By Sara Fisher,2014-05-17 00:33
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    Using the Author-Date, Harvard System

    Academic essays, reports, case studies all need proper referencing. This needs you to present clear and consistent use of citations.

    It lets the reader know where you found the information you’ve used to support your argument – and will help them find it if they want to, It demonstrates the breadth of your reading, and watching and listening that went into your work. It also ensures that you don’t pass off someone else’s words as your own. That can lead to all sorts of woes, and is generally, “A Bad Thing”. Usually called ‘plagiarism’.

    In Creative Arts we want you to use the Author-Date system of referencing your written work. It’s also called the Harvard System. Harvard is easy to learn and is used by many schools in this University and is commonplace internationally. If you’re stuck there are plenty of guides on StudyNet and the web.

    In simple terms it means that if you refer to a source in your text you mark this by putting the author’s surname and the date of publication in parentheses – that’s round closed brackets by the way. For example…

    Paul Wells has a number of interesting theories on what makes animation such a subversive art form (Wells 1998). These are…

    If you are referring to a particular passage in a text or quoting from that text then you add the page number (i.e. (Wells 1998: 68) with a colon and a space after the date followed by the page number.

    At the end of the essay or report you need to give an alphabetical reference list of the sources you’ve used with expanded bibliographic details. The Harvard basic order of information is

    Author (Year) Title. Place of Publication. Publisher.


    Wells, P. (1998) Understanding Animation. Abingdon: Routledge.

    Note; you only need put an author’s initials. Titles of books and journals, newspapers, films and so on are put in italics. If there’s no identifiable author then use the Title.

    If you use a direct quote from a source, put it in double inverted commas. “This is how to signify a quotation in the Harvard system”, (Walden,K. et al. 2010: 45)

    There are, naturally, many variations on this theme depending on the format of the information source you’ve used (film, picture, website etc.) and whether someone is being quoted in another author’s book or article. Or if, for no fault of your own, you don’t know a date or author or some other detail, and that’s sadly rather common with websites.

    The rest of this guide consists of examples of many of these variations. Each one shows you how to cite the reference in the text, and how to cite it in the reference list at the end. It’s by no means exhaustive, but one great thing about the Harvard System is that there are plenty of guides out there. There are plenty of books that show you how to use Harvard and many online versions such as those on StudyNet in the subject Information Toolkits or on the web.

    You might have used another type of referencing in the past, footnotes, endnotes and such arcane Latin abbreviations as op.cit and ibid. Do not mix the two systems. Stick

    with Harvard.

    By the way – nearly all, (after the Wells’ book) of the following examples are fictitious sources. Don’t go looking for them!


    One author

    In the text - (Wells 1998) or if you’ve already mentioned his name

    As Wells (1998) states in his ‘Understanding Animation’,

    In the bibliography - Wells, P. (1998) Understanding Animation. Abingdon:


    Two authors - List them both

    In the text

    Smith and Jones (2007:128) believe that using comic sans as a typeface on websites is

    In the Bibliography

    Smith, J & Jones, T. (2007) How to make Websites truly sexy. Hatfield: University of

    Hertfordshire Press.

    Several authors

    If there are three or more authors then only list the first author followed by et.alIn the text

    It can be argued that abstract art ended with the concept of postmodernism (Smith et al. 2009:136)

    In the bibliography expand this.

    Smith,J., Jones, T., Patel, B. (2009) Postmodernism and the end of Art. London:

    Panther Press.

    Chapter in an edited book

    In the text

    “Special effects are really only smoke and mirrors wrapped up in technology” (Digby, in Dare, 2001)

    In the bibliography

    Digby, A. (2001) ‘The Elephant in the room’. In Dare, D. (ed.) Why is modern SFX

    such rubbish? London. Hubert Guest Press.

More than one book by same author in the same year (it can happen)

    Here in text

    As Cattermole suggests (2001a & 2001b) knitting is not so much a craft than a therapy…

    In the bibliography

    Cattermole, P. (2001a) Knitting with sisal. Bristol: Cabot.

    Cattermole, P. (2001b) Knitting and post-traumatic stress. London: Proustian Press.


    Here the title of the journal, magazine, newspaper is put in italicsAuthor unknown

    In the text

    A recent report on the take up of film courses in the UK by JISC (2010) highlights the…

    In the bibliography

    JISC (2010) ‘The impact of new University funding for film programmes’ JISC

    News. No. 67. June. p.27.

    One author

    In the text

    De Sautoy (2008) describes the fashion industry in typically strong terms…In the bibliography

    De Sautoy, L. (2008) ‘Some more pungent observations on the fashion industry’. Journal of Fashion, Semiotics and Hysteria. 21(3) October. pp. 20-36.

