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Harvard Referencing & Citation: Guide on Citing Sources

It is impossible to write a high-quality academic text without links. This way, you provide a list of used sources and get your readers familiar with them. Harvard referencing is one of the most common styles of referencing in text used in the international community.
Thanks to Harvard referencing, you can indicate all sources that were used, making your text correct and convincing. After all, academic work is impossible without involving third-party works. Consequently, such sources become the basis of your own research.

Next, you will see a guide on how to use Harvard citation. So let's look at the format of links and a reference list. Read citation guidelines to avoid mistakes and inaccuracies. We have collected all the experiences of talented authors.

What Is Harvard Referencing?

Harvard reference is used if you cite information that was taken from another source. Academic Integrity Rules oblige students and researchers to include in-text citations. Then they provide a full reference in their reference list.

The Harvard style is usually used in UK universities. However, it is also common worldwide, especially in classical educational institutions. There are two quotation formats that are usually used for most academic writings:

  1. In-text. This is a short mention of an author and a year of issue of the work. For example, indicate a quote, and then put a link (author, year).
  2. In the list of references. It is located at the end of your academic work and requires to indicate not only an author and a year of publication of a book, but also a publisher.

Thus, referencing in accordance with Harvard rules is common in the world scientific community. However, different universities may have their own requirements. Study them before writing a paper.

In-Text Citation: Harvard

When integrating an author's quote in your text or retelling a source, use Harvard in-text citation. After the author's quotation, you should put parentheses and include surname. Then year and page in them, using which your reader can find the mentioned information.

If the author’s surname is already mentioned, indicate only the year of publication and pages (or a single page). This will help to avoid repetitions. The following Harvard citation example will provide you with an opportunity to understand the specifics of this format.

Example of Harvard in-text citation: “All important things in this world are made of truth and joy, not fabric and glass” (Bach, 1992, p. 1).

Place a quote right after a text box or at the end of a sentence. The latter option is appropriate if the context makes it clear what the passage in question refers to.

In-Text Citation Harvard: Multiple Authors

But what if you are using a source that has two, three, or more authors? Then you should know how to cite multiple authors in Harvard. When taking a quote from a work of more than three authors at once, specify their names, separated by commas, only then add other data.

For example, you can provide a reference that looks like:

Example of Harvard citation with two authors:  (Pushkin and Turgenev, 1903)

And if you have four or more authors, include only the very first one. In order not to make a huge list of all writers, add “et al”. For example, such a quote would look like this:

Example of Harvard citation with multiple authors: (Pushkin et al., 1903)

Harvard Citation Format: No Page

You can have problems with text styling when websites are used. Websites usually don’t have page numbers. An in-text citation for sources with no page is also added to your list of sources, and you must do this in accordance with requirements.

When you take a short text, don’t indicate the page number, use only the name of the site. Long text sources require an alternative locator. It can be subheading, paragraph, or para, which can be easily identified.

This sample is very simple. However, in your general list of references, you should indicate an address from which your excerpt was taken. Most often, any citation of source with no page looks like this:

Example of Harvard citation with no page:  (NY Times, para. 5)

Full Citations: Harvard Referencing Guide

The Harvard reference list of citations is required for your readers to understand where you got this or that passage. It is indicated at the end and uses alphabetical sorting of sources. So indicate the original, if there is one.

If you want your full citations for Harvard style referencing to be correct, include the following information in your bibliography:

  • author’s name;
  • Publication year;
  • title;
  • city;
  • publisher;
  • page with text.

You can also add an edition number after the name of the publisher or editor if it is listed in a book's author list. In general, the order should be the same as in the above list. This is a correct approach to presentation of your literature list.

Here is an example.

Example of Harvard reference list of citations: “Levine G. (2019) The Dickensian George Eliot, Dickens Studies Annual, 50(1), pp. 48–65.”

Harvard Referencing: Book Citations

If you are using a book, not a scientific article, you most likely want to know how to cite a book in Harvard Reference list. If it has one author, you should specify a surname and initial at the beginning. Next, specify a year of publication. Then indicate the original title (it must be italicised). After that, specify the city in which the first edition was released. Write the publisher (of the first edition) separated by a colon. Different publishers may publish texts with differences.

Check an example for book citations.

Example of Harvard citing a book: “Rowling, J. K. (1998). Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. New York: Arthur A. Levine Books.”

This Harvard book referencing example will work in most cases. However, multiple authors require a slightly different approach. The scheme is identical, but you should apply our recommendations that we gave you above. So, when listing up to three authors at once, use their surnames and initials consecutively. Try not to use any other elements.

