Referencing for Education Students

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Education & Music

Help using the Library to find and use resources in Music, Education and Counselling

Referencing for Education Students

This guide is for education students in the School of Education. Other students should consult their relevant course handbook or contact their tutor for details of the referencing system they are to use.


When you complete any assignment, you will provide a bibliography or reference list which states which references you have read and cited in your work. There are many different styles of referencing and each book or article you have read may have used a different one; even here at the University the various schools and departments use lots of different styles. Students in the School of Education use a version of Harvard British Standard

This guide is to try and help you make sense of referencing. We have tried to pull together information which shows you how to reference different formats (books, chapters, journal articles, web pages and so on) within the text of your assignment and in your bibliography. 

In addition to this guide on how to manually reference, there are a number of free or freemium web-based bibliographic tools available that will allow you to search for information resources and save details of references. You can then automatically create a bibliography in the style of your choosing using all or some of the references you have saved. Try googling for web-based bibliographic software or try this comparison of reference management products from Wikipedia.

Here at Aberdeen, we currently support a product called RefWorks, further details are in your MyAberdeen course area under ‘Library Materials – Referencing’.

Why reference?

Although at first glance it may seem obvious, it does help to understand why we reference using a particular style when we write a piece of academic work. It isn’t just more annoying bureaucratic red tape – there are some very practical and important reasons for following a style and sticking to it.

Whilst reading, you are going to come across many different ideas and theories. You will use these to expand and develop your own arguments, but you must give full credit to those that you have read. If you do not acknowledge those authors, you could be accused of plagiarism – taking the ideas of others and trying to pass them off as your own. This is considered a very serious matter at this University. (See here the Code of Practice on Student Discipline)

Referencing correctly also shows you are well read and knowledgeable about your subject – it may get you better marks! Your tutor will use your referencing to check what you have read; they may even use it to find something you have referred to that they haven’t read themselves. Put simply, correct referencing allows any reader of your work to easily find exactly what you have been reading.

What is the difference between a citation, a reference and a bibliography?

When you refer to something you have read, either directly (i.e. word for word) or indirectly (i.e. paraphrase/put it into your own words) you must show clearly it is not your work but someone else’s by putting the author, year of publication and page number of the quote in parentheses ( ) after your direct or indirect reference. This is called citing or referencing. (Examples are given later in this guide - see Citing within your essay.)

reference list is a list of all the titles you have referenced whilst compiling your assignment. You would not include items you have read to inform your thinking but subsequently not referred to in your text (see note below!). The reference list goes at the end of your assignment but before any appendices.

bibliography is a list of all the titles you read or referred to whilst compiling your assignment (see the note below!). The bibliography goes at the end of your assignment but before any appendices.

What is Harvard British Standard?

You will come across many other styles (footnotes, numbered footnotes, numbered lists etc.) in other parts of the University and the wider literature, but we use the author/date style known as Harvard British.

When we quote from an author in our writing, we correctly refer to this as not our own work or idea by placing the name of the author and the year of publication along with the page number of where the quote was found. Usually this is done after the citation in parenthesis, but it can also be done within the text – see Citing within your essay for examples.

In your bibliography the author’s name is in capitals (although it isn’t when referencing within your text!) and book and journal titles are in italics

Do I put everything I have read in my bibliography?

Yes, you should if asked to compile a bibliography. However, be careful as you may be asked to compile a bibliography but only include the items you have referenced – this should really be referred to as a reference list not a bibliography! Usually, your bibliography should be presented as one single list that combines references (everything to which you have referred within your text) and bibliography (list of works read but not cited).

How do I lay out the bibliography/reference list?

Place everything A to Z by author surname (do not include The in your organisation so The Scottish Government goes under ‘S’ for Scottish not ‘T’ for The!) regardless of whether it is a book, article, report or website (and if you have websites with no authors, you reference them within the text by title - see page 3 of this guide for an example - and put them in your bibliography alphabetically by title but with author as Anon.).

Do I then need to separate out by article, book, webpage, report etc.?

