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Giving or ‘citing’ references: the Institute of Archaeology Harvard system

Many different ways of giving references are used in academic publications. The two main standard systems are the ‘Harvard system’ (or ‘author / date’ system) and the ‘ Vancouver system’ (or ‘footnotes / endnotes’ system), otherwise known as the ‘numeric system’.

The system outlined on these pages is the one required by the Institute and is a version of the Harvard system, but many writers and publishers prefer the method of footnotes and expanded text references.

General guidelines

  • If you are quoting an author or referring to a specific point made by them, you must give the relevant page number(s), e.g. (Bailey 1981a, 25; Bailey 1982b, 310–321). You should not repeat these page numbers in the bibliography.
  • If you are referring to an author’s work in a more general sense, then such page numbers are not relevant.
  • Use capitals only for the first letters of the first word and proper names in article titles, and for the first and all significant words in book and journal titles; never capitalise words such as ‘and’, ‘of’, ‘the’ unless they are the first word.
  • If you refer to edited, translated or republished works, it is good practice to give the date of original publication in square brackets, e.g. (Marx 1972, 26 [1869]). If the book has reprinting dates, ignore them; only the date of the edition matters. If a book is a 10th reprint published in 2006 of a 2nd ed. published in 2001, you still reference it as a 2nd ed., 2001.
  • For foreign language publications, retain the diacritical signs (‘accents’); they can be found in the Insert/Symbol… menu of Microsoft Word; for example Ştefan (1971).

Rules for referencing in the text:

The following (so-called Harvard) conventions should be used to indicate works used as sources in the text, following the statement of observations or interpretations drawn from a consulted work:

  1. The author’s surname, the year in which the work was published and the relevant page number(s) or figure or table number must be given in brackets: (Lloyd 1980, 142).
  2. If the name(s) of the author(s) are already given in the text, then the date should be added in brackets, e.g. ‘work by Bailey (1981) shows the importance of understanding . . .’.

Institute of Archaeology in-text referencing style guidelines:

Please note that these guidelines apply whether the source of the reference is paper or electronic.

  • Authors’ names are given without initials, e.g. (Ashton 1996).
  • Initials are given when two authors with the same surname are referred to, e.g. (Smith, A. 1996; Smith, W. 1994).
  • Dual or multiple citations should be in alphabetical order, separated by a semi-colon, e.g. (Bailey 1981; Jones 1970; Peters 1997; Ucko and Dimbleby 1966).
  • Where an article or book has two authors, both must be cited, e.g. (Bailey & Smith 1996).
  • If there are more than two names in the reference, the entry is abbreviated, e.g. (Bailey et al. 1981). However, in the bibliography at the end of the essay, the complete reference (all the authors) should be given. The ‘et al.’ should always be in italics.
  • When referring to more than one article published in the same year by the same author, use lower-case letters to differentiate them, e.g. (Bailey 1981a) and (Bailey 1981b). The first source that you refer to should be designated ‘a’, etc.
  • If a work has no named author, it is permissible to use the name of the publishing organisation, e.g. (Audit Commission 1991). If this is not suitable, then ‘Anon.’ (for ‘Anonymous’) should be used, e.g. (Anon.1998).
  • If it is a reference to a newspaper article with no author the name of the paper can be used, e.g. (The Guardian 1996).
  • If you refer to a source directly quoted in another source you cite both in the text, e.g. Smith (1960 cited by Jones 1994). You should list only the work you have read, i.e. Jones, in the bibliography and should always try to track down the original work and consult if possible.
  • You cannot use ‘ibid.’ in a textual citation; this convention is for use in bibliographies and reference lists only.
  • If you are using a personal communication (pers comm.) in the text give initials as well as surname and provide a date, e.g. B. D. Jones (pers comm. 6 th June, 2009). You should cite personal communication in the text only and not in the bibliography/reference list.

