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John Squire Library
Guide to Referencing
Introduction

This guide gives information on how to cite references, referencing styles (Vancouver and Harvard), and where to get information on authorship guidelines.

Why reference?

The main purpose is to point your readers to the sources of evidence you have used to draw your conclusions. For this reason, references need to be accurate and full so that they can locate the original sources and draw their own conclusions.

Another important reason is to avoid criticisms of plagiarism, or of using another authors' work without giving them due credit.

The examples given are a guide to what is generally acceptable. If writing for a specific journal, always check whether the journal publishes 'Guidelines for Authors'. Similarly, if writing academic assignments, check whether your place of study has guidelines on referencing.

Whichever style of references you choose, it is important to be consistent.

Useful Suggestions & Remindersup

  • Always keep a record of sources used, including as much information as possible. Record the information in the format you intend to use for your final reference list.
  • When photocopying journal articles, book chapters etc. make sure the full reference is included on the copy. Write it on if necessary.
  • Refer to primary sources where possible i.e. avoid 'secondary referencing'. If using a source that quotes another source, it is preferable to look at the original to ensure it is not quoted inaccurately or out of context.
  • References vs. Bibliographies. A reference list records sources referred to in your text. A bibliography is a list of sources relevant to what you are writing about, but not specifically referred to in the text.

Reference Styles

Vancouver (Numerical System)up

The citation in the text gives a number. The reference list is then presented in numerical order. This is the system preferred by the 'Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Medical Journals' (1).

Examples of citations in the text:

'Heart disease was shown to be a big killer (1,2). In another book, Cook (3) also shows that…'.

The numbers can also be put in superscript form, e.g. 'Heart disease was shown to be a big killer1, 2', but it is advisable to check whether this is allowed by the journal / institution.

Examples of layout of references:

These examples are taken from the 'Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals'(1), which contains further examples (e.g. conference proceedings, journal supplements etc.).

Authors / Editors

If there are more than six authors, list the first six followed by 'et al'.

If the item is edited, use the term 'editor' (or 'editors') after the last editor, e.g. 'Smith JM, Jones G. editors'.

Journal Article

Vega KJ, Pina I, Krevsky B. Heart transplantation is associated with an increased risk for pancreatobiliary disease. Ann Intern Med 1996 Jun 1; 124 (11):980-3.

i.e. Surname, Initials. Article title. Journal title. Year Month; Volume(Part): Pages.

It is acceptable to omit the month and issue number if the journal uses continuous pagination throughout the volume.

Book

Ringsven MK, Bond D. Gerontology and leadership skills for nurses. 2nd ed. Albany (NY): Delmar Publishers; 1996.

i.e Surname, Initials. Book title. Edition. Place of publication: Publisher; Year.

Book Chapter

Phillips SJ, Whisnant JP. Hypertension and stroke. In: Laragh JH, Brenner BM, editors. Hypertension: pathophysiology, diagnosis, and management. 2nd ed. New York: Raven Press; 1995. p. 465-78.

i.e Chapter author(s). Chapter title. In: Book author(s). Book title. Edition. Place of publication: Publisher; Year. p. Pages.

Harvard (Author / Date System)up

The citation in the body of the text gives the author's surname(s) and the date of publication in brackets. This is the method preferred by many academic institutions. Please check with the relevant institution for exact requirements.

Examples of citations in the text:

'Heart disease was shown to be a big killer (Smith, 1996). In another book, Cook (1991) also shows that…'

If two papers are cited from the same author in the same year, use letters after the date, e.g.

'Jones (1991a and 1991b) also shows us that…'

Examples of layout of references:

The list of references at the end of the article should then be in alphabetical order by first author's surname, with the date in brackets immediately afterwards, then the rest of the bibliographical details.

These examples are taken from the 'Harvard referencing guide' produced by the University of Sheffield Library (2). Further examples (e.g. conference proceedings, journal supplements etc.) can be found on their website, or from the sources listed at the end of this guide.

Authors / Editors

Two authors: Smith, H.G. and King, S.

If there are more than two authors: List the first two authors, followed by et al.

e.g Richards, G., Thompson, M. et al.

For edited works, put (ed) in brackets for a single editor and (eds) for multiple editors after the last editor.

e.g. Thompson, F. and Gross, M. (eds)

Journal Article

Allen, A. (1993) Changing theory in nursing practice. Senior Nurse, 13(1), 43-5.

i.e Surname, Initials. (Year) Article title. Journal title, Volume(Part), Pages.

Note that the journal title should be italicised or underlined.

Book

Burns, N. and Grove, S.K. (1997) The practice of nursing research: conduct, critique & utilization. 3rd edition. London, Saunders.

i.e Surname, Initials, (Year) Book title. Edition. Place of publication, Publisher.

Note that the book title should be italicised or underlined.

Book Chapter

Weir, P. (1995) Clinical practice development role: a personal reflection. In: Kendrick, K. (ed) Innovations in nursing practice. London, Edward Arnold. p. 5- 22.

i.e. Chapter author(s) (Year) Chapter title. In: Book author(s). Book title. Place of publication, Publisher. p. Pages.

