To quote Saul Bass, an American graphic designer and Oscar-winning filmmaker, “To engage in downright plagiarism is disappointing. It’s cynical, opportunistic and hypocritical.”
When people think of theft, what usually comes to mind is the act of taking an object from another person. But the same could be said for intellectual property. Researchers of any field strive hard to collect information and data. When we use their research and findings, it’s a sign of respect to give due credit and recognition of their work.
It is a well-known fact that the academic community has a strict adherence to proper citation practices. One globally renowned university even has their own unique citation style: Harvard.
Whether you’re a student looking to learn or an academic in need of a refresher, this article can give you all what you need to know about the Harvard citation style.
What is Harvard Style?
The Harvard citation style makes use of a parenthetical author-date reference system. In the 1880s, a Harvard zoology professor used the parenthetical reference system, which later evolved into the Harvard citation style we know today.
Like other citation styles, its purpose is for people to source the information referenced in the body of research. Apart from giving due credit, citation also makes information accessible for those interested in doing their own research.
As you may already know, the use of the Harvard citation style goes beyond the members of Harvard’s academic community. Several disciplines make use of this citation style, such as humanities and social sciences.
Oftentimes, the Harvard citation style and APA citation style are compared due to the similar disciplines which make use of them. What some people don’t know is that APA citation is actually a variant of the Harvard style. The difference is found in how they are used—APA citation style is used to cite social and behavioural related works; Harvard citation style is used for academic and scientific writing.
How to cite sources in Harvard Citation Style
After giving you a brief history of this citation style, it’s time to show you how to use it. The following are the most commonly-used formats for this style:
Throughout your paper, you’ll need to add in-text citations when quoting or paraphrasing. In-text citations are done to reference information within the body of work. There are two kinds of quoting in in-text citation:
1. Cite Direct Quotes in Harvard Citation Style
A direct quote is when you take the exact words of the author word for word.
|Original Text||Sample Harvard Citation|
|Just as political leaders today often seek to brand themselves, so too did early Maya rulers,” says Ryan H. Collins.||“Just as political leaders today often seek to brand themselves, so too did early Maya rulers.” (Collins 2021)|
Place the exact text within double quotation marks and the citation directly after. The citation will be written within parentheses in the order of last name/s, date, and the page/s.
2. Cite Indirect Quotes/Paraphrased Text in Harvard Citation Style
An indirect quote or paraphrase is when you either summarise or take only the necessary information from the source text and express them in your own words.
|Original Text||Sample End Citation||Sample Beginning Citation|
|Elton Mayo first documented the Hawthorne effect in the 1930s; it concerns research participation, the consequent awareness of being studied, and possible impact on behaviour.
|The Hawthorne effect studies research participation and how the awareness of being studied affects behaviour (Mayo, 1993).
|Elton Mayo’s (1933) Hawthorne effect studies research participation and how the awareness of being studied affects behaviour.
Unlike direct quotes, you can cite indirect quotes either at the beginning or at the end of a sentence. If citing at the end, place the author’s last name and date separated by a comma within parentheses. If citing at the beginning, start with the author’s last name followed by the date within parentheses, then the paraphrased text.
If the page number is not available, leave it blank. If an exact date is not available, write ‘n.d.’
If in the event there is no author, use the organisation. If not, write the title in italics.
Here are ways to put in-text citation if there are multiple authors:
|Authors||Direct Quote||Indirect Quote|
|2 authors||“We found the mtDNA clade I, representative of European wildcats (F. s. silvestris), exclusively in Europe.” (Ottoni & Van Neer, 2017).||Researchers found the DNA of Ancient European wildcats only in Europe (Ottoni & Van Neer, 2017).|
|3 authors||“We found the mtDNA clade I, representative of European wildcats (F. s. silvestris), exclusively in Europe.” (Ottoni, Van Neer, & Cupere 2017).||Researchers found the DNA of Ancient European wildcats only in Europe (Ottoni, Van Neer, & Cupere 2017).|
|4+ authors||“We found the mtDNA clade I, representative of European wildcats (F. s. silvestris), exclusively in Europe.” (Ottoni et al., 2017).||Researchers found the DNA of Ancient European wildcats only in Europe (Ottoni et al., 2017).
Harvard Style Reference List
References are placed at the end of a research paper on a new page labelled ‘References’, capitalised in bold, and aligned in the centre.
References are arranged alphabetically and written in double space. After the first line of each reference entry, all subsequent lines should be indented. This format of this indentation is referred to as hanging indentation.
|Sample Reference List|
AuthorLastName, Initial/s. (Year) Title, Edition. PlaceofPublication: Publisher
Adams, D. (1980) The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, 1st ed. New York: Harmony Books
World Health Organization (2020) Salt reduction. Available at: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/salt-reduction (Accessed: 20 September 2021)
Mental Hygiene Society of Maryland. (1923). Mental health. Mental Hygiene Society of Maryland, 3(9), pp.10-15
Judd, C. H. (1907). Psychology : general introduction. New York: Scribner.
Although there are many source materials with varying details to be used for research, the table above is just a few of the different formats we’re going to explore.