Reference list or bibliography:

In the Harvard system, citations in the text must be accompanied by a reference list or bibliography at the end. References are listed in alphabetical order of author’s names, regardless of the medium of the work. If you have listed more than one item by a specific author they should be listed chronologically (earliest first) and by letter (1992a, 1992b) if more than one item has been published during a specific year.

The Institute of Archaeology requires you to create what is defined here as a reference list at the end of any written document you produce. This should list ONLY the references you have directly cited in your work. You should NOT attempt to create a bibliography containing all the books you have read, but not directly cited in the work.

Other points:

  • Mc/Mac names should be placed before the alphabetic sequence of ‘m’.

McGhee, R., 1977. Ivory for the sea woman: the symbolic attributes of a prehistoric technology. Canadian Journal of Archaeology 1, 141-159.

Maquet, J., 1995. Objects as instruments, objects as signs. In: S. Lubar and W. D. Kingery (eds.), History from things: essays on material culture. Washington D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 30-36.

Morris, I., 2000. Archaeology as cultural history: words and things in Iron Age Greece. Oxford: Blackwell.

  • Double-barreled and hyphenated surnames should be listed alphabetically under the first of the two names.

    Pader, E-J., 1982. Symbolism, social relations and the interpretation of mortuary remains. Oxford: BAR International Series 130.

    Parker Pearson, M., 1995. Return of the living dead: mortuary analysis and the New Archaeology revisited. Antiquity 69, 1046-8.

    Pears, B. and Mudd, A., 2005. The Bronze Age field system at Tower’s Fen, Thorney, Peterborough: excavations at ’Thorney Borrow Pit’ 2004-2005. Oxford: Archaeopress. BAR British Series 471.


Samuels, S. R., 1991. Ozette archaeological project research reports. Pullman [Wash.]: Department of Anthropology, Washington State University.

Schadla-Hall, T., 2006. Finland and Tallinn: report and proceedings of the 151st Summer Meeting of the Royal Archaeological Institute in 2005. London: Royal Archaeological Institute.

Shennan, S., 2002. Genes, memes and human history: Darwinian archaeology and cultural evolution . London : Thames & Hudson.


  • If the town/city in which an item is published is not well known, you may want to add in a country, state or county. This information is usually provided for you in the book or on the library catalogue.

    Giles, F. J., 2001. The Amarna age: Egypt. Warminster, Wilts: Aris and Phillips.

  • When two places of publication are listed, you must add both in.

    Bruhns, K. O., 1994. Ancient South America. Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press.

  • For the publisher’s name, you can omit superfluous terms such as Publishers, PLC, Co. or Inc., but you should always retain the words ‘Books’ and ‘Press’.

E.g. when the publisher is ‘Blackwell Publishing’:

Hodder, I., 1999. The archaeological process: an introduction. Oxford: Blackwell.

When the publisher is Cambridge University Press:

Bruhns, K. O., 1994. Ancient South America. Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press.


A reference should contain the following information:

For books:

Author (surname, initial(s)), date, title (in italics), special edition, e.g. 2nd or revised, place of publication (city), name of publisher:

Lloyd, S., 1980. Foundations in the Dust: the story of Mesopotamian exploration. (Revised edition). London: Thames and Hudson.

If the name of the author is not known, the name of the publishing organisation can be given:

Audit Commission, 1991. The Road to Wigan Pier? Managing Local Authority Museums and Art Galleries. London: Audit Commission.

For book reviews:

Author (surname, initial(s)), date, title (in italics), title of book reviewed (in italics) by author (first name/initials, surname). Reviewed in publication name (in italics) volume number, page numbers

Crummy, N. 2009. Boudica Britannia. Rebel, war-leader and queen by M. Aldhouse-Green. Reviewed in: Britannia 40, 370-371.

For a translation:

Author, date, title of article, name of author or editor or editors (followed by ed. or eds.), title of book (in italics). Translater from (language) by (translator). Place of publication, publisher, page numbers:

Barthes, R., 1977. The death of the author. In: R. Barthes, Image, Music, Text. Essays selected and translated from French by S. Heath. London: Fontana, 142-148.

