University of Birmingham Harvard Referencing

University of Birmingham Harvard Referencing

University of Birmingham crest

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.

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.

Style guides

For detailed examples and instructions on how to use the Harvard System of referencing at the University of Birmingham, download the style guides below.

Further help