Harvard style guide

This page will help you with some of the basic styling used in Harvard referencing, including use of punctuation and abbreviations.

Remember, when you reference, you need to give your reader enough information that they would be able to find that source themselves. You should use the same spellings, punctuation and information that you found in the original source. Your reference list should be alphabetical by author (including institutional authors).

The data should be taken from the resource itself. The preferred source of data for the reference is the title page or equivalent, such as the title screen, home page, disc label or map face. Any information that does not appear in the cited information resource, but is supplied by the citer, should be enclosed in square brackets.

When writing for publication you must follow the style rules established by the publisher to avoid inconsistencies in journal articles or conference papers. You need to use a consistent system of punctuation and typography throughout the reference list. Each element of a reference should be clearly separated from subsequent elements by punctuation or change of typeface.


Chapters of Acts Use c.
Edition Use edn. as an abbreviation for edition.
Editors Use ed. or eds.
Latin Use Latin abbreviations: for alia as in et al., and Op. for Opus.
Metric measurements Do not use full stops for metric measurements such as m, cm.
Music/Opus number Use No. for the word number. Use Op. for Opus.
Page numbers Use p. for page and pp. for pages with a space and then the numbers.
Publication dates Use ca. for circa in publication dates
Units of time Use min., hr., sec. for units of time of an hour or less.

Capital letters

Capitalise the main words in titles, including the first word after the colon with the remaining words after the colon in lower case, for example: Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological sciences and medical sciences and The Blitz and Its Legacy: Wartime destruction to post-war reconstruction. Capitalise the titles of all sources that are in italics. Capitalise the first word in a complete sentence. For journal articles and conference papers, capitalise the first word. Conjunctions, articles and prepositions do not need to be in capitals as they are not main words. Do not capitalise the second work of a hyphenated word.

Capitalise all proper nouns and adjectives, names of Universities and their Departments, Government Departments and trade names.


The main title of a source (e.g. book title, journal title) should be in italics in your reference list. Titles of contributions (e.g. article titles) should not be in italics.

Words within a source that would normally be italicised should be set in normal type for reverse italicization, such as From Hobbits to Hollywood: Essays on Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings.


Use numerals to express numbers. Use full numbers in page ranges (321-327 not 321-7) and ranges of dates (1985-1987, not 1985-7). Use ordinal numbers in abbreviated form in superscripts in book editions, such as nd or th. Do not include these after the day of the month for dates.


Use a space after all punctuation marks. Use a space after all initials in personal names such as Jackson, C. A.

Do not use a space after internal full stops in abbreviations, such as Ph.D., n.d., s.l., or in timings such as 20:00, in numbers, such as 1,000 or in scales such as 1:25,000. Do not use a space in web addresses in the text of your work or in your reference list, such as http://www.bbc.co.uk

Use full stops to end a complete sentence. Use full stops with initials of names, such as Jackson, C. A., with Latin abbreviations such as al. and with reference abbreviations such as Vol. 1. Use full stops for time abbreviations such as min. or hr. Do not use full stops for metric measurements such as cm, m but do use a full stop for in. to avoid confusion.

Do not use a full stop with ordinal abbreviations such as 4th, 3rd etc. Do not use a full stop in abbreviations of state names in reference list entries, such as NJ; in capital letter abbreviations such as BBC, SI, UKCC, HM or URL; or in abbreviations such as rpm.

Use a comma to set off the year in indirect citations, such as (Conway, 1991). Use a comma to separate groups of three digits in numbers of 1,000 or more.

Use a semi-colon to separate authors in indirect citations such as (Collini, 2011; Goodman, 2012; Morrall and Goodman, 2012; Roggero, 2011).

Use a colon in references immediately after the place of publication and then include a space before the publisher’s name, such as London: Faber. Use a colon after the phrase 'Available through' or 'Available at' followed by a space before introducing a web page.

Use double quotation marks to enclose quotations in your text.

Use single quotation marks for the titles of episodes of television programmes, for names that help to identify a piece of music, for example [Op. 47 ‘Kreutzer’], for the title of individual tracks of a music album or for tracks that have been downloaded.

Use round brackets (..) to separate citations in the text of your work. Use round brackets to enclose the publication year when citing directly or when introducing an abbreviation, for example UK Committee on Climate Change (UKCCC). Use round brackets for issue or part numbers in your reference list. Use round brackets to show you have recognised an inaccuracy in the source by including (sic) in your work. Use round brackets to show series numbers as separate elements of the reference.

