Harvard: Reference List and Bibliography

A version of the Harvard (author-date) System of referencing has been adopted as the standard for the presentation of academic text at the University of Birmingham.  The examples on this page refer to this version, as found on the Cite Them Right Online website.  For detailed guides on how to reference and cite different sources see the right-hand side panel. 

How to list your references

In the Harvard (author-date) System the list of references is arranged alphabetically by author's surname, year (and letter, if necessary) and is placed at the end of the work.


A reference list is the detailed list of references that are cited in your work.   A bibliography is a detailed list of references cited in your work, plus the background readings or other material that you may have read, but not actually cited.  Different courses may require just a reference list, just a bibliography, or even both.  It is better to check with your tutor first.

Example of a reference list

Banerjee, A. and Watson, T.F. (2011) Pickard’s manual of operative dentistry. 9th edn. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 

Davidson, A. (2013) ‘The Saudi Marathon Man’, The New Yorker, 16 April. Available at: http://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/the-saudi-marathon-man (Accessed: 22 June 2015).

Guy, J. (2001) The view across the river: Harriette Colenso and the Zulu struggle against imperialism. Charlottesville, Virginia: University Press of Virginia.

Hislop, V. (2014) The sunrise. Available at http://www.amazon.co.uk/kindlestore (Downloaded: 17 June 2015).

Homer (1997) The Iliad. Translated by J. Davies. Introduction and notes by D. Wright. London: Dover Publications.

Knapik, J. J., Cosio-Lima, L. M., and Reynolds, K. L. (2015) ‘Efficacy of functional movement screening for predicting injuries in coast guard cadets’, The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 29 (5), pp. 1157-1162. EDUC 1028: E-learning. Available at: http://intranet.bir.ac.uk (Accessed: 25 June 2015).

Lucas, G. (2004) The wonders of the Universe. 2nd edn. Edited by Frederick Jones, James Smith and Tony Bradley. London: Smiths.

Medicine in old age (1985) 2nd edn. London: British Medical Association.

‘Rush (band)’ (2015) Wikipedia. Available at https://en.wikipedia.org/?title=Rush_(band) (Accessed: 18 June 2015).

Example of a bibliography

Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (1994) Epi Info (Version 6) [Computer program]. Available at http://www.cdcp.com/download.html (Accessed: 23 June 2015).

Gregory, S. (1970) English military intervention in the Dutch revolt. B.A. Thesis. University of Birmingham. Available at: http://findit.bham.ac.uk/ (Accessed: 18 June 2015).

Jones, B., (1997) Methods in tumour research. National Agency for Tumour Research, volume. 7.

Peart, N. (1976) Something for Nothing. Toronto: Toronto Sound Studios.

Rush (2015) [Bishopthorpe Social Club. 29 March].

The University of Birmingham (2010) The University of Birmingham experience. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YLxV5L6IaFA (Accessed: 18 June 2015).

Style notes

  • The date of publication always follows the author(s) name(s).
  • All authors’/editors’ names are given in the reference list (not matter how many there are).
  • If submitting a manuscript for publication, formatting conventions may be stipulated by the publisher. Always check with the publisher before submitting your work. 

Further help

 Style guides