Harvard Referencing Style

A Brief Overview of Harvard Referencing Style

Referencing or citing the sources of your document is an important part of any academic writing. If you are using the ideas or words of others, then refrencing allows you to acknowledge those and helps in avoiding plagiarism. It also demonstrates that you've read relevant literature and can provide authenticity for statements you mention in your work.

The Harvard citation style is the preferred referencing style for many disciplines of study in Australian universities. It is an author-date referencing style and can vary in minor features such as punctuation, capitalization, abbreviations, and the use of italics. There are mainly two types of Harvard referencing, in-text citations and reference lists. In-text citations are used in the main body of the work and are also included in some fraction of the bibliographical information. And, reference lists are applied at the end of the main work and while enlisting information of all the sources that are included in the document. 

Generally, Harvard in-text citations follow this format:

(Last name year of publication, page number from where information was taken)

For example:

(Holt 1997, p.25)

Key points to remember:
  • Citations are listed in an alphabetical order by the author’s last name.
  • If there are multiple sources by the same author, then citations are listed in order of the date of publication.

Types of citation

You can cite the source of your document directly, for example quoting verbatim from it. And also, indirectly like citing the source of your work to show that you have used an author's ideas, but not quoted them.

Example of direct citation:  '"Chocolate has an infinite variety of uses" (Davis, 2013, p.8).'

Example of indirect citation: 'As Davis (2013) notes, chocolate can be used in many different ways.'

Note: When quoting directly from a source, page numbers should be used. If you are quoting indirectly as outlined above, page numbers aren’t needed. If a page number is not available, then paragraph number can be used. And in case even the paragraph number is not available, the abbreviations 'n.p' or 'n. pag.' can be used to show that no page number is available.

We have also mentioned citation examples of various reference sources at below. Read those and make your document up to the mark.

1. Citations for Books

Harvard Referencing for Books with One Author

The structure of a citation for books with one author is given below:


Author(s) family name, Initial(s) Year of publication, Title, Publisher, Place of publication.

For example:

Holt, DH 1997, Management principles and practices, Prentice Hall, Sydney.

Citation Style for Books with Two or More Authors

While putting a citation that has two or more authors in the list of references, it is important that you write the names in the order in which they are printed in the source.


Last name, First initial, Last name, First initial, Last name, First initial...& Last name, First initial Year of publication, Title, Publisher, City.

For example:

McCarthy, EJ, William, DP & Pascale, GQ 1997, Basic marketing, Irwin, Sydney.

C) Book with more than three authors

Write first author’s last name, first name, and middle initials et al. And, italicize the title, publication location, company, year and print.

For example:

David, et al. A Guide to Architecture in San Francisco & Northern California. Santa Barbara: Peregrine, 1973. Print.

Tools for creating harvard Book references:

2. Referencing Journal/eBooks

Citations for Print Journal Articles

The standard for print journal citation is given below:


Last name, First initial Year of publishment, ’Article title,’ Journal, Volume, Issue number, Page(s).

For example:

Conley, TG & Galeson, DW 1998, 'Nativity and wealth in mid-nineteenth century cities', Journal of Economic History, vol. 58, no. 2, pp. 468-493.

Harvard Referencing for eBooks

The standard for ebook citation is given below:


Last name, First initial Year of publishment, Title, Publisher, City. Available from: URL. [Date of Access in Date Month Year].

For example:

Drucker, P 2012, Managing the non-profit organization, Routledge, London. Available from: Ebook Library. [29 September 2015].

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