No! It makes it much harder for anyone reading your work to find the relevant reference if you do this. If in your writing you have referenced (Kyriacou, 1997, p.45) how does any reader know from that if it is a book, article, report etc.? So, place all items A to Z by author surname regardless of format.

Citing within your essay or assignment

The instructions below refer to citing from any medium such as a book, a journal article, a report, a website and so on, although the examples given are all from books.

Direct quotations – quotations that are word for word

Although you should do it sparingly, you can quote directly from an author within your text. In other words, take exactly word for word what s/he said in the text and put it into yours. You must add quotation marks and the page number(s) the exact quote came from: 

   "Young learners learn the functions of negation very early. However, it takes some time before they learn the grammar rules which enable them to express the variety of negative functions"
(Siraj- Blatchford and Clarke, 2000, p.55).

You will notice in the above reference there are two authors. If there are more than two you will name them all individually in your bibliography (see later for examples) but within the text you will name two authors followed by et al. e.g. (Joyce, Calhoun, et al., 2002, p.34).

Indirect references – putting an idea into your own words or an idea carried throughout a work

Indirect references can either be when you refer to an idea carried through an article or book, or when you have taken a specific idea and put it into your own words. Both types of reference should be properly attributed to their original author. 

Where the idea is a broad one or a theme carried throughout the book or article:

  • The author’s name can be included within the sentence: 

It has been said by Schon (1991) that professionals are beginning to experience a crisis in confidence.

  • or it can be put in parentheses: 

Teachers should be aware of the context of their class and what outcomes they wish to achieve (Kyriacou, 1997).

If you paraphrase, in other words put an idea you have read about into your own words, you do not have to put in quotation marks as it is not an exact quote, but you should still reference as above including the page number the idea came from e.g.:

Young children quickly learn about negative functions but are unable to express this until their language skills have developed. (Siraj-Blatchford and Clarke, 2000, p.55)

Directly or indirectly citing from a website

To cite directly (exact quotation) or indirectly from a website you follow the previous instructions for a book, journal article etc. A common issue with quoting websites is that there is often no author or date. If that is the case, you should quote the title of the website and year or say undated. So, in the example given in this guide under writing your bibliography number 16 – web page, if we didn’t know the author was the BBC, we would refer to it in our essay as:

…the centurions were the ultimate leaders. (The Romans website, undated)

With direct quotes or paraphrasing you should use the paragraph number as there will be no page number: 

    “Soldiers had to stay in the army for at least 25 years!” (The Romans website, undated, para. 2)

Directly or indirectly citing from online films, tutorials etc.

When citing a video or other online film you should quote the time stamp of the item. For example, if the item you are referring to occurs 8.32 minutes in to the video, then you should quote that:

    “Every country on earth has the same hierarchy of subjects” (Robinson, 2006, 8.32.)

There are no hard and fast rules, only guidelines, and this guide cannot give examples for every scenario. As long as you are consistent and follow the general Harvard rules, your bibliography and references will be fine.

Secondary referencing - citing work referred to by another author

It may be the case that you refer to work that has been cited by another author. For example, you may read in Janet Moyles’ The Excellence of Play (1994) that she has quoted Hale-Benson (1982) but you have not read that work (Black Children: their roots, culture and learning styles). You should try your best to find the original work and read it (try the Library!) but if you cannot then you should quote as follows:

Moyles (1994) cites the work of Hale-Benson (1982) where she has stated…
Hale-Benson (1982, cited by Moyles, 1994) stated that…
Moyles (1994, citing Hale-Benson, 1982) states that… 

You will then put Moyles’ book in your bibliography as you have read and referred to that, but not the Hale-Benson as you have not read it. If directly quoting you should include the page numbers from Moyles.

Long quotations - indenting – if your direct quote is more than a sentence long (or if the one sentence is very long, running to many lines!) you should indent the words. You do not have to put the indented quote in italics. Indirect references should not be indented.
Referencing multiple items in-text – you may find when reading that a number of authors (or the same author in different books/articles) have spoken about the same theme or theory which you wish to refer to. You would reference each of these in chronological order, in other words the item published first is listed first, e.g.:

There are multiple lenses (Fullan 2002; Leithwood, et al. 2008; Robinson 2010; Eacott 2011) through which to examine and position the actions of principals as they attempt to balance the activities needed for implementation of ‘big picture’ visions with the daily tasks that require more immediate attention.

