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References, citations and avoiding plagiarism

This guide provides methods to refer sources in your work and the benefits this brings, ensuring you adhere to the UCL policy on plagiarism.

Why should I cite my sources?

References
  • Referring to your source material gives authority to your work and demonstrates the breadth of your research
  • Your list of citations will enable readers of your work to find the information sources for themselves
  • Failure to credit sources of information used for an essay, report, project, journal article or book constitutes plagiarism, and for this you may be penalised. See the UCL policy on plagiarism.
  • UCL uses a sophisticated detection system, Turnitin, to scan work for evidence of plagiarism; this system has access to billions of systems worldwide (websites, journals etc.) as well as work previously submitted to UCL and other universities

Referencing styles

The two main standard systems for citing sources correctly are the Harvard or author/date system and the Vancouver or footnotes/endnotes system, otherwise known as the numeric system. There are many versions of Harvard and Vancouver referencing styles, so if you refer to more than one source for guidance you may notice inconsistencies. You are advised to use only one source for guidance, and/or ensure you check your references for consistency.

The references below are for example only, always check with your tutor which style they would prefer you to use.  Further information on referencing, including examples of reference types for Harvard and APA styles, are available via the UCL Institute of Education LibGuides. If you cannot find the type of reference you need, please contact your librarian or library for more help.

Quick guide to References, Citations and Avoiding plagiarism with examples how to reference the most commonly used resources.

Harvard

  • Known as the 'author and date' system, references made in the text are listed in alphabetical order by the surname of the first author in the bibliography at the end of the text. N.B. if the author is unknown you should use "Anon"
  • At every point in the text where a particular item is referred to, include the author's surname and the year of publication along with page numbers if you are quoting these specifically
  • If there is more than one work by a given author from the same year you can differentiate between them by adding "a", "b" etc. after the year
  • For up to three authors include all names; if there are more than three, give the first author's surname and initials followed by et al.
  • Periodical titles are usually spelt out in full

For further examples of reference types in Harvard style, please see the UCL Institute of Education LibGuide to Referencing with Harvard.

Act of parliament

Country. Title of Act and year. Chapter. Place of Publication: Publisher.

Great Britain. Environment Act 1995. Chapter 25. London: The Stationery Office.

Blog

Author(s) surname, Initial(s)., Day Month Year. Title of blog entry. Title of blog. [online]. Available from: URL [Accessed date].

Welle, K. 25 August 2006. Impressions from the Stockholm World Water Week. ODI blog: commentary from leading development experts. [online]. Available from: http://blogs.odi.org.uk/blogs/main/archive/category/1020.aspx [Accessed 9 July 2007].

Book

Author surname, Initial(s). Year. Title: subtitle. Edition (if it is not the first edition). Place of publication: Publisher.

Cooke, A. 2001. A guide to finding quality information on the Internet: selection and evaluation strategies. 2nd ed. London: Library Association Publishing.

One to three authors:

First author surname, Initial(s)., second author surname, Initial(s). & third author surname, Initial(s). Year. Title. Edition. Place of publication: Publisher.

Seider, W.D., Seader, J.D. & Lewin, D.R. 2004. Product and process design principles: synthesis, analysis, and evaluation. 2nd ed. New York: Wiley.

Four or more authors:

First author surname, Initial(s). et. al. Year. Title. Edition. Place of publication: Publisher.

Kosky, P.G. et al. 2006. Exploring engineering: an introduction for freshmen to engineering and to the design process. Amsterdam: Elsevier.

Book with organisation as author:

SCONUL Advisory Committee on Information Literacy. 2004. Learning outcomes and information literacy. London: SCONUL.

Edited book:

Editor(s) surname, Initial(s). ed. Year. Title. Edition. Place of publication: Publisher.
Ennis, F. ed. 2003. Infrastructure provision and the negotiating process. Aldershot: Ashgate.

Editors should have ed. or eds. inserted after their names. If there are no authors or editors given, the title should be listed first, followed by the year of publication.

