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Help on Referencing  

Find out why referencing is important, how to create correct citations and bibliographies in the Harvard style and learn about some useful referencing software
Last Updated: Jul 24, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

Referencing Print Page

Harvard referencing help guides

SHU Guide to Referencing and CitationsGuide to Referencing and Citations

The definitive guide!

The Sheffield Hallam University Guide to Referencing and Citations offers detailed and comprehensive guidance on the Harvard referencing style recommended at SHU, including

  • why you need to reference
  • how to cite in your work 
  • how to produce a bibliography

With examples of how to cite and reference a huge number of different types of material.

Not all students at SHU are expected to use the Harvard-SHU system for referencing. Please follow the guidance you are given by your tutors.  The "Help with other Referencing styles" section on this page may also be useful


Other referencing guides

You may also find these useful:Referencing quick guide 2012

Referencing - a quick guide - a leaflet available from learning centres.  An introduction to the Harvard system of referencing recommended at SHU with some examples of how to reference commonly used materials.  

Referencing: more than just commas and full stops - an online tutorial.


Develop your skills

re: Search is an online tutorial available in a series of bite-size units. One of these units is about Referencing and contains information, short videos and quizzes about Harvard referencing and how referencing can help you to avoid plagiarism.


Referencing from Resource Lists Online

When you are referencing, use the details provided on the source itself - the book, article or paper you have used.  Do not rely on the details provided in Resource Lists Online alone.

If you are referencing an electronic source, use the name of the database or site on which the full text of the source can be found as the database from which the reference was obtained and as the source of the URL.

In Resource Lists Online there is a "View Bibliography" button.  If you click on this, you can then see the references from the list formatted in a style that you select.  Please be aware that the Harvard style option is not consistent with the Harvard style recommended at SHU.


Referencing from Library Search

Author names

If you copy or export reference details from Library Search, please be aware that some author names may be incorrect.  Where a source has multiple authors they may be listed in the wrong order or authors' family and given names might be reversed.

When you are referencing, use the authors' details provided on the source itself - the book, article or paper you have used.  Do not rely on the author details provided in Library Search. 

If a source has more than one author, make sure that the authors appear in your references in the same order as they appear in the source.  

Authors' family names should appear before their given name(s) in a reference.

Some newspaper articles are being assigned the author "Anonymous" in Library Search.  It is preferable to use the title and year to cite sources where the author cannot be identified.  Anonymous should not usually be used.

Some author names are being given in uppercase (all capital letters) in Library Search.

If you are exporting references to RefWorks from Library Search you will need to amend the author details in your RefWorks database.

 URL and [online] appearing in references to print resources

This is a problem with references exported to RefWorks

All references imported from Library Search into RefWorks are automatically being given the Source Type "Electronic" even if you have your default Source Type set to be "Print".  This results in the text "[online]" and the URL appearing in references to all material including print material when using the Harvard-SHU and some other output styles.

To correct this, you need to edit any references you import from Library Search in which you do not want the online information to appear. Click on "Edit" and then "Additional Fields".  Change the Source Type from "Electronic" to "Print". 

If you have a lot of references to change, you can use the Global Edit feature. 

We are trying to resolve this problem as soon as possible.

Book references

If you import references to books from Library Search, you need to check the following in the references in RefWorks and edit them if necessary:

  • are all the authors included and are they are in the correct order?
  • has the reference been given the correct "Ref Type" (this appears on the bar above each reference).  The Ref Type should be Book,Whole (for a book with authors) or Book, Edited (for a book with editors)?
  • if the book has an edition, does this appear in the Edition field?  It should be in the format 2nd, 3rd, 4th, etc.
  • does the place of publication appear in the reference in the Place of Publication field?

We are working with the suppliers of Library Search and RefWorks to try to improve how book references are imported.  Apologies for the inconvenience.

Harvard style

Please note that the Harvard style which can be used to view resources in the "Saved Items" folder in Library Search is not consistent with the Harvard-SHU style.


Forthcoming changes to referencing guidance

From September 2014 the guidance on referencing will be changing.  The changes are designed to simplify the referencing of online sources. Please check back later for more details.

Updates will be available for Microsoft Word and RefWorks.


The Harvard SHU referencing style

The Harvard method of referencing is a way of citing using the author and year.  This method is thought to have been first used by Edward Lauren Mark at Harvard University's Zoological Laboratory (Chernin 1988). "Harvard" refers to this general method, but there is no definitive Harvard style showing specific details of how to cite and reference.

It is possible to find many styles showing different ways this method can be applied.  The Harvard-SHU style was developed to provide consistent examples and guidance and is used across most of the University.

Note: When you are using Library Search, Resource Lists Online, databases and other sources, you may be given the option to view or save your references in a Harvard style.  However, this may not be the same as the Harvard-SHU style recommended at SHU and by your tutors.

When using RefWorks and Microsoft Word, there is an option to reference in the Harvard-SHU style which follows the guidelines given here.

If you are asked to produce your references in a different way or to use a different system of referencing, please see the "Help with other Referencing styles" section on this page and refer to your course handbook or tutor for guidance.

CHERNIN, Elie (1988). The Harvard system: a mystery dispelled. [online]. BMJ, 297 (6655), 1062-1063. Article from PubMed Central last accessed 9 May 2013 at:


Help with other referencing styles

Not all students at SHU are expected to use the Harvard-SHU system for referencing. Please follow the guidance you are given by your tutors.

If you are a student in the Faculty of Development and Society, you may be asked to use another system, such as a numeric system or footnotes. If this is the case, please refer to your course handbook or tutors for guidance.  

  • If you are studying History you should use the relevant guidance documents attached below

  • Law students should use the relevant guidance documents attached below.  The OSCOLA guidelines and this OSCOLA quick reference guide are useful

  • If you are studying English you should use the guidance you are given by your tutors

  • If you are studying Psychology, this guide to APA referencing from the American University of Sharjah is recommended. 

  • Students doing Biosciences use a modified version of Harvard-SHU as described on the Biosciences subject guide

  • Student studying Fine Art and Creative Art Practice should refer to the lecture slides and the course handbook for help with the Oxford system

Please always check the guidance given by your tutors.

The Publication manual of the American Psychological Association and the MLA style manual and guide to scholaraly publishing are available to borrow from the learning centre.


Academic integrity

If you don't reference your sources correctly then you may be guilty of plagiarism, which is seen as a form of cheating and may have serious consequences.

See What happens if I've been accused of cheating? for more information.


Referencing - quick guide


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