The year of publication is always referred to along with the author's name. Both of these combined will allow anyone reading your work to refer to your bibliography/reference list and find the complete details of the relevant reference. Remember, every published item referred to in your text should be listed in the bibliography/reference list at the end of the assignment. Examples are given later in this guide.

Writing your bibliography - reference list

Examples of how to reference books, articles, reports, websites etc. within your bibliography/reference list

Book with one author

AUTHOR’S SURNAME, INITIALS., (Year of publication). Title of book (in italics). Edition, if not the first. Place of publication: Publisher.


SCHON, D. A., (1991). The Reflective Practitioner. How Professionals Think in Action. Aldershot: Ashgate Arena.

Book with two authors

AUTHOR’S SURNAME, INITIALS. and AUTHOR’S SURNAME, INITIALS., (Year of publication). Title of book (in italics). Edition, if not the first. Place of publication: Publisher.


SIRAJ-BLATCHFORD, I. and CLARKE, P., (2000). Supporting Identity, Diversity and Language in the Early Years. Buckingham: Open University Press.

Book with more than two authors

AUTHOR’S SURNAME, INITIALS., AUTHOR’S SURNAME, INITIALS. and AUTHOR’S SURNAME, INITIALS., (Year of publication). Title of book (in italics). Edition, if not the first. Place of publication: Publisher.


JOYCE, B., CALHOUN, E. and HOPKINS, D., (2002). Models of learning - tools for teaching. 2nd ed. Buckingham: Open University Press.

More than one book published by the same author in the same year

Some authors may be very prolific and thus you read more than one book written by them published in the same year! So as not to get confused by this we simply add a letter after the year:

AUTHOR’S SURNAME, INITIALS., (Year of publicationa). Title of book (in italics). Edition, if not the first. Place of publication: Publisher.

AUTHOR’S SURNAME, INITIALS., (Year of publicationb). Title of book (in italics). Edition, if not the first. Place of publication: Publisher.


AINSCOW, M., (1999a). Effective practice in inclusion and special and mainstream schools working together. London: Department for Education and Employment.

AINSCOW, M., (1999b). Understanding the development of inclusive schools. London: RoutledgeFalmer.

Chapter from a book or contribution to a book

AUTHOR’S SURNAME, INITIALS., (Year of publication). Title of Chapter. In: INITIALS, AUTHOR’S SURNAME and INITIALS, AUTHOR’S SURNAME, ed. or eds. if an editor or editors, Title of book (in italics). Edition, if not the first. Place of publication: Publisher. Page numbers preceded by pp.


FIELDING, S., (2002). No one else to vote for? Labour's campaign. In: A. GEDDES and J. TONGE, eds., Labour's second landslide. The British General Election 2001. Manchester: Manchester University Press. pp.28-44.

Book read via an e-reader

As noted earlier in this guide, e-books (via Ebook Central, for example) can simply be treated as if they were paper. E-books read via an e-reader such as the Kindle do not have traditional page numbers and there is a note on page 14 about how to reference quotes from such a book. When referencing the book in your bibliography you should note it is an e-reader edition.

AUTHOR’S SURNAME, INITIALS., (Year of publication). Title of book (in italics). Edition, if not the first. Place of publication: Publisher. (Name of e-reader edition).


SCHROEDER, R. and AXELSSON, A-S., (2006). Avatars at work and play. Collaboration and interaction in shared virtual environments. Dordrecht: Springer (Kindle edition).

Corporate author (rather than a person e.g. business, organisation etc.)

CORPORATE AUTHOR (you can put any well-used acronym in parentheses), (Year of publication). Title of book or report (in italics). Edition, if not the first. Place of publication: Publisher.


SCOTTISH OFFICE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT (SOED), (1991). National Guidelines Mathematics 5-14. Edinburgh: SOED.


AUTHOR'S NAME OR CORPORATE NAME, (Year of publication). Title of book or report (in italics). Place of publication: Publisher. Report number if there is one.