Book chapter from an edited book

Author(s) surname, Initial(s). Year of publication. Title of chapter: subtitle. In: Initial(s). Editor(s) surname, ed(s). Title of book. Edition. Place of publication: Publisher, pp. Page numbers(s).

Scragg, D. G. 1991. The nature of Old English verse. In: M. Godden and M. Lapidge, eds. The Cambridge companion to Old English literature. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 19-28

Page numbers can be, but do not need to be, preceded by 'p' or 'pp'.

Conference proceeding

Individual conference paper

Author's surname, Initial(s). Year of publication. Title of contribution. In: Initial(s). Surname(s) of editor(s), ed. or eds. Title of conference proceedings including date and place of conference. Place of publication: Publisher, pp. Page numbers(s) of contribution.

Nelmes, G. 2006. Container port automation. In: P. Corke & S. Sukkarieh, eds. Field and service robotics, 29-31 July 2005, Port Douglas. Berlin: Springer, pp. 3-8.

If the conference proceedings are published in a journal, the article/contribution should be cited as a journal article.

If the proceedings have been published as chapters in a book, treat the entire proceedings as a book, and individual presentations as a book chapter. Add details of the conference to the book title. 

Conference proceedings as a whole

Editor(s) surname(s), Initial(s), ed(s). Year. Title of conference, date of conference, location of conference. Place of publication: Publisher.

P. Corke & S. Sukkarieh, eds. 2006. Field and service robotics, 29-31 July 2005, Port Douglas. Berlin: Springer.

DVD

Title. Year. [DVD]. Place of production: Production company.

Acland's DVD atlas of human anatomy: the lower extremity. 2004. [DVD]. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

e-book

online

Author(s)/Editor(s) surname, Initial(s). Year. Title. [online] Edition. Place of publication: Publisher. Available from: URL [Accessed Date].

Greenhalgh, T. 2000. How to read a paper: the basics of evidence based medicine [online]. London: BMJ Publishing Group. Available from: http://www.netlibrary.com/AccessProduct.aspx?ProductId=66703 [Accessed 8 September 2008].

e-book reader format, e.g. Kindle

Author(s)/Editor(s) surname, Initial(s). Year. Title. Edition (if not first edition). [Name of e-book reader]. Place of publication: Publisher.

Llewelyn, H. et al. 2009. Oxford handbook of clinical diagnosis .2nd ed. [Kindle DX e-book]. Oxford: OUP.

Film

Title of film. Year. [film]. Directed by full name of director. Place of production: production compay.

An inconvenient truth, 2006. [film]. Directed by Davis Guggenheim. USA: Paramount.

If the film is a video recording (on DVD or VHS) use the same format but change [film] to the relevant media.  This is because a video recording may contain extra footage not shown in the film.

Journal article

Journal article (print)

Author(s) surname, Initial(s). Year of publication. Title of article. Title of journal, volume number (issue number), pp. page numbers.

Vahaaho, I. 1998. From geotechnical maps to three-dimensional models. Tunnelling and underground space technology, 13 (1), pp. 51-56.

Page numbers can be, but do not need to be, preceded by 'p' or 'pp'.

Journal article (electronic)

Author(s) surname, Initial(s). Year of publication. Title of article. Title of journal [online], volume number (issue number), pp. page numbers. Available from: URL [Accessed date].

Ross, C.T.F. 2006. A conceptual design of an underwater vehicle. Ocean engineering [online], 33 (16), pp. 2087-2104.  Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/ [Accessed 6 July 2007].

When citing online journal articles, it is now widely preferred to include a DOI (Direct Object Identifier) where available rather than a URL.

De Pinto, M., Jelacic, J., Edwards, W.T. 2008. Very-low-dose ketamine for the management of pain and sedation in the ICU. Acute pain [online], 10 (2), pp. 100. Available from: doi:10.1016/j.acpain.2008.05.023 [Accessed 8 September 2008].

Newspaper article

Author(s) surname, Initial(s). Year of publication. Title of article: subtitle of article. Newspaper title. Day and month of publication, section name (if applicable), page numbers of contribution.