Use square brackets [..] to designate the medium of the source. This applies to visual sources, the formats of reports and audio-visual material. Use them to supply the format of the music which is being cited and to designate the medium of the archive material. Use square brackets for the translations of titles. Use square brackets to indicate the accessed date of a web page. Use square brackets after the title to clarify a title that is ambiguous or fails to indicate clearly the content, for example: Violin Sonata No. 9 in A Major [Op. 47 ‘Kreutzer’]. Information such as date, place and publisher not found on the document, but traced from other sources, should be placed in square brackets. For works in another language that have been translated, reference these in the same manner as an English language work but provide a translation of the title immediately after the original title in square brackets. Both of these are illustrated in the example:

Mayer, J. [1995] Pawitri Naukari [A Sacred Service]: Sacer misisterium. Birmingham: [Birmingham Conservatoire].

Example reference list

Arrange the list of reference alphabetically by the author's surname, year and letter (if there is one). For an organisation the first letter of the corporate author is used.

For institutions or for authors with multiple works in different years, list these chronologically so that the earliest publication appears first. In the example reference list, HM Government’s 2010 work appears above its 2019 work.

Arrange the list of surnames on a letter by letter basis. Clark, A. will precede Clark, B. However work on the basis of the completed surname so that Clark, G. precedes Clarke, A. in your reference list even though the latter is ahead of the former in a letter by letter order. Similarly, one author entries precede multiple author entries so that Clarke, G. (2008) precedes Clarke, G. and Werf, Y.V.D. (1998) even though the latter was published earlier.

If you include an appendix, this should come after the reference list. Works cited in any appendices should still be included in your reference list.

Anonymous (2011) Effect of tranexamic acid in traumatic brain injury: a nested randomised, placebo controlled trial (CRASH-2 Intracranial Bleeding Study). BMJ, 343(d3795). Available at: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.d3795.

Clark, A. (2004) Natural-born Cyborgs: Minds, technologies and the future of human intelligence. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Clark, B. C. and Manini, T. M. (2010) Sarcopenia ≠ dynapenia. Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological sciences and medical sciences, 63(8), pp. 829-834.

Clark, G. (2008) A Farewell to Alms: A brief economic history of the world. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Clark, G. and Werf, Y. V. D. (1998) Work in progress? The industrious revolution. Journal of Economic History, 58(3), pp. 830-843.

Clarke, A. J. (1999) Tupperware: The promise of plastic in 1950s America. Washington: Smithsonian Institution.

Creswell, J. W. (2007) Qualitative Inquiry and Research Design: Choosing among five traditions. 2nd edn. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Gibson, D., Aldrich, C. and Prensky, M., eds. (2007) Games and Simulations in Online Learning: Research and development frameworks. Hershey, PA: Information Science Publishing.

Gunning, T. (2006) Gollum and Golem: special effects and the technology of artificial bodies. In: E. Mathijs and M. Pomerance, eds. From Hobbits to Hollywood: Essays on Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings. New York: Rodopi, pp. 319-350.

HM Government (2010) The Coalition: Our programme for government. [pdf] London: Cabinet Office. Available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/78977/coalition_programme_for_government.pdf [Accessed 7 June 2013].

HM Government (2019) Environmental Reporting Guidelines: Including streamlined energy and carbon reporting guidance. [pdf] Available at:  https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/850130/Env-reporting-guidance_inc_SECR_31March.pdf [Accessed 28 August 2020].

Linn, R. L., ed. (1989) Educational Measurement. 3rd edn. New York: MacMillan.

Miller, S. (2006a) The Flemish Masters. London: Phaidon.

Miller, S. (2006b) Rubens and His Art. London: Killington Press.

NHS Trust (Name withheld) (2017) Disciplinary Policy. NHS Trust name withheld.

Quantz, J. J. (1752) Versuch einer Anweisung die Flöte Traversière du Spielen [On Playing the Flute]. 2nd edn. Translated by Edward R. Reilly, 1985. London: Faber and Faber.

Robinson, S. R. (2011) Teaching logic and teaching critical thinking: revisiting McPeck. Higher Education Research and Development, 30(3), pp. 275–287.

School A (Name withheld) (2018) School A’s Sex Education Policy. Available at: (URL withheld) (Accessed 19 December 2018).

United Kingdom Central Council for Nursing, Midwifery and Health Visiting (UKCC) (1999) Fitness for Practice: The UKCC Commission for Nursing and Midwifery Education. London: UKCC.

