What is Secondary Referencing?
Secondary referencing occurs when you are reading a book or journal article whose author uses facts or information from research done by someone else, and you want to use this to support your own assignment.
How to Secondary Reference
There are 2 ways that you can approach a secondary reference:
- You locate the original research so that you can read, use and cite directly from this original source. This is often the preferred method as this shows that you have exercised and increased your own research for your assignment.
- In some instances this may not be possible as the original research may be difficult to find or gain access to. If you are confident that this secondary source is reliable and accurate you can refer to it in your own work using the Harvard rules for secondary referencing (see below for examples).
When using the Harvard system in terms of secondary referencing your Bibliography only needs to give the details of the source that you have read for the assignment.
In-text citation example:
If you have read the book ‘Modern Organisations’ by Bill Jones (2007) and he refers to another author, Jean Smith and her ideas of ‘organisational devolution’ (1987) and you want to include Smith’s ideas, using the Harvard system your citation must indicate that you have used a secondary source and not the original work undertaken by Smith:
Jean Smith (1987), as summarized by Jones (2007) highlights the application of ‘organisational devolution’ to result in…
Smith’s (1987) ‘organisational devolution’ indicates this possibility (in Jones 2007, p. 45).