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References for entry inside of a virtual dictionary that connects to a non-virtual one

I want to reference, Harvard style, the following reference that appears inside of a virtual collection of dictionaries:

"the total of the inherited ideas, beliefs, values, and knowledge, whichconstitute the shared bases of social action"

Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014

I find it all very confusing and I don't find a conclusion in the material I see online. 

1 answer


Hi Dr Pinheiro,

D Litting's picture
D Litting, 1 month ago

Hi Dr Pinheiro,

This is an interesting and complicate one. I think that you have two choices, either to treat it as though it had come from a print dictionary, and thus reference it only in the text as (Collins English Dictionary 2014) - if your dictionary online has page numbers then you can do this without bother. Seeing as the virtual dictionary has editions then this might be the best way of treating the resource, but I will leave you to be the judge. 

The alternative is to reference the dictionary as an electronic version in which case the in text reference would be the same, only it would have a reference list entry, that would be very simple, as is laid out by the Style Manual for Authors by AGPS which defines the Harvard UTS style. In the supplied format you need only reference the dictionary and not the entry itself or the link to a particular page. Eg:

Collins English Dictionary 2014, HarperCollins, London, viewed 9 April 2018, <http://www.collinsdictionary.com/>.

This one is a bit murky but I believe simplicity is best here, and that referring to the previous editions in the reference is unneccesary. You can indiate that the meaning has remain unchanged throughout previous editions in the text of your writing if you feel that is important however. 

Thanks, hope this helps



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