Wittich, W. and Simcock, P. (2019) Aging and combined vision and hearing loss. In: J. Ravenscroft, ed. The Routledge Handbook of Visual Impairment. London: Routledge, pp. 438-456


Data Order

The sequence of data in the reference list in the BCU Harvard style is consistent with the British Standard BS ISO 690:2010. This standard is governed by five basic principles. It states that the preferred sequence is:

1. Name(s) of creator(s)


Take the information regarding the author from the source itself. Only use the initials of the author. Use the surname first followed by their initials. For subsidiary authors such as composers, illustrators and translators, use the full name in the style: first name last name. For editors use their initials followed by their surname.

List the prefixes Mc and Mac on a letter-by-letter basis so that McDonald appears after MacDonald and after MacMullan but before McMullan.

Use "and" to separate the penultimate and last item in a list of authors, not "&".

Secondary elements should follow the practice of the nation to which the author belongs, for example:

De Freitas, S. English
De Bono, E. English-speaking
Bruijn, N. G. de Dutch
Van de Velde, S. Dutch
Caix d’Hervelois, L. de French
Le Corbusier French
Weber, C. M. von German
Cavalieri, E. de Italian
Da Silva, R. H. Portuguese
Victoria, T. L. de Spanish

Additions to names indicating rank, title, office or status may be retained or supplied to distinguish authors with the same names. Two examples by the same author are these:

McGwin, G. Jr and Brown, D. B. (1999) Characteristics of traffic crashes among young, middle-aged, and older drivers. Accident Analysis & Prevention, 31(3), pp. 181-198.

Stannard, J. P., Volgas, D. A., McGwin, G III, Stewart, R. L., Obremskey, W., Moore, T. and Anglen, J. O. (2012) Incisional negative pressure wound therapy after high-risk lower extremity fractures. Journal of Orthopaedic Trauma, 26(1), pp. 37-42.


In the one case the advice given was to find out the author's first name from external sources but to acknowledge his title in this example:

Carter, [P.] (2016) Operational Productivity and Performance in English NHS Acute Hospitals: Unwarranted variations. An independent report for the Department of Health by Lord Carter of Coles. [pdf] Available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/499229/Operational_productivity_A.pdf [Accessed 20 December 2017].


Names of authors should be taken from the title page or equivalent or the reverse of the title page. They should be given in the form in which they appear. Although there are several naming conventions across the world, this guidance follows the advice contained in Cite Them Right (Pears and Shields, 2019: 18-20) placing the family name first in the citation followed by the initials of the given names. Further guidance is given in that publication for Arabic, Burmese, Chinese, Indian, Japanese, Malaysian, Portuguese, Spanish, Thai and Vietnamese names. If the author’s name appears in a non-Roman alphabet it can be transliterated.

Multiple authors

For sources with multiple authors, all the names should be included in the reference list in the order they appear in the document. Use 'and' without a comma to link the last two multiple authors. In your reference list you must include all the authors. However, some articles contain large numbers of authors. For example, the July 2012 discovery of a particle consistent with the Higgs-Boson was reported in articles by the ATLAS collaboration (>3000 authors) and the CMS collaboration (>3800 authors). For the BCU Harvard style, list the first 10 authors and then use et al. after the tenth. For example:

 Haagsma, J. A., Olij, B. F., Majdan, M., van Beeck, E. F., Vos, T., Castle, C. D., Dingels, Z. V., Fox, J. T., Hamilton, E. B., Liu, Z. et al. (2020) Falls in older aged adults in 22 European countries: incidence, mortality and burden of disease from 1990 to 2017. Injury Prevention, in press. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1136/injuryprev-2019-043347.


Multiple works in the same year by the same author

Where there are several works by one author and published in the same year they should be differentiated by adding a lower case letter after the date. Works in the same year by the same author should be displayed in the order referenced in your work with the earliest first. For example:

Yardley, E. and Wilson, D. (2015a) Female Serial Killers in Social Context: Criminological institutionalism and the case of Mary Ann Cotton. Bristol: Polity Press.

Yardley, E. and Wilson, D. (2015b) Making sense of ‘Facebook murder'? social networking sites and contemporary homicide. The Howard Journal of Criminal Justice, 54(2), pp. 109-134.



Editors are treated the same as authors except that ed. or eds. is put after the editor or editors name(s), separated by a comma. For example:

Clapson, M. and Larkham, P. J., eds. (2013) The Blitz and Its Legacy: Wartime destruction to post-war reconstruction. Farnham: Ashgate.