Rowbottom, M. 2006. The Big Question: How prevalent is the use of drugs in sport, and can it be defeated? The Independent. 1 Aug, section Sport, p. 5.

Radio broadcast

Title of programme/Series title, episode number, episode title. Year. Transmitting organisation/channel. Date, time of transmission.

Desert island discs, Lily Allen. 2014. BBC Radio 4. 29 June, 11:15.

Television broadcast

Title of programme/Series title, episode number, episode title. Year. Transmitting organisation/channel. Date, time of transmission.

Yes, Prime Minister, Episode 1, The Ministerial Broadcast. 1986. BBC2. 16 January, 20:30.

News at ten. 2001. ITV. 27 January, 22:00.

Thesis or dissertation

Author surname, Initial(s). Year of publication. Title: subtitle. Designation (degree level), Awarding institution.

Deb, S. 1991. Psychopathology of adults with a mental handicap and epilepsy. Thesis (MA), University of Leicester.

Croser, C. 1997. Biochemical restriction of root extension under mechanical impedance. Thesis (PhD), University of Birmingham.

Twitter

Surname(s), Initial(s) (or organisation). Year. Full text of tweet. [Twitter]. Day and month tweet posted. Available from: URL [Accessed date].

Cruciform Library. 2014. MedTech Week 2014 at UCL Institute of Biomedical Engineering (IBME)16-20 June via @UCL_IBME http://bit.ly/1pbWe53  pic.twitter.com/pzXx3P4DlP [Twitter]. 9 June. Available from: https://twitter.com/ucl_crucitwit [Accessed 2 July 2014].

Website / webpage

Author(s)/editor(s) surname, Initial(s). Year. Title. [online]. Place of publication: Publisher. Available from: URL [Accessed date].

SukYin, A. 2002. Catechol-O-Methyltransferase (COMT) gene and breast cancer. [online] Atlanta GA: Human Genome Epidemiology Network, National Office of Public Health Genomics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Available from: http://www.cdc.gov/genomics/hugenet/factsheets/FS_COMT.htm [Accessed 8 September 2008].

If a specific author cannot be found, attribute authorship to the organisation or corporation.

Overseas Development Institute, Humanitarian Policy Group. 2007. Welcome to HPG. [online]. London: ODI. Available from: http://www.odi.org.uk/hpg/index.html [Accessed 9 July 2007].

Wiki

Wiki name. Year. Title of article. [online]. Available from: URL [Date accessed].

Wikipedia. 2014. Jeremy Bentham. [online]. Available from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeremy_bentham [Accessed 2 July 2014].

Vancouver

  • Known as the "numeric" or the "footnote/endnote" system; references are numbered consecutively in the order in which they are first cited in the text.
  • At every point in the text where a particular work is referred to, include the number of the reference in brackets
  • For up to six authors include all names; if there are more than six, give the first six authors' surnames and initials followed by et al.
  • Periodical titles are commonly abbreviated
Act of parliament

Country. Title of Act and year. Chapter. Place of Publication: Publisher.

Great Britain. Environment Act 1995. Chapter 25. London: The Stationery Office.

Blog

Author(s) surname Initial(s). Title of blog entry. Date blog entry written. Title of blog [online]. Year. [Accessed date]. Available from: URL.

Welle K. Impressions from the Stockholm World Water Week. 25 August. ODI blog: commentary from leading development experts [online]. 2006. [Accessed 9 July 2007]. Available from: http://blogs.odi.org.uk/blogs/main/archive/category/1020.aspx

Book

Author surname Initial(s). Title: subtitle. Edition (if it is not the first edition). Place of publication: Publisher; Year of publication.

Cooke A. A guide to finding quality information on the Internet: selection and evaluation strategies. 2nd ed. London: Library Association Publishing; 2001.

Two to six authors:

First author surname Initial(s), second author surname Initial(s), third author surname Initials. Title: subtitle. Edition (if it is not the first edition). Place of publication: Publisher; Year of publication.

Feldman RS, Meyer JS, Quenzer LF. The American Psychiatric Press textbook of psychopharmacology. 2nd ed. Washington DC: American Psychiatric Association; 1998.

