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Harvard Referencing Guide: Citing in the text

Citations in the text

All ideas taken from another source, regardless of whether directly quoted or paraphrased, must be referenced in the text of your assignment. To link the information you use in your text to its source (book, article, etc.), put the author’s surname and the year of publication, in brackets, at the appropriate point in your text. So if the authors name is James Robert Jones, you would use the surname Jones and the date to cite in the text.

e.g. There is some evidence (Jones, 2016) that these figures are incorrect.


If the author’s name is part of the statement, you need only put the year in brackets:

e.g. Jones (2016) has provided evidence that these figures are incorrect.


If there are two or three authors, give all:

e.g. It is claimed that “the political market is more complex than just voters” (Lees and Marshment,  2014, p3).


If there are more than three authors, cite only the first followed by ‘et al.’ (which means ‘and others’):

e.g. …The amount of data in all domains is expanding, how can we ensure efficient working practices? (Karau et al., 2015).


Note: if you are giving a direct quotation you need to include the page number.

If an author has published more documents in the same year, distinguish between them by adding lowercase letters:

e.g. In recent studies by Smith (2016a, 2016b, 2016c)….

Secondary referencing

When an author quotes or cites another author and you wish to cite the original author you should first try to trace the original item. However, if this is not possible, you must acknowledge both sources in the text, but only include the item you actually read in your reference list.

e.g. If Jones discusses the work of Smith you could use:
       Smith (2015) as cited by Jones (2016)
or    Smith’s 2015 study (cited in Jones, 2016) shows that…

Then cite Jones in full in your reference list.

Information found in more than one source

If you find information in more than one source, you may want to include all the references to strengthen your argument. In this case, cite all sources in the same brackets, placing them in order of publication date (earliest first). Separate the references using a semi-colon(;).

e.g. Several writers (Jones, 2014; Biggs, 2015; Smith, 2016) argue….