Note that the book title should be italicised or underlined.

Citing Electronic Sourcesup

As with anything you refer to in your work, electronic sources should also be referenced properly to enable people to view the original documents.

Some general guidelines based on the University of Sheffield guidelines(3), using the Harvard referencing system are given below.

Web Page

John Squire Library. (2011) Library and information services [online]. London, North West London Hospitals NHS Trust. Available from: http://www.johnsquirelibrary.org.uk [Accessed 15th July 2011].

i.e. Author/editor surname, Initial. (Year) Title [online]. Edition. Place of publication, Publisher. Available from: URL [Accessed date].

Full-Text Journal Article from Medline

Gopee, N. (1999). Referencing academic assignments. Nursing Standard 13(27), 37-40. Full-text [online]. Medline, Ovid Technologies Inc.[Accessed 9th February 2001].

i.e. Author surname, Initial. (Year) Title of article. Journal title. Volume (part), pages. Full-text [online]. Online database name on host [Accessed date].

Electronic Book on CD-ROM

Weatherall, D. Ledingham, J.G.G. et al (1996). Oxford textbook of medicine on compact disk. [CD-ROM] (3rd ed). Oxford, Oxford University Press. [Accessed 9th February 2001]

i.e. Author/editor. (Year). Title [type of medium CD-ROM]. (Edition). Place of publication, Publisher (if ascertainable). Available from: Supplier/Database identifier or number (optional) [Accessed Date] (optional).

For other electronic sources, such as mailbase lists or personal e-mails, please refer to the sources listed at the end, or see the section on electronic sources in the 'Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Medical Journals' (1).

Before citing electronic sources, check to see whether the journals 'Instructions to Authors' provides any guidance on requirements.

Instructions to Authorsup

The Medical College of Ohio maintains a list of links to websites that provide instructions to authors for health science journals(4).

In addition, instructions to authors for 40 of the most popular nursing and midwifery journals can be found in the book by Breed, 'A publication guide to 40 health care journals' which is shelved at WZ 345 (5).

You should also refer to the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Medical Journals(1), which is available on the Internet and is also available at the Enquiry Desk.

Standard Abbreviations of Journal Titlesup

Abbreviations for journals indexed in Medline can be found in the 'List of Journals Indexed in Index Medicus' (6), which is available on the Internet and is also held at the Enquiry Desk.

Referencesup

(1) International Committee of Medical Journal Editors. Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals [online]. ICMJE: 1999. Available from: www.icmje.org [Accessed 15th July 2011].
A copy of this is held at the Enquiry Desk

(2) University of Sheffield. Library. Harvard referencing guide (HSL-DVC1) [online]. University of Sheffield, 2000. Available from: www.shef.ac.uk/library/libdocs [Accessed 15th July 2011].

(3) University of Sheffield. Library. Guide to citing electronic sources of Information (HSL-DVC2) [online]. University of Sheffield, 2000. Available from www.shef.ac.uk/library/libdocs [Accessed 15th July 2011].

(4) Medical College of Ohio. Instructions to authors in the health sciences [online]. Medical College of Ohio, 2000. Available from: mulford.meduohio.edu/instr [Accessed 15th July 2011]

(5) Breed, S. A publication guide to 40 health care journals.Writing Workshops: 1999.
A copy of this is shelved at WZ 345

(6) National Library of Medicine. List of journals indexed in Index Medicus [online]. National Library of Medicine, 2000. Available from www.nlm.nih.gov/tsd/serials/lji.html [Accessed 15th July 2011].
A copy of this is held at the Enquiry Desk

Bibliographyup

Bournemouth University. Library. Harvard system [online]. Bournemouth University (nd). Available from: www.bournemouth.ac.uk/library [accessed 15th July 2011].

Bournemouth University. Library. Guide to citing Internet sources [online]. Bournemouth University, nd. Available from: www.bournemouth.ac.uk/library [accessed 15th July 2011].

British Standards Institution. Recommendations for citing and referencing published material (BS 5605: 1990.). BSI, 1990.
A copy of this is shelved at Z 246 REFERENCE PAMPHLET

Cormack, D.F.S. Writing for health care professions. Blackwell Scientific: 1994.
A copy of this is shelved at WZ 345

Dwyer, M. A guide to the Harvard referencing system. British Journal of Nursing 1995 4(10) p. 599-602.
A copy of this article is held at the Enquiry Desk

Goodman, N.W.; Edwards, M.B. Medical writing: a prescription for clarity. A self-help guide to clearer medical English. 2nd ed.Cambridge University Press: 1997.
A copy of this is shelved at WZ 345

Murrell, C.; Huang, C.; Ellis, H. Research in medicine: planning a project - writing a thesis. 2nd ed. Cambridge University Press: 1999.
A copy of this is shelved at W 20.5

Neville, C. The complete guide to referencing and avoiding plagiarism. Open University Press: 2007.
A copy of this is shelved at LB 2369

 

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Last updated 15th July 2011