And an online report:

AUTHOR'S NAME OR CORPORATE NAME, (Year of publication). Title of book or report (in italics). Place of publication: Publisher. Report number if there is one. Available: web address [Date Accessed: Day Month Year]



HER MAJESTY’S INSPECTORATE OF EDUCATION (HMIE), (2002). ICT: into the classroom of tomorrow: an interim report by HM Inspector of Education on the implementation of the New Opportunities Fund ICT training of teachers and school librarians in Scotland. Edinburgh: HMIE

and an online report would look like this:

SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT, (2009). Improving the Education of Looked After Children: A Guide for Local Authorities and Service Providers. Edinburgh: The Scottish Government. Available: [Date Accessed: 23rd June 2014]

Journal article

AUTHOR’S SURNAME, INITIALS. and further authors if appropriate, (Year of publication). Title of article. Name of Journal (in italics), volume number (in bold) (part or issue number), page numbers preceded with pp.


CARR, M. and KURTZ, B.E., (1991). Teachers’ perceptions of students’ metacognition, attributions and self-concept. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 61(2), pp.197-206.

Journal article - ‘Online First’ or ‘Early View’

If the article you have read is so recent it has yet to be assigned an issue or page numbers, often referred to as ‘online first’, ‘early view’ or ‘article in press’ you can reference it as such:

TÕNURIST, P. and SURVA, L., (2016).  Is Volunteering Always Voluntary? Between Compulsion and Coercion in Co-production. Voluntas, Online First’ Published 26th May 2016 [Available from: DOI:10.1007/s11266-016-9734-z].

In this example the article, at time of reading, had no volume, issue or page details. Here we have referred to it as ‘Online First’ as this is what this particular publisher calls it, along with the publication/available online date and the DOI (Digital Object Identifier - this is the standard way to give the location of an article and useful to do whilst there are no further publication details) which can usually be found on the same page as the abstract.

AUTHOR’S SURNAME, INITIALS and further authors if appropriate., (Year of publication). Title of the article. Name of Journal (in italics), ‘Online First’ or ‘Article in Print’ or ‘Early View’ Publication date (all in bold) [Available from: DOI].


TÕNURIST, P. and SURVA, L., (2016).  Is Volunteering Always Voluntary? Between Compulsion and Coercion in Co-production. Voluntas.   ‘Online First’ Published 26th May 2016 [Available from: DOI:10.1007/s11266-016-9734-z].

Act of Parliament

You may quote from Acts of Parliament within your text and you do so by quoting the title of the Act and the year; (Special Educational Needs and Disability Act, 2001). See the example below for how to reference in your bibliography.

The author is always the country of origin, the short title of the Act should appear in italics followed by the year with the chapter number (or running number as sometimes called) given in brackets. The place of publication and publisher should also appear:

AUTHOR/COUNTRY OF ORIGIN. Title of Act (in italics), Year (chapter number c.#) Place of publication: Publisher.


GREAT BRITAIN. Special Educational Needs and Disability Act, 2001 (c.2) London: HMSO.


GREAT BRITAIN. Special Educational Needs and Disability Act, 2001 (c.2) London: HMSO. Available: [Date Accessed: 17th June 2019]


It is not normal academic practice to reference a lecture and you will not normally be asked to do so. However, in the unusual circumstance that you are asked to reference a lecture your tutor will provide references on their slides/in their presentation or provide a reading list for you. You should use the ideas from the lecture and follow those up with your own reading and it is that reading you will reference, not the lecturer, unless of course you have read their book or article!

However, some academics may specifically ask you to reference lectures in their particular course and if so you should make sure you have the following information: the author, title and/or course, institution and date of lecture:

AUTHOR’S SURNAME, INITIALS., (Year of ‘publication’). Title of lecture (in italics). Name of Institution, Date of lecture.


BLOGGS, J., (2011). BEd 4 Lecture on Learning Styles. University of Aberdeen,
20th January.

Personal communications, emails, grey literature etc.

