Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Write it Right - A guide to Harvard referencing style

What are the essential elements?

(Pears and Shields, 2019, p.27)

Date of publication

  • The date of publication of the work usually appears on the verso (back) of the title page of the work.
  • If no date is given for a publication, use an approximate date following the examples below:
Publication date unknown or uncertain Example of convention to use
one or the other date is correct (2018 or 2019)
the probable date 2014?
the approximate date c. 2014
the decade is known but not the year 199-
there is no knowledge of the date at all  n.d.or no date

Place of Publication

  • The place of publication is the town/city. If there is more than one place listed, use only the first place.
  • If no place can be traced, the abbreviation s.l. (sine loco) is used.
  • For the United States of America, the State should also be included - see the table below for the abbreviations.
State Abbreviation State Abbreviation State Abbreviation
Alabama Ala. Kentucky Ky. Ohio Oh
Alaska Ak. Louisiana La. Oklahoma Okla.
Arizona Ariz. Maine Me. Oregon Oreg.
Arkansas Ark. Maryland Md. Pennsylvania Pa.
California Calif. Massachusetts Mass. Rhode Island R.I.
Colorado Colo. Michigan Mich. South Carolina S.C.
Connecticut Conn. Minnesota Minn. South Dakota S.D.
Delaware Del. Mississippi Miss. Tennessee Tenn.
District of Columbia D.C. Missouri Mo. Texas Tex.
Florida Fla. Montana Mont. Utah Ut.
Georgia Ga. Nebraska Nebr. Vermont Vt.
Hawaii Hi. New Hampshire N.H. Virginia Va.
Idaho Id. New Jersey N.J. Washington Wash.
Illinois Ill. New Mexico N.Mex. West Virginia W.Va.
Indiana Ind. New York N.Y. Wisconsin Wis.
Iowa Ia. North Carolina N.C. Wyoming Wyo.
Kansas Kans. North Dakota N.D.    

Publisher

  • A colon (:) separates the place of publication and the publisher, e.g. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • If no publisher is given, the abbreviation s.n. (sine nomino) may be used.
  • Initials of publishers are usually omitted, for example, J. Wiley is referenced as Wiley.
  • Initials are used to distinguish between different publishers, e.g. W.H. Allen and J.A. Allen.

Titles

  • Note that the titles of published works are always italicized
  • For journals, the title of the journal is always italicized
  • The title of a journal article is never italicized. 
  • The title of a journal must not be abbreviated, for example, British Medical Journal is not abbreviated to BMJ
  • Only the first word and proper nouns of a journal article title begin with an upper-case letter. 
  • All relevant words of the journal title begin with an upper-case letter. 
  • Where there is no author, use the journal title as the main entry. 
Example
Journal articles with authors:
Fisher, E. (2018) Law and energy transitions: wind turbines and planning law in the UK, Oxford Journal of Legal Studies, 38(3), pp. 528–556.
Dey, S., Caulfield, B., Ghosh, B. (2019) Modelling uncertainty of vehicular emissions inventory: a case study of Ireland, Journal of Cleaner Production, 213(1), pp. 1115-1126.

Journal article without authors:
Fleet Transport (2021) Shell Rimula heavy duty diesel engine oils are carbon neutral, (March/April), p. 49.

Acronyms or initials

  • Acronyms or initials are generally used for corporate authors. Examples include: EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and HSE (Health Service Executive). 
  • The acronyms as well as the full corporate name must appear both in-text and in the reference list.
  • If a work contains numerous references to a particular resource with a long corporate name, for example, Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland, the acronym may be used, for example, SEAI. 
  • The first in-text citation must include both the full corporate name and the acronym, and thereafter the acronym will suffice. Write these without full stops.
  • In the reference list, both the full corporate name and the acronym or initials must be included.
Example
In-text citation: 
A recent report claims that ‘energy losses in electricity generation are decreasing as more efficient fuels and technologies are adopted’ (Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI), 2020). The SEAI works with the Irish government and with people throughout the country to create a cleaner energy future. 

Reference List: 
Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) (2020) Energy in Ireland: 2020 report. Available at: https://www.seai.ie/publications/Energy-in-Ireland-2020.pdf (Accessed: 17 May 2021).

