How to Cite Sources in Harvard Citation Format

Citing academic sources correctly is crucial. Not only does correct citation help readers engage more fully with your sources, but it also helps you avoid accusations of plagiarism. This guide details how to format a document in Harvard referencing style for various sources. Both in-text and reference list are included in this one-stop shop guide, In addition to a wide variety of examples.

Check out our other quick guides on APA guide and MLA guide referencing without using a citation machine

What is the Harvard Format?

The Harvard format (author-date sytem) is a popular style used for scientific and technical writing. It is often used for citing sources within the field of behavioral and social sciences. It is based on the author-date system, which means that you will have in-text citations containing some core elements:

  1. Authors’ last name,
  2. Publication date,
  3. Page number (if applicable).
  4. In addition, you will need to create a bibliography or reference list with all of your sources at the end of your paper.

How Do I Write References in the Harvard Style?

The most popular pieces of work that use the Harvard citation format are dissertations and thesis papers as well as academic journals and articles. If you want to learn more about this citation style, you can check out our guide on how to write and format your paper in Harvard. However, you can also create a reference list and in-text citations with a Citation Machine or Harvard Referencing Generator which simplifies citation process.

1. Harvard Referencing Basics: Reference List

This guide on Harvard Reference List shows how you should use and format your references. A Harvard reference list must:

  • To create a reference list in Harvard citation style, start by adding a new page to your paper and labeling it references. Centre the word references at the top of the page. Then, add all of the references you used in your paper to this new page.
  • Contain full references for all in-text references used
  • To format each reference, first list the author’s last name, followed by their first initial. Put a period after the author’s initial and then list the year of publication in parentheses. In addition to listing the year, also include any other information required to find this source (such as page numbers or DOI).
  • The reference list should be in alphabetical order by author’s surname.
  • If there are multiple works by the same author these are ordered by date, if the works were published in different years. If two or more works were published in the same year they are ordered alphabetically by the article titles and are allocated a letter (a,b,c, etc) after the date.

2. Harvard Referencing Basics: In-Text Citation

The Harvard in-text citation style is a parenthetical author-date system, so you need to put the author’s last name and the publishing date into parentheses wherever another source is used in the narrative. The parentheses and date are inserted at the appropriate point in the text, and a complete reference list, sorted alphabetically by author, appears at the end of the paper.

If you are using direct quotes from a source, add an in-text citation to acknowledge that you have cited another person’s work. The in-text citation should be placed immediately after the quote or paraphrase and before any punctuation, e.g. full stop or comma.

For Example:

Mitchell (2017, p. 189) states.. Or (Mitchell, 2017, p. 189)

(Note: p. refers to a single page, pp. refers to a range of pages)

Two or Three Authors

For two authors, use both authors’ last names. For three or more authors, use the first author’s last name followed by “et al.” (Latin for “and others”) for the subsequent in-text citations.

(Surname1, Surname2, & Surname3, Year)

(Surname et al., Year)

For Example:

Citation: (Bhatia and Jain, 2017)

(Grigsby, Smith, & Gilden, 2016)

Reference: Bhatia, N., & Jain, A. (2017). Embracing the Cloud – A Practical Guide for LNA Companies to Leverage Cloud Technology.

Four or More Authors

Cite only the surname of the first author followed by “et al.” and the year for works with four or more authors. For example:

(Surname et al., Year)

For Example:

Citation: (Bhatia et al., 2017)

Reference: Bhatia, N., Jain, A., & Chaturvedi, V. (2017). Embracing the cloud – A practical guide for LNA companies to leverage cloud technology.

No Author

If there is no author listed, use the title of the work instead. Use a shortened form of the title if necessary. For example:

(“Title,” Year)

For Example:

Citation: (“Cloud Computing”, 2017)

Reference: Cloud Computing. (2017). In Wikipedia. Retrieved January 07, 2022, from

Multiple Works From the Same Author in the Same Year

If you cite multiple sources with the same author and year, assign lowercase letters (a,b,c) after the date, and use these letters in the in-text citation.