Personal Communications

There may be occasions when someone has communicated with you and there is no published source from which you can cite his or her comments. As there is usually no published work that your reader can use to find the item and read it for themselves it is not referenced at the end of the work in a bibliography. You only cite the personal communication in the text. See example below. This would also be relevant for letters or conversations in person or by phone.


Teachers find it increasingly difficult to get support from their head teachers over matters of discipline, (BLOGGS, J., (2010), Personal email to the author 18th January.).

Grey Literature

Sometimes you may refer to internal unpublished documentation within a school. This grey literature is often impossible for anyone else to trace. You may also want to keep the organisation anonymous. You should, however, refer to it as an ordinary report/book etc. in the text (anonymising any names if needed).

As there is usually no published work that your reader can use to find the item and read it for themselves it is not referenced at the end of the work in a bibliography. Instead, a copy should be inserted into an appendix and referred to: see example below (again, anonymising any names if needed).


“A glow account will be arranged as soon as you join the school.” (‘POPPYBANK’ PRIMARY SCHOOL, 2011. ICT for new teachers. Internal training documentation (See Appendix 3)).








Social Media

In many ways this is similar to personal communication and grey literature. Often it is difficult for others to find the reference (on Facebook for example) as it may have come from a closed group, but if it is possible you should try to reference as you would a website:

AUTHOR(S)., (Year). Title of page/post. Title of web site (in italics) Day/month of posted message. Available: web address. [Date Accessed: Day Month Year].

If it is in a closed site that no one can get access to then in theory, it becomes grey literature and a copy should be placed in an appendix and referred to. You should still put the date you referred to the original site.


WHEELER, S., (2012). Reading the World Twitter. 17th July. Available: [Date Accessed: 17th July 2012].

MCCOURT, S., (2012) “Library training sessions are available from Week 14”. InfoSkills Group. [Facebook] 5th May. [Date Accessed: 6th May 2012] (See Appendix)

Conference paper

AUTHOR’S SURNAME, INITIALS., Title of paper/contribution. Title of Conference Proceedings, including the date and place of the conference. Available: web address [Date Accessed: Day Month Year]

NOTE: There is no full-stop at end of the web address and the [Date Accessed] information should follow on from the web address and not be on a separate line.

KISANJI, J., Historical And Theoretical Basis Of Inclusive Education. Keynote address for the Workshop on Inclusive Education in Namibia: The Challenge for Teacher Education, 24-25 March 1999, Rossing Foundation, Khomasdal, Windhoek, Namibia. Available: [Date Accessed: 17th July 2012].

Thesis or dissertation

AUTHOR’S SURNAME, INITIALS., (Year of publication). Title of thesis. Designation (and type). Name of institution to which submitted.


FINLAY, G., (2003). Perceptions of Circle Time. Thesis (BEd Honours). University of Aberdeen

Newspaper article

AUTHOR’S SURNAME, INITIALS. if known, otherwise name of newspaper, (Year of publication). Title of the article. Name of Newspaper (in italics), part number if known then day and month, page number preceded with p. If this is available online, then add Available: along with the URL and [Date Accessed:] If there are no page numbers then use paragraph numbers for in-text quotes and in the bibliography use the URL.


WARD, L., (2004). Parents 'should pay for schools'. The Guardian, Wednesday 4th February, p.10.


In your text you will quote the author/corporate author and if there is none then use the title of the web page, not the URL.

AUTHOR’S SURNAME, INITIALS. or CORPORATE AUTHOR, (Year of publication). Title (in italics). Edition if known. Place of Publication: Publisher. Available: web address [Date Accessed: Day Month Year].

NOTE: There is no full-stop at end of web address and the [Date Accessed] information should follow on from the URL and not be on a separate line (space prevents that here!)

When quoting in-text you should use paragraph numbers to identify the location of your quote see page 3 of this guide.


BBC. (Undated). The Romans. BBC Schools. Available: [Date Accessed: 5th February 2004].
CURRICULUM REVIEW GROUP., (2004). A Curriculum for Excellence. Edinburgh: Scottish Executive. Available: [Date Accessed: 17th July 2012].

