University of Bath

Citing and Referencing

This Library guide describes the purpose of referencing in your work and provides examples of how to reference various types of resources in your work.

What is referencing?

When writing a piece of academic work, you must acknowledge any sources you have used. You do this by including a citation within your text (usually a number or an author’s name) next to the material you have used. This brief citation leads your reader to a full reference to the work, which you include in your list of references at the end of your text. These references should allow anyone reading your work to identify and find the material to which you have referred. You need to be consistent in the way you reference your sources by following an established referencing system and style.

Which system and style should I use?

There are two basic systems of citation, the name/date system and the numeric system. This guide gives advice on using both name/date and numeric systems with examples of references in a variety of different referencing styles. The Library’s referencing style sheets show you how to apply these commonly used styles to a range of source types, e.g. books, journal articles, websites etc.

For essays, project reports, dissertations and theses, ask your Department or School which system and style they want you to use. This guide gives general guidelines on good practice, but for definitive instructions on the particular referencing style required of you, it is essential that you consult your Department or School. If they do not recommend a style, then you can choose the one you prefer, but you must be consistent in applying it.

If you are writing a paper for an academic journal, then you need to use the house style that the publisher recommends: they will supply you with full instructions.

Name/Date System

Using this system, you provide a citation to your source within your text by giving the author’s/editor’s surname(s), year of publication, and (when appropriate) page numbers. Page numbers are included when quoting exact text (with the text enclosed in quotation marks), when using ideas from a specific page of a book, or when referring to a particular graph, table, or other figure. This brief citation tells the reader that there is a full reference to the work in the list of references at the end of your text (see section on Listing your References below).

  1. If the author’s/editor’s name occurs naturally within your text, give the year and page numbers if needed, in parentheses.

    Although first prepared by Benedikt (1879), it was not until much later that Osborn and Jay (1975) confirmed its structure.

  2. If the author’s/editor’s name does not occur naturally within your text, give their name, year, and page numbers if needed, in parentheses.

    Although it was first prepared in the later nineteenth century (Benedikt, 1879), its structure was not confirmed until much later (Osborn and Jay, 1975).

  3. If there are two authors/editors, cite both authors’/editors’ surnames in your text.

    James and Williams (2003, p.73) have argued that …

  4. If there are more than two authors/editors, it is usually expected that you give all the author’s/editor’s details in the first citation and in all subsequent citations give only the first author’s/editor’s name, followed by et al. Refer to the style sheets for more information. Remember to list all the authors in the reference in the list at the end of your work.

    The opposing view has been admirably summarised in a more recent work (Andersen, Smith and Jones, 2004). … Case studies have been developed to support these claims (Andersen et al. 2004, pp.23-27).

  5. If you want to cite multiple works by one author published in the same year, then differentiate between them by adding lower case letters (a, b, c) after the year.

Tavernor’s initial review of Palladio’s work (2001a) is extended and examined in much more detail in his later work (2001b, pp.135-227).

  1. If a work has no individually named author, but is produced by a corporate body or organisation, you can use the organisation’s name as the author. If neither an individual author/editor or corporate author can be identified, use the title of the work.

    In 2010, 783 million people still relied on unimproved drinking water sources (WHO, 2012).

    Statistics from a recent report (World water resources, 2011) indicated…

  2. If you want to cite a work that has been quoted in another work, where it has not been possible for you to read the original, then cite both in the text.

    An early interpretation (Walters 1883, cited by Jones 1987, p.73) suggested that …

    In this case you would list only the work by Jones (i.e. the work that you have actually read!) in your list of references.

  3. If you want to cite a personal communication (i.e. something someone has told you), just give the details within the text. As you have no published documentary source, there will be no corresponding reference in your list of references.

    Local people refer to this Holy Well as the Starwell (S. Hunt, pers. comm., 24th June 1994).

Numeric system

In the Numeric system each citation is given a number, running sequentially through your text. Numbers are commonly given in parentheses (or as superscript text), for example:

Although first prepared by Benedikt (1), its structure was not confirmed until much later (2). It has recently been shown that it is a good chlorinating agent (3).