McGee, P., ed. (2009) Advanced Practice in Nursing and the Allied Health Professions. 3rd edn. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell.


Institutional authors

If the work is by a recognised organisation and has no personal author then it is usually cited under the body that commissioned the work. This applies to publications by associations, companies, and Government Departments such as the Department of Health or institutions such as the NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement (NHSi).

Note that the full name is the preferred format in the references list followed by the abbreviation in brackets. Your list should provide the full name, for example:

NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement (NHSi) (2009) The Productive Ward: Releasing time to care. Learning and impact review. London: King's College London.

Note: There are some exceptions to this where the abbreviations or initials form part of the official name, such as the BBC.

Title first

For certain sources (e.g. market research reports, dictionaries and encyclopaedias) or if an item is the co-operative output of many individuals, none of whom has a dominant role as creator (e.g. films, radio and television programmes), the title should be used instead of a creator.

Works with no author

If the author cannot be identified, use "Anonymous" or "Anon." in the reference list. For example:

Anonymous (2011) Effect of tranexamic acid in traumatic brain injury: a nested randomised, placebo controlled trial (CRASH-2 Intracranial Bleeding Study). BMJ, 343(d3795). Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.d3795.

Every effort should be made to establish the authorship if you intend to use this work as supporting evidence in an academic submission.

2. Date

The date of publication should be included after the author's surname and initials followed by a full stop. If there are a number of different reissues or reprints of the item, give the earliest date of the edition you are referring to, for example, if the information in the book reads “1989 reprinted in 1990, 1992, 1995, 1996, 2000” give the date as 1989.

Artistic works may take years to complete. References to drawings, paintings and sculpture often include a span of dates, for example:

Hodgkin, H. (1983-1985)

The date recorded should reflect the specific instance, edition or version that you have used. For web pages this means you must include the date that you accessed the page and the specific URL that you used. If an exact date is not known, you should supply an approximate date, followed by a question mark or preceded by "ca." (meaning "circa"). For example:

Shahn, B. (ca. 1933-1934)

Every effort should be made to establish the year of publication if you intend to use this work as supporting evidence in an academic submission.

If it is not possible to ascertain the date, use n.d. For example: Langley (n.d.) advises…

You may wish to question the reliability of the source or find an alternative which is dated.

Normally the year is sufficient, but for some kinds of items (e.g. online resources, newspapers, press releases, television images), you will need to include the month and day, and sometimes the time.

For audio-visual materials cited from a transmission rather than from the physical item, the date and time of transmission and the transmitting organization should be given.

3. Title

The title should be copied from the item itself if possible and should be in italics. Include the sub-title separated from the title by a colon.

You can supply further information in square brackets after the title to clarify a title that is ambiguous or fails to indicate clearly the content, for example:

Violin Sonata in A Major [Op. 47 'Kreutzer'].

Capitalise the main words in book titles, journal titles and conference proceedings. Capitalise the titles of all sources that are in italics. Capitalise the first word after a colon in all these instances.

For journal titles, use the title from the front cover or the electronic version. Capitalise the first letter of each word except for the linking words and put in italics.

The titles of journal articles or chapters in a book with an editor should not be put in italics.

If there is a mistake in the title (and you do not wish the reader to think that you cannot spell) put the word sic (= thus) in square brackets and italicised after the word(s) for example:

Bruce, A. J., Beard, K. W., Tedford, S., Harman, M. J., and Tedford, K. (1997) African Americans’ and Caucasian Americans’ recognition and likability [sic] responses to African American and Caucasian American faces. Journal of General Psychology, 124(2), pp. 143–156.


For works in another language that have been translated into English, reference these in the same manner as an English language work but provide a translation of the title immediately after the original title in square brackets.

For example:

Cicero (1972) De Natura Deorum [The Nature of the Gods]. Translated by Horace C. P. McGregor. London: Penguin.

Quantz, J. J. (1752) Versuch einer Anweisung die Flöte Traversière du Spielen [On Playing the Flute]2nd edn. Translated by Edward R. Reilly, 2001. London: Faber and Faber.


For works in another language that have not been translated, take the title from the item itself and follow the guidelines. For a journal article that is only available online, for example:

Sodré, J. R., Costa, R. C. and Da Silva, R. H. (2008). Efeitos do comprimento do conduto de admissão na performance de um motor de combustão interna. I Jornada Científica e VI FIPA do CEFET Bambuí. Available at: https://www.bambui.ifmg.edu.br/jornada_cientifica/str/artigos_aprovados/Area%20de%20Mecanica/28-PT-2.pdf [Accessed 02 August 2017].

