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Australian Harvard Referencing

Introduction

The first author in academic writing to use author-date in-text citations with a matching alphabetically ordered reference list was a Harvard academic. Before that academic writing used numeric in-text citations, footnotes, and reference lists in order of first citation.

From this first example, multiple publishers and editors have adapted author-date citing and referencing styles that they have named "Harvard style".  There is no one authoritative Harvard style.

This guide for in-text citations and reference lists is based on the following style manual:

Commonwealth of Australia 2002, Style Manual for authors, editors and printers, 6th edn, rev. by Snooks & Co, John Wiley & Sons, Milton, Australia.

This style is sometimes known as the Australian Harvard style, and has been used by a range of Australian publishers and editors.

General tips:

  • Pieces of the reference are separated with commas (except between the last author and the year of publication).
  • Keep capitalisation to a minimum in titles.
  • Apart from the abbreviation edn (for edition), follow all truncated or abbreviated words with a full stop (or period) to indicate they are an abbreviation. However, if an abbreviation is a plural do not end with a full stop (so volume is abbreviated as vol. with a full stop but volumes is abbreviated as vols without a full stop, editor is abbreviated as ed. but use eds without a full stop for editors). Do not abbreviate full words in the title.
  • Use no. as the abbreviation for number.
  • Do not use full stops with authors initials or with acronyms (use NSW not N.S.W., use NY not N.Y.).
  • The main work (book title, journal name but not the article title) is placed in italics. Everything else is plain text
  • Your in-text citations and your reference list should match. If there is a Smith in your in-text citation, there should be a reference list entry starting with Smith. If there is a reference list entry starting with Parks Australia, you should have cited Parks Australia in your text.

As online resources have changed dramatically since the style manual was published, local variations in some of the online referencing examples have developed, so do not be alarmed if you see variations in examples from other sites.

Achnowledgement: Parts of this guide have been adapted from the Monash University Harvard Referencing Guide. More examples may be found in that guide.