Online tutorial, presentation or podcast

Online Tutorial or presentation

These can appear in various guises from iTunes U to YouTube to anywhere! It is important to give as much detail as you can about the author and title as well as, of course, the web address.
AUTHOR/PRESENTER., (Year). Title of tutorial or presentation. Title of web site. (in italics). Day Month Year of release if available. Available: web address [Date Accessed: Day Month Year].


Many educational resources can now be found in the form of podcasts. As with referencing online tutorials, give as much detail as you can:
AUTHOR/PRESENTER., (Year). Title of podcast. Title of web site or podcast series (in italics). [Podcast]. Day Month Year of podcast release. Available: web address [Date Accessed: Day Month Year].
When quoting from online tutorials/podcasts etc. you should identify the exact location of your quote using the time stamp – see page 3 of this guide.


UNC Chapel Hill., (2007). Storytelling Theory and Practice. Available at: [Date Accessed: 17th July 2012].
BBC RADIO 4, COX, B. and INCE, R., (2011). Physics V Chemistry. The Infinite Monkey Cage. [Podcast] 19th December 2011. Available: [Date Accessed: 17th July 2012].

Broadcast on TV or radio, film, DVD, streaming and online

As with other unusual media, just make sure you have all the details written down to allow someone else to find the item you are referring to (see example below).

Title of item (in italics). Number of episode series. Type/format of medium. Director for films/Channel of broadcast for TV programmes. Place of publication (if ascertainable): Distributor/Studio, (if ascertainable) Date of broadcast for TV/Date of Release for Film/DVD/Video. This doesn't appear in parentheses.
If the film has been accessed online via a streaming service quote as if it were a film or programme then add  the name of the streaming service followed by Available: web address and [Date: DD, MMMMM, YYYY] (see example below).


How We Used to Live: All Change, Episode 4 Leisure. TV. Channel 4 Schools. Original broadcast date: 29th January 2004.
Awakenings. Film. Directed by Penny Marshall. USA: Columbia/TriStar, 1990.
Etre et Avoir. DVD. Directed by Nicholas Philibert. France: Maia Films, 2003.
Five Days that changed Britain. TV. BBC 2. Original broadcast date: 29th July 2010. Available: [Date accessed: 30th July 2010].   
Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga. Film. Directed by David Dobkin. USA: Netflix. 2020

Images, photographs, posters, etc.

Images and photographs, (along with tables, figures and graphs) created by others are usually protected by copyright. Under our Higher Education licence, we can usually use these for non-commercial research/private study, but they cannot be made publicly available electronically without seeking the permission of the copyright holder.   In your assignment you would put the details under the image and say:
Source: BEE, H., (2000). The Moro Reflex. In: The Developing Child, Boston: Allyn and Bacon

If you were discussing an image (but not including it for copyright reasons) you would say:
           the image of the Moro Reflex (Bee, 2000, p.84)

You should usually provide the artist, author or source, title of the image or photo and where it was found:

ARTIST/AUTHOR NAME/SOURCE/., (year of production). Title of image (in italics). In: AUTHOR’S SURNAME, INITIALS., (Year of publication). Title of book (in italics). Place of Publication: Publisher.

and if online:

ARTIST/AUTHOR NAME/SOURCE/., (year of production). Title of image (in italics). Available: web address.  [Date Accessed: Day Month Year].


BEE, H., (2000). The Moro reflex. In: BEE, H., (2000). The Developing Child, Boston: Allyn and Bacon.


Translations of works should include the translator as well as the original author. In your essay you should quote the original author but the translated date so:
"the problem of empathy is…" (STEIN, E. 1989, p.24)

See below for an example of how to reference in your bibliography.

ORIGINAL AUTHOR., (Year of translation publication). Title of work. (in italics) (Translator, trans.) Place of Publication of translation: Publisher of translation. (Original work published YYYY).


STEIN, E., (1989). On the Problem of Empathy. (E. Stein, trans.) Washington D.C.: ICS Publications. (Original work published 1916).


There is no single standard style for referencing CD-ROMs or other forms of similar media. Make sure you give enough detail for any reader of your work to be able to find the same material. You reference a CD-ROM when it is a work in its own right, not when it is a database.