4. Medium

Apart from printed sources and websites you should provide information about the nature of the information resource and/or the form in which it is made available. All formats should start with a lower case letter apart from capitalized abbreviations and proper nouns.

The formats used in these guidelines are:

[archive] [audio stream] [black and white print] [blog]
[blu-ray] [bronze] [CD] [DVD]
[documentary extra] [e-book] [electronic download] [e-reader edition]
[exhibition] [exhibition catalogue] [feature film] [game]
[gelatin silver print] [illustration] [installation] [Kindle edition]
[manuscript] [marble] [oil on canvas] [oil on panel]
[oil on wood] [pdf] [performance] [photograph]
[Powerpoint presentation] [podcast] [poster] [radio programme]
[sculpture] [television programme] [theatre programme] [video]
[vinyl] [vocal score] [vodcast]

5. Edition

Cite the specific edition of the work you are using, for example: 6th edn.

There is no need to cite the first edition.

6. Subsidiary creators and translators

Subsidary creators

You should include the name of any editor, director, performer or other person who has collaborated in the production of a source after the edition with an indication of their role. You should include their first name in full if this is given. This will help to identify a particular source and should be included so that the relation between that role and the whole source is clear, for example:

Bram Stoker's Dracula [feature film] Directed by Francis Ford Coppola. Columbia Tristar/American Zoetrope/Osiris, USA, 1992. 120 mins.

Britten, B. (2012) War Requiem. Erin Wall (soprano), Mark Padmore (tenor), Hanno Müller-Brachmann (baritone), City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, CBSO Chorus and Youth Chorus, Andris Nelsons (conductor). [blu-ray] Recorded at Coventry Cathedral, 30 May 2012. (Arthaus Musik GmbH 108 070).

Geminiani, F. (1751) The Art of Playing on the Violin. Facsimile edition (1952). Edited by David D. Boyden. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Monteverdi, C. (1999) Vespers (1610). Edited by Jeffrey Kurtzman. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Shakespeare, W. (2004) The Two Gentlemen of Verona. Edited by William C. Carroll. London: Arden Shakespeare.


For references to the work of an author that appears as a chapter, or part of a larger work, that is edited by someone else, include details of both the chapter author and the editor(s) of the entire work, using the initial(s) before the editor's surname. For example:

Archer-Parre, C. (2020) Private pleasures and portable presses: do-it-yourself printers in the eighteenth-century. In: C. Archer-Parre and M. Dick, eds. Pen, Print and Communication in the Eighteenth century. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, pp. 89-106.

Wittich, W. and Simcock, P. (2019) Aging and combined vision and hearing loss. In: J. Ravenscroft, ed. The Routledge Handbook of Visual Impairment. London: Routledge, pp. 438-456.


Multiple editions

If a new edition or updated version of a source is produced by a new creator, the name of the first creator should be used if it still appears as a creator in the source. You will need to acknowledge the work of the new creator by taking the information from the title page and making it clear their contribution, for example:

Burnett, C. W. F. (1979) The Anatomy and Physiology of Obstetrics: A short textbook for students and midwives. 6th edn. Revised by Mary M. Anderson. London: Faber.


Translated sources

As with subsidiary creators, the reference should include details of the translator, annotator and editor, as appropriate. Include their full name in the format first name last name, for example:

Boal, A. (1995) The Rainbow of Desire: The Boal method of theatre and therapy. Translated by Adrian Jackson. London: Routledge.

Derrida, J. (2002) The animal that therefore I am (more to follow). Translated by David Wills. Critical Inquiry, 28(2), pp. 369-414.

Le Corbusier (2007) Journey to The East. 2nd edn. Edited, annotated and translated by Ivan Zaknic. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Quantz, J. J. (1752) Versuch einer Anweisung die Flöte Traversière du Spielen [On Playing the Flute]. 2nd edn. Translated by Edward R. Reilly, 2001. London: Faber and Faber.


For major works of historic significance, the date of the original work may be included along with the date of the translation:

Spinoza, B. (1677) The Ethics. Translated by R. H. M. Elwes, 1989. New York: Prometheus Books.


7. Publication details (place and publisher)

You must include the place where the item was published, followed by a colon, space and then the publisher. For larger, well-known places, the place name alone may be given. For smaller places, a qualifier should be added (e.g. county, department, state, province, country) to the place name. It is sensible to include a qualifier to distinguish locations, for example:

Walcott, R. (2010) Black Like Who?: Writing black Canada. 2nd edn. London, Ontario: Insomniac Press.