Seven or more authors/editors:

If there are 7 or more authors/editors, only the first 6 are listed followed by et al.

First author surname Initial(s), second author surname Initial(s), third author surname Initial(s), fourth author surname Initial(s), fifth author surname Initial(s), sixth author surname Initial(s), et al., editors.  Title: subtitle. Edition (if it is not the first edition). Place of publication: Publisher; Year of publication.

Fauci AS, Braunwald E, Isselbacher KJ, Wilson JD, Martin JB, Kasper DL, et al., editors. Harrison's principles of internal medicine. 14th ed. New York: McGraw Hill; 1998.

Book with organisation as author:

SCONUL Advisory Committee on Information Literacy. Learning outcomes and information literacy. London: SCONUL; 2004.

Edited book:

Editor(s) surname Initial(s), editor(s). Title: subtitle. Edition (if it is not the first edition). Place of publication: Publisher; Year of publication.

Ennis F, editor. Infrastructure provision and the negotiating process. Aldershot: Ashgate; 2003.

Editors should have editor or editors after their name or list of names. If there are no authors or editors given, the title should be listed first, followed by place of publication.

Book chapter from an edited book

Author(s) surname Initial(s). Title of chapter: subtitle. In: Author(s) surname Initial(s). Title of book. Place of publication: Publisher; Year of publication. p. page numbers.

Haefner H. Negative symptoms and the assessment of neurocognitive treatment response. In: Keefe RSE, McEvoy JP, editors. Negative symptom and cognitive deficit treatment response in schizophrenia. Washington DC: American Psychiatric Association; 2004. p. 85-110.

When the author's name is the same for the chapter as for the book it does not need to be repeated.

Greenhalgh T. Checklists for finding, appraising, and implementing evidence. In: How to read a paper: the basics of evidence based medicine. London: BMJ Publishing Group; 2000. p. 177-9.

Page numbers should be preceded by p.

Conference proceeding

Individual conference paper

Author(s) Initial(s). Title of contribution. In: Editor(s) surname Initial(s). editor(s). Title of conference proceedings, date, place of conference. Place of publication: publisher; Year. p. page numbers.

Nelmes G. Container port automation. In : Corke P., Sukkarieh S. editors. Field and service robotics: results of the 5th international conference, 29-31 July 2005, Port Douglas. Berlin: Springer; 2006. p. 3-8.

If conference proceedings are published in a journal, the article/contribution should be cited as for a journal article.

If the proceedings have been published as chapters in a book, treat the entire proceedings as a book, and individual presentations as a book chapter. Add details of the conference to the book title.

Conference proceedings as a whole

Editor(s) surname Initial(s). editor(s). Title of conference proceedings, date, place of conference. Place of publication: publisher; Year.

Corke P., Sukkarieh S. editors. Field and service robotics: results of the 5th international conference, 29-31 July 2005, Port Douglas. Berlin: Springer; 2006

DVD

Title. [DVD]. Place of production: Production company; year.

Acland's DVD atlas of human anatomy: the lower extremity. [DVD]. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2004.

e-book

online

Author(s) surname Initial(s). Title: subtitle [online]. Edition (if not the first edition). Place of publication: Publisher; Year of publication [Accessed Date]. Available from: URL of database / location in which the book is held

Greenhalgh T. How to read a paper: the basics of evidence based medicine [online]. London: BMJ Publishing Group; 2000 [Accessed 8 September 2008]. Available from: http://www.netlibrary.com/AccessProduct.aspx?ProductId=66703

e-book reader format, e.g. Kindle

Author(s)/Editor(s) surname Initials(s). Title: subtitle. Edition (if not the first edition). [Name of e-book reader]. Place of publication: Publisher; Year of publication.

Llewelyn H, Ang HA, Lewis KE, Al-Abdullah A. Oxford handbook of clinical diagnosis. 2nd ed. [Kindle DX e-book]. Oxford: OUP; 2009.

Film

Title of film. [film]. Directed by: Full name of director. Place of production: Production company; year.

An inconvenient truth. [film]. Directed by: Davis Guggenheim. USA: Paramount; 2006.

