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Harvard - writing a reference list

A reference list gathers all sources that have been used in an academic text. Here you will find examples of how to write references for different types of sources according to the Harvard style.

The examples on this page are based on Umeå University Library's version of the Harvard style.

Collect all sources in a reference list 

According to the Harvard style, in-text references to sources are placed in parentheses. At the end of your document, you should have a reference list in which you collect all the sources you have used and referred to in your text. The reference list should be sorted alphabetically by the first author's surname or equivalent.  

Examples for different types of sources 

In the references, you should include detailed information about the sources so that a reader can find precisely the source you referred to. In the example collection below, you can see how to write references for different types of sources using the Harvard style.

Books with one author

Include (if available): Author’s last name, First name. Year of publication. Title. Edition (if not 1st). Place of publication: Publisher.


Bryman, Alan. 2008. Social research methods. 3rd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Books with two or more authors

Blocher, Edward; Stout, David E.; Juras, Paul E. and Cokins, Gary. 2013. Cost management : a strategic emphasis. 6th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill/Irwin.

Books which are edited (anthologies)

For edited books include (ed.) or (eds.) between the name of the editor and year of publication.


Allen, Jeffner and Young, Iris Marion (eds.). 1989. The thinking muse: feminism and modern French philosophy. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.


The same information should be provided as for printed books, see example Books with one author. If available, provide the permanent link (DOI, Handle, URN or equivalent).

Example of e-book with a permanent link:

Swinnen, Johan F.M. and Rozelle, Scott. 2006. From Marx and Mao to the market : the economics and politics of agricultural transition. Oxford : Oxford University Press. DOI:10.1093/0199288917.001.0001

Some books with copyright that has expired are sometimes freely available on the internet. This also applies for books and reports made available freely by authorities and organisations. In those cases you should add the complete URL (http ://....) or the link provided by the publisher and your date of access, the date you downloaded/read the book.

Strindberg, August. 1912. Three plays: countess Julie; the Outlaw; the Stronger. Boston: International pocket library. https://archive.org/details/threeplayscounte00striuoft (Accessed 2012-05-21).

Book chapters

Include (if available): Last name(s) and first name(s) of author(s) of the chapter. Year of publication. Title of book chapter. In Last name and first name(s) of editor(s). (ed[s].). Title of book. Edition (if not 1:st). Place of publication: Publisher, page numbers of chapter.

Malmberg, Anders. 2003. Beyond the cluster: local milieus and global connections. In Peck, Jamie and Wai-chung Yeung, Henry (eds.). Remaking the Global Economy. London: Sage Publications, 145-162.

Journal articles (scholarly articles)

Include (if available): Last name(s) and first name(s) of author(s). Year of publication. Title of article. Journal name Volume(issue): page numbers of article. Permanent link or URL.

Lundmark, Linda. 2005. Economic restructuring into tourism in the Swedish mountain range. Scandinavian Journal of Hospitality and Tourism 5(1): 23–45. doi: 10.1080/15022250510014273.

Articles in scholarly journals often have a permanent link (DOI, URN, Handle etc) that you should use. If there isn't a permanent link use the URL. For articles without a permanent link and articles freely available on the web, access date may also need to be specified.

Example of article freely available:

Larsen, James E. and Blair, John P. 2009. The importance of police performance as a determinant of satisfaction with police. American Journal of Economics and Business Administration 1(1): 1-10. http://scipub.org/ajeba/article/view/5217/5214 (Accessed 2019-12-10).

Newspaper articles

For newspaper articles available on the internet include the following (if available): Author of article (Last name, first name). Year of publication. Title of article. Title of newspaper. Day and month of the article. Complete URL (http://....) (Access date)


Jowit, Juliette. 2010. Corporate lobbying is blocking food reforms, senior UN official warns. Guardian. 22 September. http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/sep/22/food-firms-lobbying-samuel-jutzi (Accessed 2019-09-30).

For printed newspaper articles or newspaper articles available in databases (such as Pressreader) include (if available): Author of article (last name, first name). Year of publication. Title of article. Title of newspaper. Day and month of the article, page number(s).