If having four or more authors, use a common format for this. And you can also use it as such in your bibliography. So, our example will look like this:

Example of Harvard citing a book with multiple authors: (Sharp, Aarons, Wittenberg, and Gittens, 2007)

Harvard Referencing: Chapter in a Book

In order to detail the passage, you could indicate the section of the book from which the excerpt was taken. The order is similar to the previous citation options. Thus, you don't have to think about how to reference a chapter in a book using the Harvard style. First, include details about the author. Then add a year of release, a section with the title and name of the editor. Also include the book’s title, city, publisher, and page numbers that you are using.

Such format you should use for your citation in the general bibliography. Here is an example.

Example of Harvard citing a chapter in a book: “Rowling J. K. (1998) ‘The boy who lived’, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's stone. New York: Arthur A. Levine Books.”

Translated Book: Harvard Reference

If you use a translated book, you cannot indicate its original name. In this case, you need to tell about which version you have used. The citation scheme is identical, but after the book's title, you should indicate which language your text was translated from and who its translator was.

You don’t need to use brackets for any information about your translation. The original language is important here. Here is an example of such a citation.

Example of Harvard citing a translated book: “Tokarczuk O. (2019) Drive your plow over the bones of the dead. Translated from the Polish by A. Lloyd-Jones. London: Fitzcarraldo.”

Harvard Referencing: eBook

How to cite an eBook in Harvard format? If you purchased your text from a digital store and used a gadget to read it, you may have such a question. Referring to it is slightly different from paper versions. And it’s important for readers and scientific communities. First, according to tradition, indicate the name and initials of the author. Second, year of publication in brackets. And third, the title of the book and the number of publication.

The format of the book (ebook or pdf) must be placed in square brackets. You put a link where you can find the book after the city and the publisher. In case your link stops working, include an accessed date (when you last accessed this book).

Put a link based on this example.

“Example of Harvard citing an ebook: Zusack M. (2015). The Book Thief. 1st ed. [ebook] New York: Knopf. Available at: (Accessed 20 Apr. 2015).”

Harvard Referencing: Website

If you rely heavily on websites to gather your information, learn how to reference a website in Harvard. This set of information is similar to a bibliography, but there are some differences. In particular, you need to specify not only the link for following, where the site is available at, but also the time when you have last accessed this resource. This will help in case your article or site are no longer available. You will show that you were able to enter that portal and study the information.

Example of referencing a website in Harvard style looks like this.

Example of referencing a website in Harvard style: “Google (2019) Google terms of service. Available at: (Accessed: 27 January 2021)”

Harvard Referencing: Website (No Author)

What if you used material from a site where no author indicated? We will tell you how to reference a website with no author in Harvard style below. You should write the organization, that is, the site’s name from which the information is replaced, the title of the page, and be sure to write “online” in square brackets. You should also add the source and the date of access to it, as in the previous quotes.

Use this example for citation.

Example of referencing a website with no author in Harvard style: “Mms (2015). M&M'S Official Website. Available at: (Accessed 20 Apr. 2015).”

Harvard Referencing: Website (No Date)

It will be different, if you need to know how to reference a website with no date in Harvard, it happens when there is no publication date. For example, it can be a historical document or a blog of a famous scientist, which has no analogues. Then, instead of the date of creation of this information, you should indicate “n.d”.

Follow our example for correct styling.

Example of referencing a website with no date in Harvard style: “ Reference. (n.d.) In: Merriam-Webster [online] Springfield: Merriam-Webster Inc. Available at: (Accessed 12 Dec. 2014).”

Harvard Referencing: Journal Article

The Harvard reference for journal article styling is not very different from other citations. In case of printed editions, you need to indicate the name and initials of their author. After that, the year of publication, and the title of the article. In addition, write the name of the magazine itself. Then its volume (issue) and page that contains the material.

Use italics for titles of publications in order to separate them from other logical blocks. Here is an example of a reference for a journal article.

Example of referencing a journal article  in Harvard style: Ross N. (2015). ‘On truth content and false consciousness in Adorno's Aesthetic Theory’, Philosophy Today, 59 (2), pp. 269-290.

Harvard Referencing: Online Article

Before learning how to cite an online article in Harvard, you should take the available information. If you capitalize material from a regular Internet site, indicate your reference according to our model given above. In a situation where you have used a database or website with official scientific materials, proceed a little differently.

As usual, indicate the author's surname and initials. Then a year of publication, article title, journal title, and number. Write what pages of material were used for your research, and at the end, mark the DOI. Be sure to indicate when and where you have accessed scientific information.

Here is our sample to help you compile a bibliography.

Example of referencing an online article in Harvard style: “Raina S. (2015). Establishing Correlation Between Genetics and Nonresponse. Journal of Postgraduate Medicine, [online] Volume 61 (2), p. 148. Available at: (Accessed 8 Apr. 2015).”

