Skip to main content

Referencing sources

Why do I need to reference?

  • To verify the ideas and theories you present in your work
  • To demonstrate that you have researched the existing literature on your topic
  • To demonstrate the scope of your reading
  • To allow others to consult the original source
  • It is a way of correctly acknowledging the sources you have referred to in your work to ensure you avoid any accusations of plagiarism




A reference included within the main body of your assignment to support an argument. This could be in the form of a direct quotation, summarising or paraphrasing.

Reference list


This comes at the end of the document. It is an organised list of all of the items cited within your text.



This also comes at the end of the document. Unlike a reference list it is a full list of all the items which you have consulted or read in your research, not just those cited in the text.

Referencing styles


There are different styles of referencing, but these should never be mixed within one document. Warwick Business School uses the Harvard style.


How do I include citations in my work?

An in-text citation is when you refer to a source within the body of your work in support of an argument. It is important to include citations when you are either summarising the work of another author or when quoting directly. Generally speaking, it is not necessary to include a citation when referring to a commonly known fact. In the Harvard referencing style an in-text citation should always give the author’s surname or family name and the date of the source. There are small variations depending on the context of the citation:


You can refer to a text to support an idea which you have expressed in your own words by adding the citation at the end of the sentence:

Understanding organisational behaviour is a key element in the management of a company (Huczynski and Buchanan, 2001)

If you refer to an author by name, then simply add the date afterwards:

As Jenkins (1994) points out, there are several key elements to consider in order to build a successful team.

If you have read more than one item by the same author, written in the same year, then the convention is to differentiate using lower case letters:

(Storey, 2001a) and (Storey, 2001b) etc.

When quoting directly from a source, or referring to particular pages, provide the page number(s) after the date:

"How well you select your professional and business advisers will have a direct bearing on your business success." (Gray, 1989, p.118)


There are some common abbreviations used in in-text citations to avoid duplication and the breaking up of the body of the text:

et al.


This means 'and others'. It is used in in-text citations when there are four or more authors for the same source. However, all authors must be listed in full in the reference list:

Example: (Jones et al., 2007)



Short for the Latin ibidem, this means 'in the same place'. It is used when the next reference is the same as the previous one.

Example: The first in text citation would be (Levitt, 1960 p.17), followed by (ibid. p.92)

Reference list

A reference list and a bibliography use exactly the same format; it is the content that differs. For most of your assignments you will be asked to produce a reference list. A bibliography includes everything you have read, whereas a reference list includes only what you have cited in your work. In the Harvard style the list should be ordered alphabetically by the author's family name or surname. The author’s family name should appear first.

Example: If you were referencing something which had been written by Bill Gates it would be formatted like this:

Gates, B. (1999). Business @ the speed of thought : using a digital nervous system. London: Penguin.

Below are examples of how to reference the most common publication formats. If you are looking for information on how to reference other types of material using the Harvard style consult any of the referencing guides listed on the right.

Note: You may sometimes come across references in the Harvard style that have been formatted slightly differently to the examples given below. This is because there are a number of different iterations for this style. Despite this, the order in which the elements of a reference appear will always be the same. For example, the author’s surname may sometimes appear in capitals but it will always be the element to appear first in the reference. Whatever format you choose the golden rule to remember is to BE CONSISTENT throughout.

Annual Report


Organisation. (Year). Title of annual report. Place of publication: Publisher.

John Lewis Partnership PLC. (2014). Annual reports and accounts. London: John Lewis Partnership PLC.



Author(s) (Year). Title of book. Edition. Place of publication: Publisher.

Huczynski, A. and Buchanan, D. (2001). Organisational behaviour: an introductory text. 4th edition. Harlow: Pearson Education.

Chapter in an edited book


Author(s) (Year). Title of chapter. In: Editor(s), ed(s). Title of book. Edition. Place of publication: Publisher, Chapter or page numbers.

Kanfer, R. (1994). Work motivation: new directions in theory and research. In: C.L. Cooper and I.T. Robertson, eds. Key reviews in managerial psychology. Chichester: Wiley, pp. 1-53.



