Referencing

The Harvard Referencing Guide has been updated for the 2016/17 academic year.

Using the Author-Date, Harvard System

In all submitted academic work you must refer to external sources. Academic work includes textual essays, video essays, gallery notes, reports, case studies, videos, artefacts, designs, hypertexts, websites and blogs.

When you present or mention external sources you must ‘cite’ where they come from. This requires you to use clear and consistent system of citation. Remember that citations are needed for any external source from books and images to video games, YouTube videos and tweets.

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 or images as your own. That can lead to all sorts of woes, and is generally, “A Bad Thing”. Usually called ‘plagiarism’.

In simple terms, referencing your work means that if you refer to a source in your text you must cite the origin of the source. In Creative Arts we want you to use the Author-Date system of referencing your written work; also known as the Harvard System. Like all systems it has variations so be warned that the online generators you may come across could output a different format to the one we use. If you follow the guidelines given here and check your final references against the provided examples (listed on pages 4-5 of the downloadable Creative Arts referencing guide) then you will be conforming to what the School wants you to do.

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.
i.e.
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 should be capitalised for the first word only and 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.

At times you may need to quote from the same source and the same page on more than one occasion. It is academic practice to use the expressions ibid. and op.cit. rather than citing the same reference repeatedly. Ibid means ‘as mentioned directly above’. This can be used when you have cited an author twice with no other author in between.

Example: Lee (2006) argues that although home taping is technically illegal it is not pursued because the perpetrators cannot be caught. Lee (ibid.) further suggests that this can create inequality … [Example of ibid adapted from Cottrell, S. (2005) Critical thinking skills: developing effective analysis and argument. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.]

Op.cit. means ‘work already cited in a different part of the text’. You can use this only if you have cited an author, cited a different source in between, and then returned to the same author from the same book again.

Example: Brennan (2005:7) indicates that it appears to be record companies who are concerned against unpaid downloading as they are losing profit. Hibbs (2006: 99) suggests file sharing can also be seen as a positive aspect of socialisation and communication. It could be argued that Brennan (op.cit: 90) does not define what constitutes the meaning of an artist and does not offer any perspectives from well known artists who may have had their music downloaded illegally. [Example of op.cit. adapted from Cottrell, S. (2005) Critical thinking skills: developing effective analysis and argument. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.]

Only use ibid. and op.cit. if you are confident with both the terms and the way they are used.

Difference between a list of References and a Bibliography

While similar in that they both use the Harvard system and have full references, listed in alphabetical order of author surname, a list of references is NOT the same as a bibliography in terms of which sources you include:

  • References = a list of all the sources you have actually used and cited in your work.
  • Bibliography = all the books and other sources of information that you have used as background reading for your assignment but have not used explicitly and so not cited in your work. Do not make a long bibliography to impress; only include items that you think provide useful information for the reader

Final Notes:

  • Anything you state as a fact should have citable evidence to back it up
  • Every citation should have a matching reference and vice versa.
  • You only need put an author’s initials after the surname in the reference not the full name. If there is no identifiable author then use the title.
  • Titles of books and journals, newspapers, films and so on should be capitalised for the first word only and put in italics.
  • If you use a direct quote from a source, put it in double inverted commas i.e.
    “This is how to signify a quotation in the Harvard system”, (Walden,K. et al. 2010: 45).

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 should the Creative Arts downloadable referencing guide not include an example of the reference type you require, one great thing about the Harvard System is that there are plenty of guides out there. There are many books that show you how to use Harvard and several online versions such as those on StudyNet in the subject Information Toolkits or on the web.

By the way – the following examples for books and journal articles include both real and fictitious sources. We hope you have fun reading them, and don’t waste time by going to look for all of them.

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