For example:

(Smith 1999a)

(Smith 1999b)

Citing Multiple Works in One Parentheses

If you cite multiple sources in one set of parentheses (by one author), separate them with a semicolon and use a lowercase letter (a,b,c) after each year to distinguish the works.

For example:

(Doe, 1998; Doe, 2000)

If you are citing multiple works by different authors in the same parentheses, order them alphabetically by the last name of each author

For Example:

(Doe, 1998; Smith, 2001)

If you are citing two or more works by the same author published in the same year, label them with lower case letters

For Example:

(Doe, 1998a; Doe, 1998b)

Citing Different Editions of the Same Work in One Parentheses

If you cite different editions of the same work in one parenthesis (such as revised or expanded editions), list of references should be chronological (oldest to newest), separated by semicolons.

For Example:

Mitchell (2010; 2017) states… Or (Mitchell, 2010; 2017)

Citing a Reference With No Date

If you’re referencing an article with no date, use n.d. in place of the year:

For Example:

(Smith, n.d.).

If you’re referencing an entire website with no date, use n.d. in place of the year:

(The University of Melbourne, n.d.).

In your reference list, use the title in place of the author and include as much information as possible about the date and author (if available). The title should be followed by Retrieved month day, year, from full URL.

Reference list example:

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (n.d.). Hewlett Packard Enterprise (hpe) servers (web page). Retrieved from

Citing a Secondary Source

If you are using a source that has been cited within another document, mention the original source together with the secondary reference details;

For example:

(as cited in Smith, 2010).

Smith 2000 (cited in Mitchell, 2017, p. 189) or (Smith, 2000, cited in Mitchell, 2017, p. 189)

3. How to Cite Different Source Types

How to Cite a Book in Harvard Format

The format for citing a book in HARVARD is:

Author surname, INITIAL(S). (Year of publication) Title of book. Edition [if not first]. Place of publication: Publisher.

For Example:

(Anderson, 2012)

Anderson, R. (2012). Title of work: Capital letter also for subtitle. Place of publication: Publisher.

If you are referencing more than one book by the same author that are published in the same year, then add an alphabetical suffix to each publication year and use the suffixes to distinguish between the generated references in your reference list.

Reference list examples:

Smith, J. (1997a) The first book. London: Harper Collins.

Smith, J. (1997b) The second book. London: Harper Collins.

How to Cite an Edited Book in Harvard Format

If you are citing a book where different chapters are written by different authors, you should write each chapter name and author separately, followed by the editor’s name and ‘ed.’ in brackets, then the year of publication and page number/s at the end outside of brackets.

Reference list examples:

(Zimbardo, 2008)

Zimbardo, P. (Ed.). (2008). Improving academic achievement: Impact of psychological factors on education. New York: Academic Press.

If you are citing an edited book that has been reissued or republished several times with different editions, then you should note this in your citation along with the year of the edition you have used:

Wallace, D.F., & Wallace, R.A. (Eds.). (2000). The psychology book (3rd ed.). New York, NY: DK Publishing Inc., p. 20-30.

How to Cite a Chapter in an Edited Book in Harvard Format

Author surname, Initial(s), & Author surname, Initial(s). (Year of publication) Chapter title: In Editor initial(s) & Editor surname (Ed.), Book title (pp. Pages used). Place of publication: Publisher

Reference list example:

(Johnson & Kralik, 1984)

Johnson, G., & Kralik, D. B. (1984). A qualitative analysis of the experience of depression. In B. M. DePaulo & J. Lassiter (Eds.), Depression: Perspectives on research and treatment (pp. 25-46). Washington, DC: Hemisphere Publishing Corporation.

