Cramb, (ed). Annual Review of Body Management. Newbury Park, CA: Sage, 502-510.

iii) Reference to an article in a journal
Author’s Surname, Initials., Year of publication. Title of article. Title of journal, Volume number and (part number), Page numbers of contribution.
e.g. Palmer, C. (2001). Outside the imagined community: Basque terrorism, political activism and the Tour de France. Sociology of Sport Journal, 18, (2), 147-168.

iv) Reference to a newspaper article
Author’s Surname, Initials., (or Newspaper title,) Year of publication. Title of article. Title of newspaper, Day and month, Page number/s and column number.
e.g Holt, O, (1992). Hero Roderick wins FA Cup for Pompey. Independent, 4 June, p.28.

v) Reference to a map
Originator’s Surname, first name or initials, (may be cartographer, surveyor, compiler, editor, copier, maker, engraver, etc.) year of publication. Title, Scale. (should be given normally as a ratio) Place of publication: Publisher.
e.g. Mason, James, 1832. Map of the countries lying between Spain and India, 1:8,000,000. London: Ordnance Survey.

vi) Reference to a conference paper
Contributing author’s Surname, Initials., Year of publication. Title of contribution. Followed by In: Initials. Surname, the editor of proceedings (if applicable) followed by ed. Title of conference proceedings including date and place of conference. Place of publication: Publisher, Page numbers of contribution.
e.g. Toussaint, H.M. (1983). A power balance applied to swimming. In: A.P. Hollander ed. Biomechanics and Medicine in Swimming: Proceedings of the Fourth International Symposium on Swimming Medicine. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics, pp.165-172.
vii) Reference to a publication from a corporate body
(e.g. a government department or other organisation).
Name of issuing body, Year of publication. Title of publication. Place of publication: Publisher, Report Number (where relevant).
e.g. UNESCO, 1993. General information programme and UNISIST. Paris: Unesco, (PGI-93/WS/22).

viii) Reference to a thesis
Author’s Surname, Initials., Year of publication. Title of thesis. Designation, (and type). Name of institution to which submitted.
e.g. Parker, A. (1996). Chasing the big-time: Football apprenticeship in the 1990s. Unpublished Thesis (PhD). Warwick University.

ix) Reference to a video, film or broadcast
Title, Year. (For films the preferred date is the year of release in the country of production.) Material designation. Subsidiary originator. (Optional but director is preferred, Surname in capitals) Production details – place: organisation.
e.g. Carry On Sport Science, 1966. Film. Directed by Harry H. Corbett. UK: Amazon Pictures.
e.g. The Essential Olympics, 1998. Video. London: Harper Videos.
Programmes and series: the number and title of the episode should normally be given, as well as the series title, the transmitting organisation and channel, the full date and time of transmission.
e.g. Yes, Prime Minster, Episode 1, The Ministerial Broadcast, 1986. TV, BBC2. 1986 Jan 16.
e.g. News at Ten, 2001. Jan 27. 2200 hrs.
Contributions: individual items within a programme should be cited as


e.g. Blair, Tony, 1997. Interview. In: Six O’clock News. TV, BBC1. 1997 Feb
x) Electronic Material - Following the Harvard System
The British Standard BS 5605:1990 does not include recommendations for electronic sources. The recommendations in this document follow best practice in referencing electronic resources and where possible follow the guidance of the British Standard.
xi) Reference to web pages/sites and e-books
Author's /Editor's Surname, Initials., Year. Title [online]. (Edition). Place of publication, Publisher (if ascertainable). Available from: URL [Accessed Date].
e.g. Baker, C., 2006. Citing Internet sources: A Guide [online]. Durham, Durham University. Available from:

[Accessed 4 December 2006].

xii) Reference to e-journals
Author's Surname, Initials., Year. Title. Journal Title [online], volume

(issue), location within host. Available from: URL [Accessed Date].

e.g. KORB, K.B., 1995. Persons and things: book review of Bringsjord on Robot-Consciousness. Psycholoqy [online], 6 (15). Available from: [Accessed 20 May 2004].

xiii) Reference to mailbase / listserv e-mail lists
Author's Surname, Initials., Day Month Year. Subject of message.

Discussion List [online] Available from: list e-mail address [Accessed Date].
e.g. Brook, E.V., 2 May 2006. Re: Sailing short courses. Lis-link [online]. Available from:

[Accessed 17 Jun 2006].

e.g. Jones, L.R., 12 Dec 1999. Recommendation of student radio/tv in French. IASTAR [online]. Available from: LISTSERV@FTP.NRG.DTU.DK

[Accessed 29 May 2002].

It should be noted that items may only be kept on discussion group servers for a short time and hence may not be suitable for referencing. A local copy could be kept by the author who is giving the citation, with a note to this effect.

xiiii) Reference to personal electronic communications (e-mail)
Sender's Surname, Initials. (Sender’s e-mail address), Day Month Year. Subject of Message. e-Mail to Recipient's Initials. Surname (Recipient’s email address).
e.g. Turner, D. (, 4 Apr 2002. RE: Welcome to T. Woods.

e-Mail to M. James (

xv) Reference to CD-ROMs and DVDs
This section refers to CD-ROMs which are works in their own right and not

bibliographic databases.

Author's Surname, Initials., Year. Title [type of medium CD-ROM].

(Edition). Place of publication, Publisher (if ascertainable). Available from:

Supplier/Database identifier or number (optional) [Accessed Date] (optional).
e.g. Hawking, S.W., 1994. A brief history of time: an interactive adventure. [CDROM]. Crunch Media.

Citing unpublished material
See BS 6371:1983. Citation of unpublished documents. B.S.I. (Talbot Campus

Library & Learning Centre and Bournemouth House Library 028.7 BRI).


If you have material (e.g. statistics, transcripts of interviews, photo-copies of children’s work) that you need to present for your argument to be understood, place them in an appendix after the main essay and the bibliography. Use appendices sparingly: they should be used to reinforce/highlight a point, not confuse the argument and should be clearly sectioned from 1 onwards.

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