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This guide introduces the Harvard referencing style and includes examples of citations.

Introduction to referencing using Harvard

Welcome to the UCL guide to referencing with Harvard. This site contains guidance on how to reference a range of different types of source using (a form of) Harvard. Watch the video above for an overview of Harvard referencing, and some of the basic principles to follow when using this style.

Essentials for referencing with Harvard

Harvard is a style that uses in-text citations, in an author-date format. This means that when citing a source in your work you will include:

  • author(s) or editor(s) surname or family name.
  • year of publication.
  • page number(s) if needed.

For example:

There is a broadly accepted view of the secondary school Maths classroom as one in which the didactic method reigns: an expert/teacher communicates subject-specific information and a room of pupils ‘sit in rows passively absorbing knowledge’ (Wright, 2020, p.735).  However this view is one that Wright challenges ...

The full reference to each source that you cite in your work should be included in a References section, at the end of the essay. This will list each source referenced, ordered alphabetically by author's surname. 

The information included will vary depending on the type of source, but will broadly include:

  • Who has ‘made’ the item (the author, creator, compiler…)?
  • What is it called?
  • If part of a larger work, what is that called?
  • Where was (is) it disseminated/published?
  • Who is responsible for the dissemination/publishing?
  • When was it disseminated/published?
  • A direct quotation, or allusion, should always include the page number(s).

Common examples

An example of a reference for a book:

Ronson, J. (2012). The psychopath test: a journey through the madness industry. London: Picador.

An example of a reference for a journal article

Skelton, A. (2011). ‘Value conflicts in higher education teaching’, Teaching in Higher Education, 17(3), pp.257-268. doi: 10.1080/13562517.2011.611875.

A References list, that includes the three examples above, will look as follows:


Ronson, J. (2012). The psychopath test: a journey through the madness industry. London: Picador.

Skelton, A. (2011). ‘Value conflicts in higher education teaching’, Teaching in Higher Education, 17(3), pp.257-268. doi: 10.1080/13562517.2011.611875.

Wright, P. (2020). ‘Visible and socially-just pedagogy: implications for mathematics teacher education', Journal of Curriculum Studies, 52(6), pp.733-751. doi: 10.1080/00220272.2020.1790667.

Harvard Versions

There are many variations of the Harvard style. Be sure to match the Harvard style that best suits the style recommended in your course handbook, and always ask your tutor which referencing style they want you to use in your academic work.

Referencing examples in this guide are based on the 9th Edition of Cite them right: the essential referencing guide by Pears and Shields (2013). Other examples in this guide have been adapted from online support produced by Sue Stevens and Alex Jubb at the University of Birmingham.

The content in this guide is available under a CC-BY-NC-SA License.

This guide will be reviewed and updated annually.