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Guidance for creating the reference list

The reference list appears at the end of your work. References on the list should appear in one sequence in alphabetical order of the author’s surname.

The reference list consists of full references to the sources you have used to produce your work. The first two parts of the reference, (the author’s surname and the date) provide the link to the citation you made in the text.

In general

The following instructions apply to all kinds of material that you might reference.

  • The references must be listed in alphabetical order by the names of the authors, i.e. in the usual A-Z order of the English alphabet.
  • However, do not change the author order which the authors chose! If you see an article where the authors are given as "Smith J. and Jones T.", you leave Smith first in your citation and reference. This reference will appear in the alphabetical reference list by the 'S' at the beginning of Smith.
  • Always write the surname (family name) of each author first followed by initials of personal names.
  • You must list all of the authors of each piece of work in the reference list. (Your reference list is not included in your word count).
  • If you have several works by the same author in the same year, sort them by second author (if present) then title. The first to appear in your reference list will have the letter "a" after the date, the second will have "b" and so on. Use these letters when you are citing these sources in the text of your work.

HINT: You can use the sort button (it has the letters AZ and an arrow) in Word to sort your list for you.

  • If you cannot find an author, an editor, or an organisation name (corporate author), use the title of the item in place of the author’s name or cite the work as Anonymous.
  • If you cannot find a date put (no date).
  • Titles are written in "sentence case", i.e. you only use a capital letter for the first word in the title except for words that usually have capital letters in English. These include people's names, place names, and the names of organisations.
  • 'Place of publication' means town or city. Not country, and not street address.
  • You will often see the information in a different order on a journal article PDF, in an article's "cite as" suggestion, or on the cover of a book, from how we show it here. Make sure you do not just copy this into your reference. Change it so that it follows the rules of the Harvard style.
  • A common change you will need to make is that the author's name may be given in the order 'personal name then surname', for example, "Chris Smith". You will need to change this to the correct format, 'surname then initial of personal name', for example, "Smith, C.".
  • There are online reference generators. If you use one of these, check the references it creates and edit them if they do not match the guidelines in this document.
  • The EndNote output style Harvard (Brad) has been set up to match this document.

Referencing electronic sources

There are some general points to consider when citing and referencing electronic documents:

  1. You must give enough information for your source to be traced in the future.
  2. You should cite the date the document was last updated, if you can find this date, and the date you accessed the document.
  3. It is useful to include a publisher, that is, the organisation that runs the website. However if you cannot find this you can leave it out.
  4. If you find journal articles via the internet or indexing databases, you should cite the journal as your source of information, not the webpage or database.

I need to reference something that isn’t in this document

There is a pattern to all references; they will always start with the author’s name, the date, the title, and then other details to help your reader track down what you have used. You can often build your own reference by looking at the item you have and deciding what bits of information will be useful to your reader.

There are more examples of references for different kinds of source in books on referencing, such as these:

Neville, C. (2010) The complete guide to referencing and avoiding plagiarism. 2nd edition. Open University Press.

Pears, R. and Shields, G. (2013) Cite them right: the essential referencing guide. 9th edition. Palgrave Macmillan.

Please be aware that the styles given in these books, and by online reference generators (except Endnote) will not exactly match the University of Bradford style, so you will need to modify their examples.

You can also ask your subject librarian for help.