Capitalisation

  • A specific form of capitalisation may be required by your lecturer in the reference list. 
  • The examples in this guide follow the rules of minimal capitalisation.  
  • See example below for an illustration of Maximal Capitalisation.
Example
Maximal Capitalisation:      
Barnes, L. (2012) Green Buildings as Sustainability Education Tools, Library Hi-Tech, 30(3), pp. 397-407.                                      

Reference List - Example

Attia, S. (2018) Net zero energy buildings (NZEB): concepts, frameworks and roadmap for project analysis and implementation. Oxford: Elsevier Science & Technology. Available at: http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib /limerickit/detail.action?docID=5331603 (Accessed: 15 April 2021).

Barnes, L. (2012) Green buildings as sustainability education tools, Library Hi-Tech, 30(3), pp. 397-407.

Barr, S. (2016) Environment and society: sustainability, policy and the citizen. London: Routledge.

Clare County Council (2019a) Climate change adaptation strategy 2019-2024. Ennis: Clare County Council.

Clare County Council (2019b) Clare County Council: annual report 2019. Ennis: Clare County Council.

Davidson, R. (2019) Business events. 2nd edn. London: Routledge.

Dey, S., Caulfield, B., Ghosh, B. (2019) Modelling uncertainty of vehicular emissions inventory: a case study of Ireland, Journal of Cleaner Production, (213), pp. 1115-1126.

Everett, B. (2018) Solar thermal energy, in Peake, S. (ed.) Renewable energy: power for a sustainable future. 4th edn. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 57-114.

Fisher, E. (2018) Law and energy transitions: wind turbines and planning law in the UK, Oxford Journal of Legal Studies, 38(3), pp. 528–556.

Fleet Transport (2021) Shell Rimula heavy duty diesel engine oils are carbon neutral, (March/April), p. 49.

Fogarty, P. (2017) Whittled away. Dublin: Gill Books. Available at: https://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/limerick it/detail.action?docID=5529644 (Accessed: 11 May 2021).

Garvey, J. (2019) The ethics of climate change: right and wrong in a warming world. London: Continuum.

Handley, K. and Cox, B. (2007) Referencing, citation and plagiarism, Epigeum research and publication skills. Available at: https://library.lit.ie/get-help/research-skills-tutorials/ (Accessed: 17 May 2021).

Juniper, T. (2016) What’s really happening to our planet?. New York, N.Y.: DK Publishing.

Kirrane, M., O’Halloran, J., Poland, M., Irwin, S. and Mehigan, P. (2019) Innovative approaches for research led education: UCC’s green campus living laboratory programme, Learning Connections 2019: spaces, people, practice. University College Cork, 5-6 December. doi:10.33178/LC.2019.33

Ockwell, D. and Byrne, R. (2017) Sustainable energy for all: innovation, technology and pro-poor green observations. London: Routledge.

O’Neill, E., Moore, D., Kelleher, L. and Brereton, F. (2019) Barriers to electric vehicle uptake in Ireland: perspectives of car-dealers and policy-makers, Case Studies on Transport Policy, 7(1), pp. 118-127. doi.org/10.1016/ j.cstp. 2018. 12.005

Pears, R. and Shields, G. (2019) Cite them right: the essential referencing guide. 11th edn. London: Macmillan.

Robbins, D. (2020) Climate change, politics and the press in Ireland. London: Routledge.

Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) (2020) Energy in Ireland: 2020 report. Available at: https://www.seai.ie/publications/Energy-in-Ireland-2020.pdf (Accessed: 17 May 2021).

Tabrizi, A. and Rahmani, M. (2021) Assessing and evaluating reliability of single-stage PV inverters, Journal of Renewable Energy & Environment, 8(1). Available at: www.jree.ir/article 115103.html (Accessed: 30 April 2021).

Williams, T. (2020) Earth almanac: a year of witnessing the wild, from the call of the loon to the journey of the gray whale. North Adams, Mass.: Storey Publishing.

Woodruff, E.B., Lammers, H.B., and Lammers, T.F. (2016) Steam plant operation. 10th edn. New York, N.Y.: McGraw Hill.

The Library, Technological University of the Shannon: Midwest