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

Frequently asked questions

The Harvard referencing style on this guide is different to the one I have been using. Do I have to use this one instead?

This guide supports the UCL Library Services Harvard style, which has been developed for UCL staff and students. However, there are many variations of the Harvard style. If you are unsure which version you should be using, check your handbook or ask your course tutor. 


How do I reference a source that is not in English?

Non-English language sources can be referenced the same way as English language sources. 

If you are referencing a source which uses another alphabet, you should include a translation of the title in English in square brackets.

If necessary, transliterate the author name using the English alphabet so that citations and references can be easily located in the bibliography.

For example, 胡美玲. (2023). 学前儿童提问中的哲学思维探析. should be written as:

Hu, M. (2023). 学前儿童提问中的哲学思维探析 ['An analysis of philosophical thinking in preschool children’s questions'], 幼儿教育研究 [Early Childhood Education Research], 5, pp.18-20. doi:10.3969/j.issn.2095-9125.2023.05.005.


The source I am referencing is quoting or citing another author. How do I show this in my citation?

This is called 'secondary referencing'. In your in-text citation, you need to include information first on the additional work your source refers to, and then the source that you yourself read. An example would be (Jones, 1987 cited in Smith, 2012).


I can't find the author's name/year of publication/publisher details/page numbers for my source. How do I reference it?

While it is important to include the required information your Reference list and in-text citation, sometimes sources are missing those details. Our section on references with missing details gives guidance on what to do when this happens.


The source I am referencing has more than one author. Do I include them all in my in-text citation? 

If you are referencing a source with one, two or three authors, you include them all in your in-text citation. For four or more authors, you only include one author and the words 'et al', eg (Smith et al., 2012). 


Do I use 'p.' or 'pp.' when referring to specific pages in my in-text citation or in my Reference list?

A single 'p.' is used for a single page (for example, p.32) while the double 'pp.' is used for a page range (such as pp.17-19).


I am referencing two sources by the same author that were both published in the same year. How do I distinguish between them in my in-text citation?

You can do this by adding a lower-case letter to the publication date in your in-text citation, and again in your reference list so that the dates and letters match. So the first reference should appear as (Smith, 2012a), the second as (Smith, 2012b) and so on. 


How do I format my references? Do I use double-spacing? Should my headings be in bold or italics? 

Unlike some referencing styles, Harvard does not have specific rules on how to format your work, beyond requiring that your reference list is alphabetical. Check your handbook or ask your course tutor to find out if you are required to format your work in a particular way.