    [OK lets unwrap that last one – 21? That’s volume 21. Issue 3. Month. Pagination – if one page it’s p. if a range of pages pp. ]

    Two authors

    In the text

    The principal reason for moving the movie industry to California was (Sidle & Fondle, 1997) that it was full of swimming pools…

    In the bibliography

    Sidle, U. & Fondle, D. (1997) ‘Olympic swimming pools and Hollywood. An investigation”. Film History and Popular Culture. 11(2) Spring. pp. 230-247.

    Author citing another author

    In the text

    Most music these days is so mediated by technology that some authors (Slider, 2006, in Contrell, 2007) argue that…

In bibliography

    Slider, B. (2006) Computer Music and the Modern World. Cardiff: Maxboyce. In

    Contrell. Z. (2007) ‘Some more asinine reflections on computer based musical forms’. Digital Music Musings. 6(2) February. pp. 2-23.


    If you refer to an electronic book, journal article, rather than one printed on paper, you should list the URL for the source. This is because some pagination in e-books differs from the printed version. You should also give us the date you accessed this resource, as electronic sources can ‘disappear’. It’s best to get into the habit of cutting and pasting the URL and other details of any electronic resource you come across and then putting in the date, as you go. Trying to retrace your steps later can be tricky.Electronic books

    In text

    Ligeti’s version of ‘Mary had a little lamb’ (Drummer 2002: 97-99) is perhaps best described as…

    In bibliography

    Drummer.L (2002) The Theme of the nursery rhyme in contemporary electronic

    music. London: Zounds Books. Available at:

    http://www.herts.ebrary.drummer2002.caco/phony.html [Accessed 9 November 2007]Electronic journal article

    Same as above, let us know that you accessed an electronic version of the article by putting in the access date. If you found the source in a particular database (such as ArtFullText or JSTOR let us know.

    In text

    Lacroix’s ’s approach to designing pith helmets made of felt has had and enormous effect on the Paris catwalk (Blodgett 2005).

    In bibliography

    Blodgett,W. (2005) Felt, feeling the colonial edge in millinery. Journal of Military

    Fashion Foibles. [Online] 3(3) Autumn. pp. 50-67. JSTOR. Available at http:// [Accessed: 14 May 2009]

    The Internet

    Here it’s vital to put all the information you can get. As the Internet is not a stable entity; things come and go and change rapidly, you need to tell us when you found your information. Therefore you need to state the date on which you accessed a webpage. Put this detail in square brackets.

    Internet page – author known – if author unknown use the title of the pageIn text

    Lewinsky (2009) states that images of ex-US presidents often raise problems of distasteful memories in many viewers…

    In the bibliography

    Lewinsky, M. (2009) The Oval Office and modern mythology. Available at:

    http// [Accessed 16 December 2009]Organisation website – Things like Government departments, Museums, Crafts

    Council etc.) If an abbreviation is common parlance – such as V&A for Victoria and Albert Museum, then use it.

    In the textthThe major exhibition of 20 century knitting machines (Design Museum, 2009)

    proved that…

    In bibliography

    Design Museum (2009) Recent Exhibitions: Knitting Machines. Available at [Accessed 12 January 2010]

    Blogs, discussion Groups, etc.

    In text

    In her blog Spooner suggests, “Covering oneself in jelly and making barking noises like a seal is where conceptual art is going”. (Spooner 2009)

    In Bibliography

    Spooner,E. (2009) Blancmange and performance art, some thoughts. Blog.

    http://www.blogcentral/spooner56/id=ty451qtopic%sillypage=5 [Accessed: 2 June 2009]

    Virtual learning environments (such as StudyNet)

    In Text

    Phillips (2010) shows how to become the most popular tutor in a University.In Bibliography

    Phillips, I. (2010) How to become Tutor of the Year: A quick guide.[Accessed 14 August 2010]Electronic magazines

    Films , DVDs, BluRay etc. [tell us the exact format in square brackets]In Text

    The inability of Hollywood to resist the sequel of a sequel of a sequel (Beowulf vs Fafnir: Ragnorok 2, The Revenge, 2010)

    In Bibliography

Beowulf vs Fafnir: Ragnorok 2, The Revenge. (2010) Directed by F.W. Murnau III.

    [DVD] Burbank. Buena Vista.

    TV Programmes – same format for radio programmes

    In text

    The latest series of Doctor Who promises to go back to the early 1960s standards of special effects (Dr. Who Confidential, 2010) such as wobbly sets and bacofoil costumes.

    In Bibliography

    Dr Who Confidential (2010) BBC3, 22 July. 20:00

    Newspaper or magazine articles

    Again with these if they are electronic versions, please give the URL and date accessed.

    If the author is known

    In text

    St. James is a great fan of Brian Sewell, as he has such empathy with so much modern art (St. James 2008)

    In bibliography

    St. James, M. (2008) ‘Why I love Brian Sewell’. The Observer Review. 21 May 2008.

    P. 17.

    If the author is unknown

    In text

    Despite the recession demand for art & design courses is still buoyant (The Guardian 2010).

    In Bibliography

    The Guardian (2010) ‘How is the slump affecting University courses?’. 12 April,

    2010. p.29.

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