For conferences or collected papers:

Editor (followed by ed. or by eds. if there is more than one editor), date, title of volume (in italics), details of conference or other relevant details, including place of publication and publisher:

Cross, F. M. (ed.), 1979. Symposia celebrating the 75th anniversary of the founding of the American Schools of Oriental Research (1900-1975). Cambridge, Mass: American School of Oriental Research.

For series/occasional papers/monographs:

Cite as for books, but add the name of the series, and publication number, at the end:

Conway, B., McNabb, J. and Ashton, N. (eds.), 1996. Excavations at Barnfield Pit, Swanscombe, 1968-72. London: British Museum. British Museum Occasional Paper 194.

For articles in books, collected papers, conference proceedings, etc.:

Author, date, title of article, name of editor or editors (followed by ed. or eds.), title of book (in italics), place of publication, publisher, page numbers:

Oates, D., 1982. Tell Rimah. In: J. Curtis (ed.), Fifty Years of Mesopotamian Discovery. London: British School of Archaeology in Iraq, 30-36.

For articles in periodicals:

Author, date, title of article, name of periodical (in italics), volume number, page numbers:

Please note that these guidelines apply to both paper and electronic articles. Note that the place of publication is not normally given for periodicals, and that “In” is never used.

Richards, S., 1987. The Early Bronze Age. Biblical Archaeologist 50/1, 22-43.

For newspaper articles:

Author, date, title of article, title of newspaper, day and month before page numbers.

Kennedy, M., 1999. Cash squeeze leaves archaeology in a hole. The Guardian, 12 July, 44.

Chittenden, M., Rogers, L. & Smith, D., 2003. Focus: ‘Targetitis’ ails NHS. Times Online, [internet] 1 June. Retrieved on 17 March 2005 from World Wide Web: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/printFriendly/0,,11-1506-669.html

For maps:

Originator (may be cartographer, surveyor, compiler, editor, copier, maker, engraver, etc.), date, title, scale (should normally be given as a ratio), place of publication, publisher.

Great Britain . Ordnance Survey. 2005. Chichester and the South Downs: Bognor Regis and Arundel. 1: 50,000. Southampton: Ordnance Survey.

For CD-ROMS, DVDs, videos, films and broadcasts:

Title, date, [medium], director (if relevant), country or origin, film studio or maker. (Other relevant details).

Indiana Jones and the kingdom of the crystal skull, 2008. [Film]. Directed by Stephen Spielberg. U.K: Paramount Home Entertainment.

Place in the alphabetical reference list under the first word of the title.

For unpublished material (including theses, dissertations, reports and museum exhibition data):

Regardless of the format of the material, the word ‘unpublished’ should always be included:


Simpson, St. J., 1984. Neolithic burials from Mesopotamia (c 9000 - 4000 BC): A comparative study based on grave-goods. Unpublished BA thesis, University of London.

Pelling, R. E. 2007. Agriculture and trade among the Garamantes and the Fezzanese: 3000 years of archaeobotanical data from the Sahara and its margins. Unpublished Ph.D. thesis, University of London.

Unpublished internal reports

Faith, S. 2009. Managing budgets (and other stories). Unpublished training report, Library Services University of Sussex.

Museum exhibition labels and panels

British Museum 2010. Showcase 11, label 5: obsidian knife. Moctezuma. Aztec Ruler. [Exhibition held at the British Museum, 24 September 2009 – 24 January 2010].


For internet publications:

All internet publications are cited as if they were hard copy, i.e. by author’s name and date in the main text and full citation in the bibliography.

You should also indicate the date on which you retrieved the information, as web-based information is prone to change. If there is no date information provided as to when the text was written then cite the present year but be sure to also include the date retrieved. You will find some examples below.

If you wish to quote verbatim for one of these sources you should indicate section or paragraph numbers if these are possible, e.g. (Bernal 2000, ¶ 5) for a quotation drawn from the fifth paragraph of this essay [note that the ¶ can be placed using the ‘insert symbol’ command in Microsoft Word].

