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Referencing styles

There are many styles of referencing; the two most common systems are Harvard and Numeric. Styles differ between schools or departments.

Harvard system (author and date)

In the text use the surname(s) of the author(s) and the year of publication.

References should then be listed alphabetically by author at the end of the work, with the year of publication placed immediately after the author's name.

  • When referencing more than one work by the same author you can distinguish between them by adding letters after the year eg (Turner, 1998a) and (Turner, 1998b)
  • When citing a particular quote put quotation marks around the quotation. You must include the page number(s) of the quotation, e.g. Treatments for cancer "can disrupt economic and social function" (Fallowfield 1990, p. 92).

Only use direct quotations when necessary. It is usually preferable to re-word (paraphrase) information.

Example of Harvard referencing

A typical piece of text might read:

Searcy and Whatley (1984) also found evidence for functions in Thermoplasma. They do not seem to form de novo in the cytoplasm (Opperdoes and Michels 1989; Tabak and Diestel 1989). This is symbiant-like behaviour, but there is no trace of a genome in microbodies.

The reference list would arrange references in alphabetical order of author, e.g.

  • OPPERDOES, F. R. and P.A.M. MICHELS, 1989. Biogenesis and evolutionary origin of peroxisomes. In: J. M. TAGER, Organelles in Eukaryotic Cells. New York: Plenum, pp.5-10.
  • SEARCY, D. G. and F. R. WHATLEY, 1984. Thermoplasma acidophilum cell membrane. Zentralblatt fur Bakteriologie Mikrobiologie und Hygiene 1 Abteilung Originale, C3, 245-257.
  • TABAK, H. F. and B. DIESTEL, 1989. Biogenesis of peroxisomes. In: J. M. Tager, Organelles in Eukaryotic Cells. New York: Plenum, pp.5-10.

When referencing more than one author the first author is listed by surname first, followed by their initials. The second author is listed by initials first, followed by surname.

Notice that when using the Harvard system, the year of publication is positioned after the author names.

Numeric system

In the Numeric system of referencing, numbers inserted in the text refer to a numerical sequence of references at the end. The first reference is numbered 1, the second 2, and so on.  The numbers can be written in superscript or in brackets

  • When citing a particular quote put quotation marks around the quotation. You must include the page number(s) of the quotation, e.g. Treatments "can disrupt economic and social function" (2, p. 92).

Only use direct quotations when necessary. It is usually preferable to re-word (paraphrase) information.

Example of numeric referencing

A typical piece of text might read:

Searcy and Whatley1 also found evidence for functions in Thermoplasma. They do not seem to form de novo in the cytoplasm2,3. This is symbiant-like behaviour, but there is no trace of a genome in microbodies1.

The reference list would give each reference in numerical order:

  1. SEARCY, D G. and F. R. WHATLEY. Thermoplasma acidophilum cell membrane. Zentralblatt fur Bakteriologie Mikrobiologie und Hygiene 1 Abteilung Originale, 1984, C3, 245-257.
  2. OPPERDOES, F. R. and P. A. M. MICHELS. Biogenesis and evolutionary origin of peroxisomes. In: J. M. Tager, Organelles in Eukaryotic Cells. New York: Plenum, 1989, pp. 5-10.
  3. TABEK, H. F. and B. DIESTREL. Biogenesis of peroxisomes. In: J. M. TAGER, Organelles in Eukaryotic Cells New York: Plenum, 1989, pp. 5-10

When referencing more than one author the first author is listed by surname first, followed by their initials. The second author is listed by initials first, followed by surname.

Notice that the year of publication has now been positioned towards  the end of the reference for books and before the volume, part/issue and page number details for journals.

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