If the film is a video recording (on DVD or VHS) use the same format but change [film] to the relevant media.  This is because video recording may contain extra footage not shown in the film.

Journal article

Journal article (print)

Author(s) surname Initial(s). Title of article. Abbreviated title of journal. Year of publication;volume number(issue number):page numbers.

Meric F, Bernstam EV, Mirza NQ, Hunt KK, Ames FC, Ross M I, et al. Breast cancer on the world wide web: cross sectional survey of quality of information and popularity of websites. BMJ. 2002;324(7337):577-81.

Journal article (electronic)

Author(s) surname Initial(s). Title of article. Abbreviated title of journal [online]. Year of publication;volume number(issue number):page numbers. [Accessed date]. Available from: URL

Ross CTF. A conceptual design of an underwater vehicle. Ocean engineering [online]. 2006;33(16):2087-2104. [Accessed 6 July 2007]. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/

When citing online journal articles, it is now widely preferred to include a DOI (Direct Object Identifier) where available rather than a URL.

De Pinto, M., Jelacic, J., Edwards, W.T. Very-low-dose ketamine for the management of pain and sedation in the ICU. Acute Pain [online]. 2008;10(2):100. [Accessed 8 September 2008]. Available from:<doi:10.1016/j.acpain.2008.05.023>

Newspaper article

Author(s) surname Initial(s). Title of article: subtitle of article. Newspaper title (in full) Year Month and date of publication; section name (if applicable):page numbers of contribution.

Rowbottom M. The Big Question: how prevalent is the use of drugs in sport, and can it be defeated? The Independent 2006 Aug 1;Sect. Sport:5.

Radio broadcast

Title of programme/Series title, Episode number, Episode title. Transmitting organisation/channel. Date and year, Time of transmission.

Desert island discs, Lily Allen. BBC Radio 4. 29 June 2014, 11:15.

Television broadcast

Title of programme/Series title, Episode number, Episode title. Transmitting organisation/channel. Date and year, Time of transmission.

Yes, Prime Minister, Episode 1, The Ministerial Broadcast. BBC2. 16 January 1986, 20:30.

News at ten. ITV. 27 January 2001. 22:00.

Thesis or dissertation

Author's surname Initial(s). Title: subtitle. Award level of thesis, Awarding institution; Year of publication.

Deb S. Psychopathology of adults with a mental handicap and epilepsy. MA thesis, University of Leicester; 1991.

Croser C. Biochemical restriction of root extension under mechanical impedance. PhD thesis, University of Birmingham; 1997.

Twitter

Surname(s), Initial(s) (or organisation). Full text of tweet. [Twitter]. Date and year tweet posted [Date accessed]. Available from: URL

Cruciform Library. MedTech Week 2014 at UCL Institute of Biomedical Engineering (IBME)16-20 June via @UCL_IBME http://bit.ly/1pbWe53  pic.twitter.com/pzXx3P4DlP [Twitter]. 9 June 2014 [Accessed 2 July 2014]. Available from: https://twitter.com/ucl_crucitwit

Website / webpage

Author(s)/Editor(s) surname Initial(s). Title. [online]. Publisher: place of publication; Year [Accessed date]. Available from: URL

SukYin A. Catechol-O-Methyltransferase (COMT) gene and breast cancer. [online]. Human Genome Epidemiology Network, National Office of Public Health Genomics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Atlanta GA; 2002 Jun [Accessed 8 September 2008]. Available from: http://www.cdc.gov/genomics/hugenet/factsheets/FS_COMT.htm

Year can include month if preferred.

If a specific author cannot be found, attribute to the organisation or corporation.

Overseas Development Institute, Humanitarian Policy Group. Welcome to HPG. [online]. ODI: London; 2007 [Accessed 9 July 2007]. Available from: http://odi.org.uk/hpg/index.html

Wiki

Wiki name. Title of article. [online]. Year [Date accessed]. Available from: URL

Wikipedia. Jeremy Bentham. [online]. 2014 [Accessed 2 July 2014]. Available from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeremy_bentham