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Creating reference entries

As explained in the Australian Harvard overview, each source that is referred to in the text needs a matching entry in the reference list. The entry should contain enough identifying information about the source to allow it to be located by someone else. The information is presented as parts in a set order to help the reader identify at a glance which piece of information relates to which part.

A basic Australian Harvard reference entry is made up of the following parts.


All the details you need for each part should be found on the source itself. Instructions and examples of how to format each part are given over the page.


Who created the source?

  • This identifies the creator or principal contributor of the source.
  • It could be a person or a group (organisation or government).
  • Some sources may have more than one author.


When was the source published?

  • This identifies the year or specific date the source was made available in the version you accessed. (Use the copyright year/date if this is shown.)
  • For online sources, use the year or specific date the content was created (for a page or document), or the date of posting (for a post).


What is the source called?

  • This is the full title in the words and spelling of the source.
  • If your source is part of a larger work (e.g., article from a journal; chapter from a book), you need to include the title of each.


Who made the source available in the form I used?

  • This identifies the publisher and their location.
  • You need to include this information for print books and physical or broadcast media. You don’t need it for journals, newspapers or online sources.
  • Where e-books are accessed by an e-book reader (e.g. Kindle, Nook, Sony Reader), include the edition and/or version, where relevant.
  • The information can usually be found with the copyright information.


Is there a Digital Object Identifier?

  • The DOI acts as a permanent link to an item. Not all material has a DOI, but you need to include one whenever it has been assigned.
  • If you provide a DOI, you don’t need to give the URL or the date viewed.
  • If a DOI has been assigned, you should find it with the copyright information, or with other details on database or catalogue lists.


What is the address of the source online, and when did I view it?

  • This is included for sources accessed online. It tells your reader the location of the source on the Internet and the date you accessed it. It is only included if the source has no DOI.
  • Provide the URL that leads most directly and reliably to the source. Give the homepage URL if the item can be searched for easily from there or if a login is required or if the URL is unstable. Otherwise give the full URL.
  • Do not include the date viewed unless the content you have used is likely to be edited or updated, or has no publication date.

Below are instructions for formatting the parts of an Australian Harvard reference entry. When you are ready to create your entries, read the instructions and copy the punctuation used in the examples. Note that almost every part ends with a comma followed by a space. The exceptions are:

  • No punctuation after DOIs and URLs.
  • No punctuation after the author’s initial (only a space).




Winton, T 2001, Dirt music, Picador, Sydney.

  • Give the author’s surname, a comma, and the initial/s of the given name/s.


Hall, JL & Ashton, BT 2005, A spoonful of valour

  • Name both authors and join second author by ‘&’.


Donat, T, Jenkins, M, Baysch, V, Adamson, E & Farr, P 2010, Shared care…

  • Name all authors. Separate by commas and join last author by ‘&’.


Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2004, Australia’s health

  • Give the name of the group in full followed immediately by the year of publication.


Burger King Corp v Hungry Jack’s Pty Ltd [2001] NSWCA 187 TITLE in CIVIL CASE LAW

Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) s 124(1) TITLE in STATUTES

  • No punctuation is required when citing legislation/criminal case. Formatting of civil law cases appears the same in the reference list as in your text. See following for more examples.



Winton, T 2001, Dirt music, Picador, Sydney.

Greendale, N 2006,Road toll rising, The Age, 4 May, p. 13.

  • The year of publication follows the surname and initial.
  • Add month and day after the title for sources with specific publication dates. (Give only year in in-text citation.)


Harris, DW 2001a, Hadrian’s wall

Harris, DW 2001b, Julius Caesar

  • Add a lower case letter (‘a’, ‘b’, ‘c’, etc.) to the year to reflect the order the entry appears in the reference list.
  • Use the year with the additional letter as normal in the text.


Gardiner, IT n.d., Life in rural Australia

  • Use ‘n.d.’, (stands for ‘no date’) if no year/date can be found on the source. This is uncommon in academic sources.



Harris, M 1983, The mighty Yarra: rivers of Victoria. TITLE AND SUBTITLE

Gerd, NB 2001, ‘Method in action’, Journal of Health,PART OF WORK & WHOLE WORK

  • Give the title in italics in the wording and spelling shown on the source.
  • Separate title and subtitle by a colon.
  • Give initial capitals to the first word of the title and to any proper nouns.
  • If the source is part of a larger work, such as an article in a journal, place the title of the article in single quote marks, and no italics. Place the name of the journal, or larger work, in italics.
  • Translate the title if relevant, giving the English translation in brackets after the original title and without italics.


Jensen, PR 1945, [Wartime navy reminiscences], Liberty Press, Brisbane.

  • If no title, give a brief descriptive title in your own words in square brackets. No italics. This is uncommon in academic texts.

Publisher information

Gourley, D 2002, Action man, Bellinger, Chicago.

Temple, P 2009, Truth, Text, Melbourne.

Gull Group 1992, Annual report, Gull Group, Sydney.

Hampden-Turner, C & Trompenaars, A 2000, Building cross-cultural competence: how to create wealth from conflicting values, e-book, Yale University Press, New Haven,

  • Give publisher first, followed by the city of publication. Add further detail if required for clarification, e.g. Cambridge, Mass. or Cambridge, UK.
  • If there is more than one city named on the source, give the first-named city. If the publisher is also the author, restate the author or group name.
  • If the source is an e-book, state the digital format (including edition where relevant) after the title (e.g. e-book, Kindle 3G edition, Nook, PDF). Include publication details if supplied, as well as a DOI or URL.


doi: 10.1037/0004-066X.60.6.561

  • Use a DOI when one has been assigned, even for print material. No full stop at the end.
  • Give exactly as found on the source. If using a DOI in the original format (beginning with ‘10’) introduce it by ‘doi:’ and add a space before the ‘10’. New format DOIs (beginning with ‘http’) don’t need ‘doi’ added in front.

Date Viewed and URL

…, viewed 5 May 2010,

  • Introduce URL with ‘viewed’ and the date in the above format.
  • Remove hyperlinks so that there is no underlining or blue lettering (right click on the hyperlink, then click on ‘Remove hyperlink’.
  • Break URLs (if needed) before a punctuation mark or symbol. No full stop at end.
  • Include the date viewed if the content you have used is likely to be edited or updated, or has no publication date.