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What is referencing and citing?

Citations and References are needed in your assignments to show:

  • that you acknowledge the original creator of the work (be it a book, journal, website etc.);
  • that you have evidence to back up your argument;
  • and to enable others to investigate your area of research more fully.

Using citations and referencing properly will help you:

  • avoid plagiarism, and
  • increase your grades - check your marking scheme as there are marks awarded for proper referencing.

Insert a citation into the text (using whichever style of referencing you have been told to use) at the exact point where you are referring to the work. You will also need to include the full reference in a bibliography or reference list at the end of your assignment.

Full details for each style of referencing are included in the guides linked below.

University of Bradford referencing styles

Your faculty or division has a preferred referencing style. You should be given guidance as to which is the correct style for your course. 

For guidance on referencing, contact your subject librarian or personal tutor. Alternatively, email

The Library has also made available online guides for both the Harvard and Numeric referencing styles. Alternatively, you may download copies of these guides below.

Harvard referencing workshop

Lecture capture video of the Harvard referencing workshop.

Guides by faculty and school

FacultyHarvardNumericOther style
Engineering and Informatics All courses - -
Health Studies All courses - -
Life Sciences Archaeological Sciences; Biomedical Sciences; Clinical Sciences; Optometry; Pharmacy Chemistry; ICT -
Management, Law and Social Sciences All courses, with exceptions -

Law students should consult the brief or full OSCOLA guide. You may consult the brief OSCOLA guide notes by downloading it from the bottom of this page. There is also an International Law OSCOLA guide, the OSCOLA FAQs and OSCOLA tutorial available.

Psychology students starting their courses from Autumn 2020 should consult the APA 7 guidance, including our brief guide to APA 7 found at the bottom of this page, the APA reference guide and detailed examples. You can also view our presentation for a brief introduction to APA 7 referencing (please note: you may need to log in).