Jowit, Juliette. 2010. Corporate lobbying is blocking food reforms, senior UN official warns. Guardian. 22 September, 8-9.


Include (if available):

Organization or author. Year of publication. Title of report. Place of publication: Publisher. Complete URL (http://.....) (Access date).

Transparency International. 2020. Corruption perceptions index 2019. Berlin: Transparency International. https://images.transparencycdn.org/images/2019_CPI_Report_EN.pdf (Accessed 2020-10-19).

Example of report published by department at university with permanent link (DOI, URN, Handle etc):

Aronsson, Thomas and Blomquist, Sören. 2018. Uncertain length of life, retirement age, and optimal pension design. Umeå: Department of Economics, Umeå University. http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-145736

Web pages, blogs and tweets

Use the web pages category only if there is no other reference category that fits (e.g. book or journal article). Include (if available): Author, organization, authority or company. Last update of web page (year). Title of document or page.  Complete URL (http://.....) (Access date).

Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development. 2010. Health: OECD says governments must fight fat. http://www.oecd.org/document/35/0,3343,en_21571361_44315115_46064099_1_1_1_1,00.html (Accessed 2010-10-10).

For blog entries and twitter messages state day and month of post:


Enever, Janet. 2015. A tentative view on primary language education policy in India. Forskarbloggen [Blog]. 7 March. http://blogg.umu.se/forskarbloggen/2015/03/a-tentative-view-on-primary-language-education-policy-in-india/ (Accessed 2015-08-14).

Fällström, Anders. 2015. Fewer topics in greater depth. #mathematics #Math Singapore math skills add up in the West http://cnb.cx/1M3BgPX. [Twitter]. 15 July. https://twitter.com/hyperconvex/status/621212215006392320 (Accessed 2015-08-14).

Encyclopedias, dictionaries or Wikipedia

For articles/entries in online encyclopedias, include (if available):

Author of article. Year of publication. Title of article. Name of encyclopedia. Complete URL (Date of access).

If there is no author, use the name of the encyclopedia.

Encyclopedia Britannica. 2020. Sestina. https://www.britannica.com/art/sestina-poetic-form (Accessed 2020-10-20).

Please remember to check with your teacher before you use Wikipedia as a source. Use Wikipedia's permanent link available on the left-hand sidebar under tools.

Wikipedia. 2020. Zadie Smith. https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Zadie_Smith&oldid=981120030 (Accessed 2020-10-20).


Include (if available: Last name, first names. Year of publication. Title of dissertation. Title of degree, university of graduation. Permanent link (URN, Handle or DOI).


Abramowicz, Konrad. 2011. Numerical analysis for random processes and fields and related design problems. Ph.D. diss., Umeå University. http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-46156

Landström, Mats. 2009. Two essays on Central Bank independence reforms. Lic. diss., Umeå University.

Conference proceedings

Papers from a conference can be published in a publication called conference proceedings (also known as symposiums or meetings). Include the following information (if available). Last name of author(s), first name(s) of author(s). Year of publication. Title of conference paper. In Title of conference publication (proceeding): title of conference. Location of conference (City, country) Date of conference, page numbers of conference paper. Permanent link (DOI, URN or Handle) 


Witkowski, Emma; Hutchins, Brett. and Carter, Marcus. 2013. E-sports on the rise? : Critical considerations on the growth and erosion of organized digital gaming competitions. I IE´13: Proceedings of The 9th Australasian Conference on Interactive Entertainment: Matters of Life and Death. Melbourne, Australia 30 September -1 October, 1-2. https://doi.org/10.1145/2513002.2513008

If conference proceedings are published as journal articles or as book chapters use the corresponding reference categories in this guide.

Illustrations (photographs, figures, diagrams, tables etc.)

Illustrations created by others are often protected by copyright. In those cases you need permission from the copyright owner before you can you use the illustrations in your text. If possible always state the creator of the illustration in the reference list.