Harvard Referencing: Newspaper Article

It’s quite easy to cite a newspaper article in Harvard Reference List. You need to indicate the surname and initials of the author, the year of publication, article title, newspaper title, as well as pages where it’s placed. This applies to paper printed versions. If it is an Internet article, provide a link to its written material. Then people can follow this link to access the information.

Here is an excellent working example.

Example of referencing a newspaper article in Harvard style: Weisman J. (2015). Deal Reached on Fast-Track Authority for Obama on Trade Accord. The New York Times, p. A1.

Full Harvard Citation for Magazine

If you use magazine articles, you need to know how to reference a magazine in Harvard style. This format is simple. And it’s different from newspaper extracts. The main difference is that you need to specify the name of the magazine itself. You also have to write its volume in your citation. It is usually placed on its cover or in editorial data.

If you still have questions about styling, pay attention to this sample.

Example of referencing a magazine article in Harvard style: “Davidson J. (2008). Speak her language. Men's Health, (23), pp. 104-106.”

Harvard Reference: YouTube Video

Video is being used as a source of information more and more frequently. Therefore, people need Harvard referencing for YouTube video quite often. Use its standard format, in which you need to specify the author, company name, the year when it was uploaded, and also italicize the title or description. And, of course, insert the link to its material.

It would be useful to write such content type in square brackets so that readers understand what exactly you used in your work. Here is an example for such video.

Example of Harvard referencing citation YouTube video: “ 7UP (2015). 7UP Team Up Tiesto. [video]. Available at: (Accessed 8 Apr. 2015).”

Harvard Referencing: Images

Finally, you will learn how to reference an image in Harvard. To do this, use almost identical formula that works for videos. An online picture should be included with information about its author, year of publication, type of content in square brackets and a link where this image is available. URL of images changes quite often, so you should add your date when you accessed it.

Here is an example for your guidance.

Example of Harvard referencing citation images: “Williams A. (2013). DJ Gear. [image] Available at: (Accessed 8 Apr. 2015).”

Harvard Referencing Citation: Bottom Line

Thus, we have provided you with a complete Harvard referencing guide to help you make your in-text citations correct and distinguish them in your text. Citation from internet sources, print publications and videos is similar in logical structure. You always should indicate its author, year of issue. Then include additional information on the publication. And after that, provide a link for access to Internet sources.

If you have any difficulties, not only with quoting, but also with finding sources or writing your text, please contact us immediately. We have experienced authors who write high-quality scientific materials. And they always style texts correctly. This will help you make academic work high-quality, without unexpected refusals and controversial situations.
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FAQ of Harvard Referencing Citation

When should I use a Harvard in-text citation?

Harvard in-text citation is used whenever you need to quote some source where you have got some information. It is also important to indicate its author if you paraphrase, but it is better to limit yourself to one or two sentences, and then make your personal conclusions. The quote itself should have:

  • quotation marks;
  • the data about the author;
  • the year of publication;

All of this should be provided in parentheses.

How to cite two sources in one sentence in Harvard?

If you cite two or more sources in Harvard, include all your sources of information. Multiple sources are used when comparing data or analyzing different points of view. Therefore, use the same format as in a normal quotation. Use different parentheses for each source, separating them by semicolon.

In this case, the example is simple: “quote” (last name of author 1, year of publication); (last name of author 2, year of publication).

How to cite a film in Harvard?

People rarely need to cite a film in Harvard, but this kind of reference exists too. Such format is simple, just to specify the film’s name, the year of its release, and its format in square brackets, the place of video production and director (studio). Thus, you can add any films that were used in your work to your list of references.

Here is an example for citing a film.
Girls Just Want To Have Fun. (1985). [film] Chicago: Alan Metter.

How to create Harvard referencing for online newspaper?

Using materials from the Internet media in your text, you definitely need to cite an online newspaper in Harvard. There should be no problems, because its order is quite standard. First, indicate the surname and initials of the author. Second, the year of publication, article title, newspaper title. And third, the online characteristic in square brackets. Also, your reference must contain a link to the website indicating the date of access.

Here is an example for citing an online newspaper.
Harris E. (2015). For Special-Needs Students, Custom Furniture Out of Schoolhouse Scraps. New York Times, [online] p.A20. Available at: (Accessed 17 Apr. 2015).

How to cite an online dictionary in Harvard?

Harvard reference for online dictionary will add credibility. It will also add weight to your work, because you will refer to a reputable source. Entry data requires indicating the word itself, the year of publication of the dictionary, as well as its name and its link where this word is available. After that, as always, indicate month, day and year to confirm that the portal is working. Here is an example for citing a dictionary.
Reference. (n.d.) In: Merriam-Webster [online] Springfield: Merriam-Webster, Inc. Available at: (Accessed 12 Dec. 2014).

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