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Writing references

Learn how to cite sources in your text and write reference lists. Find concrete examples of how to use the Harvard and Oxford styles in the library guides. We also suggest guides to other reference styles and how to use citing tools in different databases.

Why should I write references?

When writing an academic text, you must clearly state the sources you have used. By referring to the academic work of others, you give support and credibility to your own ideas. The references also enable the reader to locate the sources you have used.

If you use someone else's ideas without citing the source, you are plagiarising. Plagiarism is considered a form of cheating. You must therefore clearly show which are your own ideas and what you have taken from others. Read more about how to paraphrase, summarise and quote when using other people's texts:

Avoiding plagiarism

Harvard, Oxford, APA and other styles

There are many ways to cite and write references depending on the style being used. Always start by finding out which style is used in your department or programme.

Here you will find our guides to the Harvard and Oxford styles, as well as links to useful guides on the APA and Vancouver styles, for example. 

Harvard - references in text

See examples of how to write references to different types of sources with parentheses in the Harvard style.

Harvard - writing a reference list

Examples of how to write references for different types of sources in a Harvard-style reference list.

Oxford - references in text

See explanations and examples for writing references with Oxford style footnotes.

Oxford - writing a reference list

See examples of how to write references for different types of sources in an Oxford-style reference list.

Guides to other reference styles

APA (American Psychological Association)

Reference guide for APA 7 (Karolinska Institutet University Library)

IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers)

IEEE - Referencing Guide (Murdoch University Library)


Turabian citation guide (Concordia University Library)


Reference guide for Vancouver (Karolinska institutet University Library)

Citing and referencing: Vancouver (Monash University Library, Australia)

Citing Medicine: the NLM style guide for authors, editors and publishers (National Library of Medicine, USA)


Citing tools in databases

Many databases provide citing tools that create references of your search results in different styles and formats. Look for links such as "Create reference" or "Cite". Reference lists are not always completely accurate when created with citing tools. Therefore, make sure that all the necessary information is included and that the reference looks accurate based on the style you are using.

The films below show examples of citing tools in some databases:

Citing Articles on EBSCOhost

A tutorial for citing articles on EBSCOhost.

How to create a reference list using Google Scholar

A tutorial for citing articles in Google Scholar.

Software for writing references

A reference management software helps you manage your references throughout the writing process. The software helps you to import and keep track of your references, and create accurate references and reference lists as you write.

As an employee you have access to Endnote, and as a student Endnote Online. The library also provides support in using these, as well as Zotero. More information is found here:

Software for writing references

Questions about writing references?

Do you have questions about how to write a reference list or cite sources? Visit our drop-in sessions or schedule a tutoring appointment if you need help from a librarian. You can also submit short questions via chat and the contact form or ask the staff at the information desk.

Latest update: 2022-12-16