For the templates and samples of citing other reference materials, refer to the following tables.
Referencing Books in Harvard Style
Some things for you to note here are that details such as the edition and pages are not always applicable. In these cases, input the next available detail. Also, for citing multiple authors, either the word or symbol for ‘and’ may be used.
Here are some formulas and samples to follow:
|Sample with 1 Author||Author, A. (Year) Sample Title, Edition. PlaceOfPublication: Publisher, Page/s||Judd, C. H. (1907). Psychology : general introduction. New York: Scribner.|
|Sample with 2 authors||Author, A. and Author, B. (Year) Longer Sample Title, 3rd. PlaceOfPublication: Publisher, Page/s||Saundra, K., and Ciccarelli, J.N. (2020). Psychology. New York: Pearson Education, pp.40-45|
|Sample with 3 authors||Author, A. Author, B. and Author, C. (Year) A Lengthier Sample Title, Edition. PlaceOfPublication: Publisher, Page/s||Bernstein, D. A., Pooley, J. A., & Cohen, L. (2020). Psychology. Melbourne: Cengage, pp.10-15|
|Sample with 4 or more authors||Author, A. and et al. (2020) Sample Title, 5th. PlaceOfPublication: Publisher||Spielman, R. and et al. (2021). Psychology, 2nd. Texas: OpenStax|
Referencing Reports in Harvard Style
If you don’t know, the Digital Object Identifier (DOI) is a series of numbers (sometimes with letters) unique to the document it’s assigned to. Also, for multiple authors, write them down as stated in the Referencing Books table.
|Printed report||AuthorLastName, Initial/s. (Year) Title. Paper number (if applicable). PlaceofPublication: Publisher||Smith, J. (2000) Life of the Average American. Pp.13-15. New York. New York Publications|
|Online report with URL||AuthorLastName, Initial/s. (Year) Title. Paper number (if applicable). Available at: URL (Accessed: date).||Beard, M. (2006). The fall of the Roman Republic, Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ancient/romans/fallofromanrepublic_article_01.shtml (Accessed: 12 Jan 2020)|
|Online report with DOI||AuthorLastName, Initial/s. (Year) Title. Paper number (if applicable). doi:||Jorm, A. F. (2012). Mental Health Literacy. The American Psychologist, 67(3), 231–243. doi: 10.1037/a0025957|
Referencing Websites in Harvard Style
Websites can be intimidating to reference since the links are quite long, but it’s not that difficult. Don’t forget, for multiple authors, write them down as stated in the Referencing Books table.
Here are some formulas and examples for you:
|Website with 1 author||AuthorLastName, Initial/s (Year published/last updated) Title. Available at: URL (Accessed: date).||Bologna, C. (2018) What happens to your mind and body when you feel homesick? Available at: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/what-happens-mindbody-homesick_us_5b201ebde4b09d7a3d77eee1 (Accessed: 20 September 2021)|
|Website with a group or organisation as author||GroupOrCorporateAuthor (Year published/last updated) Title. Available at: URL (Accessed: date).||World Health Organization (2020) Salt reduction. Available at: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/salt-reduction (Accessed: 20 September 2021)|
|Website without author||Title (Year published/last updated). Available at: URL (Accessed: date).||Divest (2020) Available at: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/divest (Accessed: 20 September 2021).|
Referencing Journals in Harvard Style
Finally, here’s how to reference journal articles:
|Print Journal||AuthorLastName/Creator, Initial/s. (Year) ‘Title’, Journal title, Volume(Issue), Page/s.||Mental Hygiene Society of Maryland. (1923). Mental health. Mental Hygiene Society of Maryland, 3(9), pp.10-15|
|Online Journal||AuthorLastName/Creator, Initial/s. (Year) ‘Title’, Journal title, Volume(Issue), Page/s. url/doi: code (Accessed: day month year)||Marshall, JG. (2014). Linking research to practice: the rise of evidenced-based health sciences librarianship. Journal of The Medical Library Association, 102(1), pp.14-21. doi: 10.3163/1536-5050.102.1.005 (10 May 2020)|
Make Harvard Style Citation Easier with Flowcite
Citations are the backbone of any research paper. They are used as tools for sourcing and communicating with other members of a discipline. As necessary and valuable as they are, creating citations is a cumbersome and complicated process.
It’s not always a matter of if you’re able to do it, but how long it takes.
With Flowcite, you can optimise the way you work with its many features to help get your work done efficiently. Flowcite has a range of tools and features to help you conduct and compile research. Try our manuscript editor to help refine your body of research or use our reference manager to help you with those tedious citations.
With Flowcite, you can save time, work efficiently, and write better. Flowcite’s multitude of tools and features are there to assist you in creating groundbreaking research.
Optimise your research writing process. Sign up with Flowcite today!
Content Marketing Strategist
Brittany is a Content Marketing Strategist at Flowcite, and an outstanding academic writing expert. She holds a first-class Honours degree in Literae Humaniores from the University of Oxford and has been certified in Digital Marketing Analytics by the MIT Sloan School of Management.