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Oxford - 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 Oxford style.

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

Collect all sources in a reference list

According to the Oxford style, references to sources in the text are marked with footnotes. 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.

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 in an Oxford-style reference list.

How to write references in footnotes

When writing references in the footnotes, you can also use the examples below, but remember to change the order of the authors' names. In the footnotes, the author's first name should precede the surname.

Read more about how to use Oxford-style footnotes:

Oxford - references in text

Examples for different types of sources

Books with one author

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

Bryman, Alan. Social research methods. 3rd ed. Oxford: Oxford university press, 2008.

Books with two or more authors

Fabozzi, Frank J., Modigliani, Franco and Jones, Frank J. Foundations of financial markets and institutions. 4th ed. Boston: Prentice Hall, 2010.

Books which are edited (anthologies)

For edited books include (ed./eds.) in brackets after the name of the editor(s).


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


The same information should be provided as for printed books, see examples above. For books that have been read or downloaded from a library website or bookshop you should add information about e-book at the end of the reference.

Bowen, Natasha K. and Guo, Shenyang. Structural equation modeling. New York: Oxford University Press, 2012. E-book.

Some books whose copyright have expired are sometimes freely available on the internet. In those cases you should add the complete URL and access date, the date you downloaded/read the book. If the URL is very long it could be sufficient to use the URL of the web site where you found the book e.g. http://books.google.se/

Smith, Daniel. Memory of a tree festival. Hamburg: Sommer Publishing, 1902. http://www.treesandplantsmemoriesinsummer (Accessed 2012-05-21).

Strindberg, August. Three plays: countess Julie; the Outlaw; the Stronger. Boston: International pocket library, 1912. http://books.google.se/ (Accessed 2012-05-21).

Book chapters

Include (if available): Family name(s) and first name(s) of author(s) of the chapter. Title of book chapter. In Title of book, First and family name(s) of editor(s) and (ed./s.) in brackets. Edition (if not 1:st), Page numbers of chapter. Place of publication: Publisher, Year of publication.


Ellet, Elizabeth F.L. By rail and stage to Galena. In Prairie state: impressions of Illinois, 1673-1967, by travelers and other observers, Paul M. Angle (ed.), 271–79. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1968.

Journal articles (scholarly article)

Include (if available): Family name(s) and first name(s) of author(s). Title of article. Journal name. Volume, Issue, Year of publication: Page numbers of article. Permanent link or URL.

Lundmark, Linda. Economic Restructuring into Tourism in the Swedish Mountain Range. Scandinavian Journal of Hospitality and Tourism. Vol. 5, no. 12, 2005: 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. The importance of police performance as a determinant of satisfaction with police. American Journal of Economics and Business Administration. Vol 1, no. 1, 2009: 1–10. http://scipub.org/ajeba/article/view/5217/5214 (Accessed 2019-12-12).

Newspaper articles

Include (if available): Author of article. Title of article. Magazine. Date of article.

Jowit, Juliette. Corporate lobbying is blocking food reforms, senior UN official warns. Guardian. 2010-09-22.

Newspaper articles on the web

Same information as for a printed article (see above) and URL of article and date of access in brackets. If the URL is very long it could be sufficient to use the URL of the newspaper e.g http://www.time.com/

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


Include (if available):

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

Transparency International. Corruption perceptions index 2019. Berlin: Transparency International, 2020. 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. Uncertain length of life, retirement age, and optimal pension design. Umeå: Department of Economics, Umeå University, 2018. http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-145736

Web pages and blogs

Include (if available): Author, organisation, authority or company. Year. Title of web page. Title/owner of web site. Year of last update of web page. URL (Date of access).

Narain, Urvaishi. Air pollution: locked down by COVID-19 but not arrested. World Bank. 2020. https://www.worldbank.org/en/news/immersive-story/2020/07/01/air-pollution-locked-down-by-covid-19-but-not-arrested (Accessed 2021-10-23).

For blogs include title and posting date of individual blog entry:

Parker, Matt. 2010. The simple truth about statistics. Guardian.co.uk Science blog. 29 September. http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/blog/2010/sep/29/statistics-lies-abuse (Accessed 2010-10-10).

Encyclopedias, dictionaries or Wikipedia

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

Author of article. Title of article. Name of encyclopedia, Year of publishing. Complete URL (http//.....) (Date of access). If there is no author, use the name of the encyclopedia.

Encyclopӕdia Britannica. Sestina, 2020. 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 under tools.

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


Include information about university of graduation and title of degree.


Eckerberg, Katarina. Environmental protection in Swedish forestry: a study of the implementation process. PhD diss., Umeå University, 1987.

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

Conference proceedings

Lectures/presentations at conferences and seminars are published in anthologies called proceedings. Title, year and city of conference are to be included if known. Individual contributions to conference proceedings are treated as chapters in books. Sometimes those contributions are published in journals and are treated as journal articles.

Hall, C. Michael. North-south perspectives on tourism, regional development and peripheral areas. In Tourism in peripheries: perspectives from the north and south, Dieter K. Müller and Bruno Jansson (eds.), 19–38. Perspectives on tourism in Nordic and other peripheral areas, 2004, Umeå. Wallingford: CABI, 2007.

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. If you use an illustration in your paper include a caption with the following information image number (e.g. Figure 1), title, creator of illustration and year.

Lennver, Anders. Night against procrastination [Photography]. 2012. 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.. Prague by day [Photography]. In Czech photography in the twenty-first century, S. Johnson (ed.), 32. Prague: Autumn Publishing, 2015.

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

Television programs

Lindsjö, Lars. UR Samtiden - Hur kan utåtagerande barn bemötas? [Television]. Stockholm: Sveriges utbildningsradio. 2011. http://uraccess.se/

Personal communication

Personal communication includes more informal sources: e.g. letters, e-mails, phone calls 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 sometimes isn't included in the reference list as the sources normally not are 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, Details of personal communication and Date.


Svensson, Anna; student at Umeå university. Interview 2010-05-11.

Informant 1; Grammar school, Umeå. 12 boys and 12 girls, individual interviews 2010-05-09.

Smith, Veronica; Professor at the department of physics, Umeå University. Northern lights, lecture 2010-03-12.

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

Lee, Oscar. E-mail. 2008-05-13. < oscar.lee@umu.se >.

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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: 2024-03-07