AUTHOR’S SURNAME, INITIALS., (if ascertainable). (Year of publication). Title of item (in italics). type/format of medium. Place of publication (if ascertainable): Publisher. (if ascertainable).


AHLBERG, J. and AHLBERG, A., (1997). The Jolly Post Office. CD-ROM. London: DK Multimedia.

Writing your bibliography/reference list - some FAQS

How do I reference electronic versions of books and articles?

In general, most books and journal articles should be referenced just as if they were paper, whether you read them in an online format or not. This is the case for most journal articles; however, it is becoming increasingly common for articles to be made available online before they have been published in a particular issue. Such articles have no volume, issue or page number information. If you happen to read what is often referred to as an Online First, Early View or Article in Press article you should reference it as such. When quoting within your text you will have to use the page numbers the PDF reader assigns. So, the first page of the article would be page one (whereas in the published version it may well be page 56!) and so on. For example:

It can be said that boys are more competitive and enjoy group level competitive play, (Wymer, 2011, p.7) 

An example of how to reference such an article in your bibliography can be found under Writing your bibliography: some examples  - Journal article in this guide. It is best to say it is Online First with the published date and the DOI (the digital object identifier). The DOI is an international standard which is used instead of a URL as a reliable way of giving the location of a journal (a publisher may change and thus the URL would too, but the DOI will remain the same regardless). There is no need to add the DOI to all article references; it is simply a good idea when you do not have the complete information – e.g. the page numbers or the issue number.

Electronic books are similar. An online book from Ebook Central appears pretty much as it would in paper format and the page numbering is usually the same. Therefore, you can reference using page numbers without having to refer to the fact that you read it online. Books read on e-book readers such as the Kindle are different. The Kindle, as an example, does use page numbers but these differ depending on how large you have the text, the font style etc. It is best to state in your bibliography that you read the Kindle edition (see examples under Writing your bibliography: some examples - Book read via an e-reader in this guide). The best way to reference a quote from a book via a Kindle is to use the location numbers which are specific to each line of text so for example:

“Extending one’s sense of self in the form of abstract representation is one of our most fundamental expressions of humanity” (Bailenson and Beall, 2006, Locations 142-49 of 229).

What do ibid and et al. mean?

There are certain abbreviations that are used in referencing that make your work look neater when you refer to the same quote, author or piece of work again (and it avoids having to type out the whole reference again!).

et al. (et alia) and others - used when referring to more than two writers. You should try and name all the authors e.g. (Francis, Molloy, Stewart and Darling, 2021) but if not you could use (Francis, et. al., 2021)

et seq. and (the) following or what follows

ibid. or ib. (ibidem) in the same place - this is similar in intention to op cit, but applied to consecutive references to the same work

op. cit.(opus citatum) in the work previously cited - saves writing the full details out each time

q.v.(quod vide) which see - a reference to see the work mentioned, usually for further detailed information

p. and pp. stands for page and pages so p. 7 and pp. 234-250

Referencing non-English authors

From time to time, you will have to reference non-English names with particles. The following is a general guide:

1.    German names
Sometimes German names are preceded with von or van. In general, the particle is dropped in favour of citing the family name alone e.g. Beethoven is not normally referred to as van Beethoven.
In a bibliography you can use:

    Beethoven, L. van (1817) or, Beethoven van, L. (1817)

2.    Dutch and Belgian names
Dutch names can have a variety of particles though the most common is van or van der. They normally appear in lower case e.g. Ruud van Nistelrooy. In comparison, in Belgium the particle almost always has a capital e.g. Paul Van Look. In contrast to German names the Dutch particle is used when commenting in the text e.g. “van Nistelrooy scored a cracker against Arsenal”, but as with German names the particle is dropped in an alphabetical list:

Gogh, V., van (1891) or, Gogh van, V. (1891)
Look, P., Van (2002) or, Look Van, P. (2002)

American names of Dutch descent often have been assimilated within the surname e.g. Ray DeVries and would be referenced as DeVries, R. (2000).

Last revised by Claire Molloy, August 2023