UTS Library

Creating References

Please see below a list of additional Guidelines and Rules for Harvard UTS Referencing. If you need any help you can visit our Ask a Librarian page.

In-Text References and the Reference List

When you cite a reference in the text of your document, use the author surname and the year of publication. This is called an in-text reference. For example:

The theory was first propounded in 1970 (Larsen 1971), and was confirmed two decades later (Williams & Jones 1991).

If there are four or more authors, list the first author and abbreviate with et al. (Note that all the authors must still be listed in the reference list at the end of your document).

This has also been shown experimentally (Brown et al. 1983).

If the author name is already in the text immediately in front of the in-text reference, you can use just the year. For example:

Larsen (1971) was the first to propound the theory. This was subsequently investigated by Brown et al. (1983) and then confirmed by Williams and Jones (1991).

You can use either format for each in-text reference, it is totally up to you and just depends on how you think your writing reads best.

If you have a group of references cited together in the text, they should be ordered alphabetically by first author surname: eg (Brown et al. 1983; Larsen 1971; Mueller 1997; Williams & Jones 1991).

If you have no date for a reference, use n.d. (for 'no date') instead of the year. If you only have an approximate date, put c. (for 'circa', meaning around) in front of the year: eg (White n.d.) and (Beethoven c. 1813).

Sometimes you may need to use a particular in-text reference quite often. In this case you can leave out the repeated in-text references within a particular paragraph provided it is very clear from your discussion what is being referred to. Normally you should still repeat the in-text reference when you start a new paragraph, or in the same paragraph after you mention a different in-text reference. For example:

Larsen (1971) was the first to propound the new theory. He claimed that the old theory was 'manifestly inadequate' (p. 89), and follows this up with a series of arguments. The international implications of this are shown to be quite serious. Although it was shown later that parts of the old theory are still quite good (Brown et al. 1983), Larsen's (1971) overall criticism remains valid. They can be shown to be applicable in a wide variety of situations and across many disciplines.

The principle point arises from how we interpret the 'ambiguity coefficient' (Larsen 1971, p. 3).

All in-text references must be included in a single list of full references at the end of your document.

The reference list should begin on a new page. This list must be arranged alphabetically by the surnames of the first authors. If these are the same, use author initials, and if necessary subsequent author names if there is more than one author. If these are all the same too, then order by year (oldest first). And if these are also the same, order alphabetically by their titles. In this final case (only), once the order is worked out, the years have a letter added to them (see Rules about authors, below).

When a reference is more than one line long, the extra lines are normally indented by a tab space (this is called a 'hanging indent'). There are numerous examples illustrating this on the other pages of this guide. You can have a blank line between references if you wish, in which case you may not need to indent the long references; however we strongly recommend always using indentation for references that extend over more than one line.

The preference for indentation or non-indentation varies across faculties so if in doubt you should consult your lecturer, tutor, or faculty assignment writing guide about this. However we strongly recommend using indentation of long references in all cases, so you should do this unless specifically instructed not to.

What each full reference looks like depends on what kind of reference it is (book, journal article, website etc). The sections of this guide show how different types of references should look in your reference list.

Rules about authors

If a reference has two or three authors, use & between the last two. If four or more authors, list only the first author in the in-text reference, and abbreviate the others by 'et al.' (Latin for 'and others'). However, all the authors must still be listed in the reference list.

Sometimes an author can be an organisation such as a government or university department, or a company. In this case treat the name of the organisation as the author surname.

If you have two references by the same author, but the references were printed in different years, list the references in chronological order in your reference list. Eg:

Smith, A. 2003 ...

Smith, A. 2005 ...

If a reference has no author, use the book title, chapter title or article title instead, both in text AND in the reference list. The title should keep the same formatting as it has normally, ie for books it should be in italics, for chapters and articles it should be in single quotes (see Rules about titles below).