If an electronic document does not include pagination, the extent of the item may be indicated in terms such as the total number of lines or screens. This number should be included in square brackets [ ], e.g. [35 lines], [15 screens].

For an e-book:

Author, date, title, [medium] place of publication, publisher. Retrieved date, e-book source and web site address/URL(Uniform Resource Locator). Routing details if needed.

Lewis, M. E. 2007. The Bioarchaeology of children. Perspectives from biological and forensic anthropology. [e-book] Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Retrieved on 10 June 2009 from UCL Library Services e-books

For a paper/essay available on-line but not in a publication:

Bernal, M., 2000. Afrocentrism and Two Historical Models for the Foundation of Ancient Greece, paper prepared for the Encounters with Ancient Egypt Conference, Institute of Archaeology, University College London, 16-18 December 2000. Retrieved on 27 February 2001 from World Wide Web: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/archaeology/events/conferences/enco/Africa/Bernal.htm

[Note added Dec 2008: The above example no longer exists at this location on the internet - this demonstrates the necessity of including the retrieval date within your reference.]

For an informative website (or wiki), with information as straight text and/or illustrations, the citation is the same minus reference to the conference:

Zagarell, A., 2001. Nilgiri Archaeological Finds I. Rock Art. Retrieved on 27 February 2001 from World Wide Web: http://lab2.cc.wmich.edu/~zagarell/arc.htm

If you use an on-line database you should indicate the web address of its entry page, and indicate when information was retrieved and what keyword or other parameters were used in your search.

If you wish merely to refer the reader to a site of general interest or relevance, and not to any specific material on that site you can cite the website’s home page in your text, for example you might write,

Links and information about the antiquities trade can be found on the website of the Illicit Antiquities Research Centre, Cambridge (http://www.mcdonald.cam.ac.uk/projects/iarc/home.htm)

Note that if you access a published work online (e.g. via JSTOR) you do not need to give the date on which it was accessed.

For a weblog (blog)

Author, year, title of posting (if applicable). Title of the site (in italics). Weblog date of posting. Retrieved from World Wide Web: web address. [Accessed date].

Lacock, M. 2009. Curatorial practice after the crunch. 10 simple steps to better archaeological management. Weblog 28 November. Retrieved from World Wide Web: http://10simplesteps.blogspot.com/. [Accessed April 12 2010].

For an email

Author, author’s email address, title of email highlighted, italicised or in quotation marks. Email to…(email address). Date sent. [Accessed date].

Goskar, T. (t.goskar@wessexarch.co.uk). 2004. Wessex Archaeology Press Release: Builders of Stonehenge found. Email to Britarch mailing list (britarch@jiscmail.ac.uk). Sent Mon 21 Jun 2004. [Accessed September 8 2004].

For lectures/handouts:

It is seldom good practice to cite something that was said during the course of a lecture, or to cite a course handout. You should normally aim to cite published references, and you should not cite a lecture or a handout simply to avoid searching the literature for yourself.

If you should need to cite a lecturer or a handout, because the information in question is not in the published literature, then you should adopt the following conventions:

  • for oral communication : put (A. Lecturer, pers. comm., date) in the text of your coursework, and do not put any further entry in your list of references. For example:

    There is no surviving medieval stonework anywhere on the outside of Westminster Abbey (C. A. Price, pers. comm., 13th May 2006).

    - for a handout: cite it in the normal way (Lecturer 2006) in your coursework, and include it in your list of references, making it clear that the reference is unpublished. For example, put (Price 2006) in the text, and the following in the references:

    Price, C. A., 2006. Preventive conservation. Unpublished handout for course C420 Conservation for Archaeologists, UCL Institute of Archaeology, 2 March 2006.


[These pages initially written by Prof Clive Orton in 2007. Since expanded by Katie Meheux and Ash Rennie, May and Dec 2008, July 2009, May 2010.]



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