How to Cite an E-Book in Harvard Format

E-books can be accessed via e-book readers (e.g. Kindle, Nook), MP3 players (e.g. iPod), tablets (e.g. iPads), mobile phones, desktop computers, laptops etc., and they can be in various electronic formats such as ePub, PDF etc.

In the reference list:

Author, Initials/s. (Year) Title of book. [e-book] Location: Publisher. Available at: URL (Accessed: date).

Reference list example:

Smith, A. (2015) How to write a good essay. [e-book] London: Penguin. Available at: (Accessed: 15 October 2015).

In-text citation:

Author surname(s), year of publication or (Author surname(s), year of publication).

If a document has more than one author, you should include their surnames all in the in-text citation. If there are four or more authors, use et al. after the first author’s surname. The basic format is as follows: (Surname Year of Publication Page Number) or (Surname et al. Year of Publication Page Number)

For example: (Baehr & Valentine 2013 p. 87) or (Baehr et al. 2013 p. 87)

How to Cite a Journal Article in Harvard Format

Citing a journal article in print

Citing journal articles in Harvard format requires knowledge of the structure that the information is to be inputted. The information for a journal article will include: Author (surname, initial), Year, “Article title”, Journal name, Volume number, Issue number, Page numbers.

Reference list example:

Takai, H., & Koike, M. (2017). The impact of online review characteristics on online shoppers’ buying decisions: The moderating role of perceived price. Computers in Human Behavior, 74, 402-412.

If the issue number is not given, omit it from the citation.

Reference list example:

Zukofsky, L. (1933). Poetry – music and philosophy. Hound & Horn: A Harvard Miscellany 6(2), 321-337.

No author: If there is no author, begin the reference with the title followed by the year in brackets (e.g., ‘Pollution increases risk of hospitalisation for respiratory complaints’ 2003).

Citing a journal article found online

Harvard format structure: Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Date of publication). Title of article. Title of Journal, volume number(issue number if available). Retrieved from URL

Reference list example:

Mitchell, J.A. ‘How citation changed the research world’, The Mendeley, 62(9) [online]. Available at: (Accessed: 15 November 2016)

How to Cite a Newspaper Article in Harvard Format

When citing a newspaper article in Harvard format, you’ll need the name of the author, year of publication, title of article and title of newspaper.

Author(s) of article. Year published. “Title of article.” Name of newspaper, Day month, Page range.

Reference list example:

Slack, R. (2015) ‘How to cite a newspaper article in Harvard format’, The Telegraph, 7 May, p. 11.

Citing a newspaper article from an online database requires the same information as citing a print newspaper article, but you will also need to include the URL of the newspaper’s website. If you are citing a specific article from an online newspaper, add the article’s title to the end of your citation.

How to Cite Non-Print Material in Harvard Format

How to Cite an Online Photograph in Harvard Format

When citing an image you need to include the following information:

  • The creator of the image, such as an artist, photographer, cartoonist, etc. For example: (Eaton, 2013)
  • Title of the image – in italics (or underlined). If no title is given, create a description. For example: (Untitled Dog Photograph, 2016)
  • Where the image was published – such as a website or book. Include the title in italics (or underlined), and the publisher and date published if available. For example: (Science Magazine, 2015)

In the reference list, you should include the following:

Author’s surname, Author’s initials. (Year photo was taken). Title of photograph [Digital image]. Retrieved from URL

Reference list example:

White, M. (2011). A close-up of a daisy [Digital image]. Retrieved from

When there is no known author, start the citation with the title of the photograph instead.

“Hair and Eyes.” 2003-2004. The Museum of Modern Art, Accessed 12 July 2017.

How to Cite a Film in Harvard Format

If you need to cite a film in Harvard citation style, list the film’s producer(s) and director as authors and the production studio as publisher.

Film title (in italics). (Year of release). [Film]. Country of origin: Directed by Director’s first name and last name (Documentary), Producer’s Company Name.

Reference list example:

The Little Prince (2015). [Film]. France: Directed by Mark Osborne (Animated), Onyx Films/Orange Studio/On Entertainment.