Lennver, Anders. 2012. Night against procrastination [Photography]. http://www.ub.umu.se/nightagainstprocrastion/ (Accessed 2016-04-05).

State the name of the illustrator if different than the author of the work. If available also provide page number of the illustration:

Hazel, Edward. 2015. Prague by day [Photography]. In S. Johnson. Czech photography in the twenty-first century. Prague: Autumn Publishing, 32.

If you have viewed an image of a work of art online, you should reference it as an online image, regardless of the original medium. If possible state the name of the artist and the collection:

Turner, Joseph. 1839. The Fighting Temeraire [Oil painting]. The National Gallery [online]. www. nationalgallery.org.uk/paintings/josephmallord-william-turner-the-fightingtemeraire (Accessed 2016-04-05).

Personal communication

Personal communication includes more informal sources: e.g. e-mails, phone calls, letters or conversations. Permission should be sought before these sources are quoted, and a copy retained for reference. If you have promised an interviewee anonymity you must keep that promise. You will find more information about rules and guidelines for research at CODEX

Please note that personal communication is sometimes not included in the reference list as the sources normally are not traceable. In those cases information about personal communication are provided only in the footnotes. Check with your teacher/supervisor if you are uncertain.

A reference to personal communication should include as much information as possible; Name; profession/position. Year. Details of personal communication; date (day and month)


Svensson, Anna; student at Umeå university. 2010. Interview 11 May.

Informant 1: Grammar school, Umeå. 2010. 12 boys and 12 girls, individual interviews 9 May.

Smith, Veronica; Professor at the department of physics, Umeå University. 2010. Northern lights, lecture 12 March.

Please note that e-mail addresses belonging to individuals should only be provided if the owner has given permission.

Lee, Oscar. 2008. E-mail 13 May. < oscar.lee@umu.se >.

Television programs

Title. Year. Transmitting organisation/channel. Date and time of transmission. URL.

Part of a series
Antikrundan. Säsong 26, avsnitt 10. 2015. Sveriges television, svt1, 12 mars. http://www.svtplay.se/video/2750826

TV-program from UR-play
Makt och maktlöshet. 2015. UR Play, Kunskapskanalen. 9 april, 15:30. http://urplay.se/Produkter/181494-Var-samiska-kamp-Makt-och-maktloshet

TV-program via UR access
UR Samtiden - Hur kan utåtagerande barn bemötas? 2011. Kunskapskanalen. http://uraccess.se/products/162607

UR Samtiden - Samiska veckan 2015: Språkliga förbud. 2015. Kunskapskanalen. 14 april, kl. 16:00. http://uraccess.se/products/188771

Recorded lectures, presentations, speeches, interviews

Include if available: Last and first names of speaker or equivalent. Year of speech. Title of speech. [online]. Publisher. Complete URL  and date of access.

If the publisher tells you how to site the lecture, use their suggested reference and just check to see that it conforms to the Harvard rules. 

a) as lecture or speech

Satyarthi, Kailash. 2015. How to make peace? Get angry. [online]. TED talks. http://www.ted.com/talks/kailash_satyarthi_how_to_make_peace_get_angry (Accessed: 2015-05-03).

b) as online video

TED talks. 2015, mars. How to make peace? Get angry. [online]. [Accessed: 2015-04-14] http://www.ted.com/talks/kailash_satyarthi_how_to_make_peace_get_angry

Harvard Business. 2008. Innovate Like Google. [online]. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QOioQxtJ4gI (Accessed: 2014-05-05).

Secondary sources

To cite a source from a secondary source is generally to be avoided, since you are expected to have read the works you cite. If a primary source (original source) is not available you may use secondary sources. Only information about the secondary source would appear in the reference list. In the example below you have read Bob Smith's book "Democracy" published 1981 where he on page 72 cites Tom Small's book "Civil rights" published 1832:

Smith, Bob. 1981. Civil rights. Berlin: Herbst Verlag.

Learn more

Introduction to the Harvard system

A video about the Harvard reference style.

Basics of paraphrasing

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: 2022-10-28