In the example above, London, Ontario is included to distinguish it from London, England.

Abbreviations are used for US states based on the listing in BS EN ISO 3166: Part 2 and are listed in upper case, for example: Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall or Indianapolis, IN: Cisco Press.

Use the catalogue to check if in doubt.

If there is more than one city of publication given on the title page, choose the first one listed. For example: for "Oxford London New York Hong Kong", use "Oxford".

Occasionally you may not be able to find out the place of publication in which case use s.l. (sine loco: without place). This is increasingly the case where authors have chosen to self-publish their work, for example:

Price, T. J. (2014) Environmental Management Systems: An easy to use guide to boosting your organization's environmental performance. 3rd edn. s.l.: CreateSpace.


In certain instances you may find that there is no obvious publisher in which case use s.n. (sine nomine, without name). This is particularly the case with musical scores, for example:

Coccioli, L. (2004) Flectar: For trombone and live electronics. s.l.: s.n.


Information such as date, place and publisher not found on the document, but traced from other sources, should be placed in square brackets. For works in another language that have been translated, reference these in the same manner as an English language work but provide a translation of the title immediately after the original title in square brackets. All of these are illustrated in the example:

Mayer, J. [1995] Pawitri Naukari [A Sacred Service]: Sacer misisterium. Birmingham: [Birmingham Conservatoire].


8. Series

It can be helpful to include further details to identify an item, especially if it is a technical report, Government or European Commission publication. Add the details in round brackets after the place of publication, for example:

Berry, C. and McCarthy, S. (2011) Guide to Sustainable Procurement in Construction. London: CIRIA (CIRIA C695).


9. Numeration e.g. volume/issue number

The components of an issue should be referenced in the terms used in that source, with the larger order first, for example:

Children Act 1989, Sch. 1 para. 5.

For journal articles you need to include: volume number followed by issue or part number in round brackets, followed by season or date if this is needed to identify the article. You can leave out the term “volume” and terms for smaller components of a serial publication, for example: 30(3), pp. 275–287.

Microsoft Word differentiates between journal articles and articles in a periodical, by which it means trade magazines and newspapers where the month or the date of the publication is needed to identify the source.

10. Standard identifiers

ISBNs are not included in references, largely because there are different ISBNs for paperback, hardback and international editions and different ISBNs for electronic books. However, there is a trend in academic articles to include the Digital Object Identifier [DOI] as this uniquely identifies the online resource. Crossref’s DOI display guidelines give the format of the DOI as https://doi.org/10.xxxx/xxxxx, preferring the use of https and not using dx in the domain name. 

Available at: https://doi.org/10.1089/cpb.2007.0056.

If you use a DOI there is no need to include the accessed date as the DOI is the permanent identifier for the source.

11. Availability and accessed information

Try to find an author or a corporate author for a document from a web site. You must include the full URL as it appears in the address bar to enable users to retrieve the source.

Include the date you accessed the web page in square brackets. This is especially important when Government departments change. In the example below the web page was moved from the Department of Health web site to the secure web site https://www.gov.uk:

Available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/giving-people-control-of-the-health-and-care-information-they-need [Accessed 20 February 2013].

Note: For online journal articles you do not need to provide an accessed date if you give a DOI as DOIs are permanent.

12. Size and non-Roman script

For visual sources especially, size is usually included in the reference.

For example:

Codagnone, A. (1993) Poster for ACT UP, New York. [poster] 11 x 8.5 in. (27.9 x 21.6 cm) Courtesy the artist.


If the source is in a non-Roman script, provide a translation in English and make it clear that the source you have used is not in English.

For a web page, for example, the required elements would appear as:

  • Authorship
  • (Year)
  • Title.
  • [in Chinese].
  • Available at: URL
  • [Accessed date].

For example:

The Central People's Government of the People's Republic of China (2008) White Paper on China's Drug Supervision. [in Chinese]. Available at: http://www.gov.cn/jrzg/2008-07/18/content_1048848.htm [Accessed 21 August 2019].


For books, an example is:

Xu, Y. (2009) IPv6 In-depth Analysis. [in Chinese]. Tsinghua: Tsinghua University Press.

For articles, an example is:

Guoyu, T. and Dalong, Z. (2017) Interpretation of clinical practice guidelines and expert consensuses for the evaluation and management of diabetic kidney disease at home and abroad. [in Chinese]. Chinese Journal of Practical Internal Medicine, 37(3), pp. 211-216.