References by the same author, published in the same year

If you are using two or more works by the same author, published in the same year, distinguish them by adding a, b, c and so on after the year, both in-text and in your reference list. The letters are ordered alphabetically by title. So that a book called Cats would get the letter a in the example below and the book Dogs would get b

In text:

(Dickinson 1990a)
(Dickinson 1990b)

Reference List:

Dickinson, V. 1990a, Cats, Chordata Press, Vladivostok.

Dickinson, V. 1990b, Dogs, Chordata Press, Vladivostok.

Although it is very rare, sometimes you might use two works by the same author, where neither has a date. You would normally use "n.d." in place of the year for no date; in the case where the authors are the same, you should use "n.d.-a" and "n.d.-b" etc.

Authors with Jr in their names

If your author's name has 'Junior' or 'Senior', eg W. Strunk Jr, cite with just the surname in the text, eg (Strunk & White 1979), and in your reference list place Jr or Sr after the final initial of the author's first names, eg: Strunk W. Jr & White E.B. 1979, The elements of style, 3rd edn, Macmillan, New York.

If the author is a long organisational name

Sometimes the author of a reference can be an organisation with a long name. This makes in-text referencing difficult if you need to reference it often. To deal with this, you may use an abbreviation of the organisation's name, if you wish, as follows.

When you first mention the organisation in your document you need to make clear what its abbreviation is. For example (but there are many ways of doing this, you can choose to do this any way that makes it clear): According to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT 2006) ...

Thereafter in your document text you can refer to the author using its abbreviated name (in this case, as DFAT), including in any in-text references, eg (DFAT 2007).

In your reference list, you must list all the references as normal using the full organisational name.

You also need to put an extra entry into your reference list for the abbreviation, in the appropriate place alphabetically, indicating what the full name is. This entry is of the form: Abbreviation - see Full name. For example:

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade 2006, Policy guidelines, DFAT, Canberra.

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade 2007, Policy amendments, DFAT, Canberra.

DFAT - see Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Note that the abbreviation's entry does not have a date. Note also that there might be one or more references in your list that come between the full names and the abbreviation. For example in this case you might have references by authors called, say, Derwin and Dexter, in between the full names and the abbreviation. You might then have:

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade 2006, Policy guidelines, DFAT, Canberra.

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade 2007, Policy amendments, DFAT, Canberra.

Derwin, J.K. 1999, 'Referencing challenges for university students', Journal of Higher Education, vol. 28, no. 3, pp. 34-40.

Dexter, A.J. & Smith, B. 2011, Fresh water availability in New Zealand, Victoria University Press, Wellington.

DFAT - see Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Rules about titles

Book titles, journal names and website titles should be in italics.

Chapter titles from books, article titles from a journal or magazine, and theses titles are not in italics but single quotation marks.

All major words in the names of journals, newspapers and magazines should start with a capital letter. In other titles, all words should start with a lower case letter (except the first word and proper nouns).

If you have to include a reference in your reference list that begins with a title (such as a film or a report with no author), place the reference in your list alphabetically. If the title of the reference begins with the words a, an or the, do not count this word when placing the reference into the list.

For example: The man who wasn't there would go in your reference list under the letter M.

Rules about online material

How you reference an online source can be tricky because it depends on where it comes from and what kind of reference it is. The information below is just a brief summary, you should check the rest of our guide for the specific type of material you want to reference.

If the source comes from a public website that anyone can access, you would normally use the website format (but there are some exceptions):

Author Year, Title of page (in italics), type of document (if necessary), publisher (not required if same as the author), location of publisher (if necessary), viewed day month, <URL>.

In many cases the author will be an organisation and will also be the publisher (eg a company or government department). In most cases you won't need the type, publisher or location. The URL must be freely accessible. If the URL is excessively long, use a cut-down URL (for example the URL of the web page that contains the link to the page you used), as long as it is clear how to get to the actual page used.