Author(s) (Year). Title of book. [online]. Edition. Place of publication: Publisher. Available from: URL (Accessed: date accessed).

Belleflamme, P. and Peitz, M. (2010). Industrial Organization: markets and strategies. [online]. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Available from: (Accessed: 14 September 2015).

Edited books


Editor(s), ed(s). (Year). Title of book. Edition. Place of publication: Publisher.

Storey, J., ed. (2001). Human resource management: a critical text. London: Thompson Learning.

Financial data


Corporate author. (Year). Dataset or series. [online]. Available from: name of database. (Accessed: date accessed).

Datastream. (2014). FTSE 100. [online]. Thomson Reuters. Available from: Datastream. (Accessed: 23 July 2014).

Government Report


Charlotte Sweeney, C. (2014). Women on Boards: voluntary code for executive search firms - taking the next step . March 2014. Department for Business, Innovation & Skills. [online] Available from: (Accessed: 23 September 2014).

Journal articles


Author(s) (Year). Title of article. Journal title, volume (issue), Page number(s).

Jenkins, A. (1994). Teams: from ideology to analysis. Organization Studies, 15(6), pp. 849-60.

Journal article (online)


Author(s) (Year). Title of article. Journal title. [online]. volume (issue), Page number(s). Available from: URL (Accessed: date accessed).

Gregersen, H. B., Morrison, A.J. and Black, J.S. (1998). Developing leaders for the global frontier. Sloan Management Review. [online]. 40(1), pp.21-32. Available from: (Accessed: 14 September 2015).

Market Research Report


Author(s) or organization (Year). Title of report. Place of publication: Publisher

Mintel (2009) Food Retailing – UK. London: Mintel

Market Research Report (online)


Author(s) or organization. (Year). Title of report. [online]. Available from: URL (Accessed: date accessed).

Mintel. (2009). Holiday Car Hire-UK. [online]. Available from: (Accessed 23 July 2014).



Author(s). (Year). Title of article. Title of newspaper, date published, page number(s).

Timmins, N. (2011). Pay divide between top executives and public widens. Financial Times, 16 May 2011, 3.

Newspaper article (online)


Author(s). (Year). Title of article. Title of newspaper, date published. [online]. Available from: URL (Accessed: date accessed).

Pickford, J. (2014.) Tesco and Waitrose expand into London Underground stations. Financial Times, 29 January 2014. [online]. Available from: (Accessed: 23 July 2014).



Author(s) (Year). Title of website. Available at: URL (Accessed: Date).

Warwick Business School. (2014). HR research: how to boost equality opportunities. Available at: (Accessed: 23 July 2014).


Did you know? You can use the Sort button in Microsoft Word so that your reference list is in alphabetical order. Use ascending order to sort from A to Z.

Microsoft Word A-Z sort example

Avoiding plagiarism

Plagiarism is the act of presenting another person's words or ideas as your own. All work you submit for assessment must be entirely your own. Where you do want to refer to other people's work whether through a direct quotation or your own words, you must be sure to cite and reference them correctly.

The following tips will help you to ensure that your work is free from plagiarism:

  • keep references for everything you read in case you want to refer to it later
  • record full references as you go along rather than trying to compile a list after you have completed your assignment
  • when copying direct quotations make sure that you clearly mark them in your notes and keep a note of page numbers
  • ensure that anyone reading your work can use your references to locate the original source
  • try using different colours in your notes to differentiate your own work and ideas from that of others

Test your knowledge

To complete this section of the tutorial you must submit your answers to a series of multiple choice questions. This must be completed by Week 9 - Tuesday 28th November at 12 noon for you to receive a mark for the written assessment.

Referencing guides

The following guides offer a comprehensive list of examples for how to reference different sources:

Anglia Ruskin University Library (2016) Guide to the Harvard System of Referencing. (Accessed: 2 October 2017)

Pears, I. and Shields, G. (2016) Cite them right: the essential referencing guide. 10th ed. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.