How to Cite a TV Programme in Harvard Format

If you need to cite a TV programme in Harvard style, if possible identify the episode by its title and number within the series.

Reference list example:

Poole, J., & Schnall, M (Producers), & Swicord, K (Director). (1994). The nanny [Television series episode]. In D Aronsohn (Writer), The nanny. New

In the rferenc list, it should hav the following:

Title of Programme (in italics). Year of broadcast, series number, episode number if relevant. Date when viewed, channel or station name and time viewed.

Reference list example:

Coronation Street. 1967 to present day, ITV1 at 19:30 GMT every Monday and Wednesday

How to Cite Music in Harvard Format

Musical recordings are musical audio clips, songs, or albums. You may be referencing the performance of a song in a music video, TV show, concert, or music festival.

When you are citing a song, you will need to provide basic information about the song, like the title and the date of release. However, the information source is also important for your academic paper. If you have found a song on an album, you will need to provide the name of this album. The name of the album is written in italics and followed by a period.

It is important to provide the format of the recording. You can mention it after the title of the album. Then you need to provide information about its type. It can be a vinyl record, audio cassette or compact disc. When you are citing a song from a movie, you should write its title, release date, and director’s name in parentheses after mentioning its title in italics.

Then you should mention if the song was performed by other musicians or singers. The most common format is to mention their names after writing “performed by” in parentheses or quotation marks. Then you should mention if there was any particular arrangement performed on this track. In this case, you should put this information after mentioning the names of performers and write “arranged by” (in brackets).

If you are referencing a song from a CD you listened to (rather than online), list the title of the song and then the title of the CD. If there is no title for the CD then just write “CD”. The format is as follows:

Song Title. (Year Recorded). In Title of CD/Album [CD]. Location: Publisher/Production Company or Performer.

Reference list examples:

“Vivo per lei.” 1995. In Vivo per lei [CD]. Milan, Italy: BMG Ricordi S.p.A..

Beyonce (2016) Lemonade [Visual Album] New York: Parkwood Records. Available at: (Accessed: 17 February 2016).

How to Cite a Website in Harvard Format

To cite a website in Harvard format, you should include both the date you accessed it and the URL. You should also include the author (if given) and the title of the source. If you’re citing a specific article from the website, add in an article title too.

Citing websites can be done in two different ways; namely, naming the author(s) of the website or citing the web page title. Both methods are acceptable, although they should not be mixed within a single reference. Here are some examples of a standard way:

If the author’s name is known:

Author Surname, Author initial. (Year). Title of website [Online]. Available from: URL [Accessed Year Month Date].

Reference list example:

Smith, M., 2008. How to Cite a Website | Harvard Style [Online]. Available at: [Accessed 1 Apr. 2019].

If the author’s name is unknown:

Title of website [Online]. Available from: URL [Accessed Year Month Date].

For example, if you were citing this page, you would use this reference list example:

University College London, 2019. Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis [Online]. Available at:

To Cite Government Publications:

When citing a government publication there are specific guidelines to follow that vary depending on the source you are citing from. For example, if you are citing critical information from a website, then you will need to include some key elements. Below is a reference list example of how a government website would be cited in Harvard format:

Department of Health (2016) Health matters: preventing type 2 diabetes [Online]. Available from: [Accessed 26 January 2016].

Authenticity and Confidentiality Guaranteed

The authenticity of our freelance essay writing and the confidentiality of all the information is guaranteed.

We do not disclose the private information of our customers, and we do not reuse ANY custom papers.

Order custom-written term papers, sample essays, thesis papers, research papers, book reviews, dissertations, speeches, book reports, and other assignments.

Exclusive writing in approximately 70 subjects. NO PLAGIARISM


Common Writing Assignments, Apps & Tests

Find helpful writing tips and example papers for various types of writing.



Hi there! Click one of our representatives below and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Chat with us on WhatsApp