If the source is a journal, newspaper or magazine article, or an online book, from a library database, but is really just an online copy of a print item, you should reference it as if you used the print version of the article or book. No viewed date or URL is required.

If the source is a report, image or other material from a library database, the basic format is:

Author Year, Title (in italics), type of document (if necessary), publisher (not required if same as the author), location of publisher (if necessary), viewed day month, <Name of Database plus the word database>.

There are several variations though; sometimes the title is in single quotes instead of italics. Some examples of this format are in the Reports and Images sections of our guide.

Referencing quotations

If you are using a short quote, your in-text reference must give the page number(s) where the quote comes from. Use p. for a single page or pp. for several pages. For example:

It has been suggested that 'the taxation advantage enjoyed by superannuation funds, relative to private investment in shares, was somewhat neutralised in 1988' (McGrath & Viney 1997, p. 137).

If you are sourcing a quotation from a website, you will not be able to quote a page number, so instead use the paragraph number, abbreviated with the term 'para.'

Eg: (Department of Finance 2009, para. 5)

If the web page is particularly long and unwieldy, describe the section of the website that contains your quotation in the body of your writing, and then mention the paragraph number in the in-text citation.

Eg: In the Summer Collections section of the Fashion Report for 2013, it was predicted that 'red would be the colour for 2014' (Style Daily 2013, para. 16).

You may need to refer to a chapter, or some other part of a document, in your in-text citations (the last example uses a time stamp for a video or audio recording):

Williams and Smith (2008, ch. 2, para. 7) stated that...

(Jakubowicz 2014, slide 5), (Alberts 2002, fig. 7), (Spiegel 2009, 5:36)

Quote of more than 30 words

When making a direct quote of more than about thirty words do not use quotation marks but include the quote as a separate paragraph, indented from the text margin and set in smaller type.

Quote from a work citing another author

Sometimes a work you are using quotes a work from another author. For example, on page 17 of an article or book by Thorne, written in 1994, you find a quote from a 1906 paper by Albert Einstein. To cite the quote by Einstein you should mention it in the text and use Thorne as your in-text reference, with page number from Thorne. For example (and there could be many other variations):

Einstein stated in 1906 that 'time is relative' (Thorne 1994, p. 17).

Thorne (1994, p. 17) notes that in 1906 Einstein stated that 'time is relative'.

According to Thorne (1994, p. 17) it was Einstein who stated that 'time is relative' in 1906.

Einstein (1906, cited in Thorne 1994, p.17) stated that time is relative.

'Time is relative' according to Einstein (Thorne 1994, p. 17).

'Time is relative' (Einstein, cited in Thorne 1994, p. 17).

In your reference list you must have the full reference for Thorne. If you wish, you may also include the reference for Einstein (you can get this from Thorne's reference list); but this isn't normally recommended because you haven't actually consulted the Einstein paper directly.

Quote within a quote

If your quotation contains a quote, use double quotation marks for the internal quote. You don't need to mention who made the internal quote (a reader can find that out by looking up your reference to the main quote) but it can be useful to do so. The main quote might mention this anyway. Examples:

This is also argued by Jones (2017, p.23): 'the financial service industry is "certain to collapse in 6 months" according to the Finance Minister'.

There is still debate on this topic, with claims such as 'Churchill said that "the war will be over before Christmas" in 1940' being made (Taylor 2017, p. 152).

Williams (2017, p. 65) points out that 'the latest peace efforts in the Middle East are "the least likely to succeed in years", according to well-informed sources'. 


If you are merely summarising or paraphrasing, rather than directly quoting, you do not need to give page numbers. However, you can if you wish, and it is strongly recommended to give page numbers when paraphrasing from a work of many pages such as a book, or a lengthy article or report (so that a reader can easily locate the section that you paraphrased).

Some useful abbreviations

circa (used for approx date)










editor, -s

ed. eds







no date of publication


number, -s


page, -sp. pp.

volume, -s

vol. vols


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