List the references at the end of your text in citation number order. Each time you cite an individual reference, use the number you first assigned to it, e.g. each time you cite the work by Benedikt from the example above, you would use (1) to point the reader to the first entry in your list of references.

Listing your references

At the end of your piece of work, list all the references to sources you have cited in your text in a section headed References. If you have been asked to list other works that you have read but not cited in your text, then give those in a separate listing under the heading Bibliography.

Name/Date system:

List your references alphabetically by author’s surname. The example reference list below is formatted in APA 6th style which is uses author/date citations:

Barratt, A. (1987). Between two worlds: a critical introduction to ‘The Master and Margarita’. Oxford: Clarendon. Ericson, E.E. (1991). The apocalyptic vision of Mikhail Bulgakov’s ‘The Master and Margarita’. New York: Edwin Mellen. Milne, L. (1977). ‘The Master and Margarita’: a comedy of victory. Birmingham: University of Birmingham.

If you have more than one work by the same author, list them in date order (earliest first); and if you have more than one work in the same year by the same author, list them in date and letter order (2003a, 2003b etc).

Numeric system:

List your references in numerical order, based on the number you have given each citation within the text. The example below is formatted in IEEE style which numbering the citations in order of first appearance in your work:

[1] E. E. Ericson, The apocalyptic vision of Mikhail Bulgakov’s ‘The Master and Margarita’. New York: Edwin Mellen, 1991.

[2] L. Milne, ‘The Master and Margarita’: a comedy of victory. Birmingham: University of Birmingham, 1977.

[3] A. Barratt, Between two worlds: a critical introduction to ‘The Master and Margarita’. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1987.

Referencing different types of document

There are standard reference formats for most types of document. Remember that there are a variety of referencing styles used in academic publishing and you need to check with your Department which style you are expected to use. Below are examples of the most common types of document you might want to reference, shown in a variety of styles to demonstrate how they can vary cosmetically whilst containing similar elements. Further examples are given in the library’s referencing style sheets and guides.


APA 6th Style:

Wells, A.F. (1975). Structural inorganic chemistry (4th ed.). Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Harvard (Bath) Style:

Wells, A.F., 1975. Structural inorganic chemistry. 4th ed. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

RSC Style:

  1. A.F. Wells, Structural inorganic chemistry, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 4th edn., 1975.

Journal article

APA 6th Style:

Brunner, F.H. (1949). Synthetic gasoline from natural gas. Industrial and engineering chemistry, 41(11), 2511 2515.

Harvard (Bath) Style:

Brunner, F.H., 1949. Synthetic gasoline from natural gas. Industrial and engineering chemistry, 41(11), pp.2511-2515.

IEEE Style:

[1] F. H. Brunner, “Synthetic gasoline from natural gas,” Ind. Eng. Chem., vol. 41, no. 11, pp. 2511-2515, Nov. 1949.

Web pages

APA 6th Style:

Holland, M., (2002). Guide to citing internet sources. Retrieved November 2, 2002, from:

Harvard (Bath) Style:

Holland, M., 2002. Guide to citing Internet sources [Online]. Poole: Bournemouth University. Available from: [Accessed 4 November 2002].

IEEE Style:

[1] M. Holland. (2002, November 2). Guide to citing internet sources [Online]. Available:

Reference Management

If you use bibliographic management software (see below) you can use a ‘cite while you write’ feature within Word to help format your references in your chosen style. At Bath you have access to the bibliographic management software packages Endnote and Endnote Web. You can use these to create your own databases to store and organise your references. You can enter references manually or by direct download from a database or journal, or the software can be used to retrieve references directly from online sources.

The ‘cite while you write’ facility in Word lets you include stored references in your work using the citation style you choose. This is particularly useful if you are submitting a piece of work to a publisher whose citation method is different from the most common styles.

Training on how to use these packages is available as part of the Students Union’s Skills programme, the research postgraduates PGSkills programme or from Subject Librarians through Departmental sessions. Information is also available on the Library’s EndNote web pages.

More help and guidance

For further help and guidance, see the Library’s referencing style sheets.