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Referencing and plagiarism


Harvard is a particular style of referencing.  It is also known as the author-date system.  There are many variations of Harvard, which may use different formatting/punctuation, so it is important that you follow the University of Lincoln version.   

The Harvard Referencing Handbook is designed to help you understand how to cite and reference sources of information appropriately using the University of Lincoln Harvard system of referencing.  There are two parts to Harvard referencing: the in-text citation, which contains the basic details about the source (i.e. author's surname and year of publication) in the main part of your work, and the reference list at the end (which contains the full publication details of all the sources cited in the text).

It provides guidance and examples on how to reference the different types of information that you may need to cite and reference within your academic work; however, it is impossible to include every type of information source. If the information source you would like to reference is not listed, please check the index. If it is not listed in the index, you should use the reference format of a source that is similar.  

If you have any questions about Harvard referencing, please contact your Academic Subject Librarian.

The 3rd edition of the Harvard Referencing Handbook will be available (online only) in August. When it is ready it will be available here for you to view online or download in PDF.

The 3rd edition features:

  • A new introduction, including more in-text citation examples and FAQs
  • New examples for existing information sources
  • A selection of new information sources

The main changes are:

  • Chapter in an edited book - the edited book information used to be author’s initials followed by their surname. This has been changed so that it is in the same format as all other book references (Author’s surname, followed by their Initials).
  • A source without an author - when an information source does not have a personal or corporate author the handbook states to put Anon. or Anonymous.
  • Ebook (2nd edition onwards) - where to put the edition information has changed. In the 2nd edition it is given after ebook in square brackets:


    Hardin, J. and Bertoni, G.P. (2017) Becker’s world of the cell [ebook], 9th Global edition. Harlow: Pearson. Available from [accessed 10 August 2023]

    In the 3rd edition it is placed directly after the title (same as a print book) and is followed by ebook in square brackets:

    Hardin, J. and Bertoni, G.P. (2017) Becker’s world of the cell, 9th Global edition [ebook]. Harlow: Pearson. Available from [accessed 10 August 2023]

If you have a print copy of the 2nd edition you can continue to use this when the 3rd edition has been uploaded to the website, as the style and format has not changed. If you would like to reference something that is not listed in the 2nd edition, you could look at the 3rd edition (when it has been released) to see if it has been included or, consider using the guidelines of a source that is similar.


Short video on Harvard referencing

Additional resources

Introduction to Harvard Referencing