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Referencing: Referencing Introduction

Details of common referencing styles used at Newcastle, and how to use this style to reference a range of source formats.

Why reference?

  • To make your own contribution clear
  • To acknowledge source material
  • To ensure reader can find source material
  • To avoid plagiarism

Your referencing must be comprehensive, accurate and consistent.
This guide will help you to learn about referencing, identify and follow an appropriate referencing style for your subject, and practise your referencing skills.

It is very important that you know which style you are required to use for your academic work.  Although the Harvard style of referencing is widely used, there are many other different referencing styles, some of which are particularly appropriate for certain subject disciplines. There are a number of styles used here at Newcastle - see the examples below.  Please check with your tutor if you are unsure about which style to use.

Select your referencing style

From the American Psychological Association, this is used by Speech and Language Sciences and Educational Psychology students in the School of Education, Communication & Language Sciences.  The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association is available in the library and APA Style  is available from the APA website.

Have a look at our referencing blog for more information about the APA style.

See Cite Them Right for further guidance and examples.

Cite them right

image of banking on referencing

Here is an example showing the Biomedical Vancouver style of referencing. 

It was tailored for use by Biomedical Sciences students.  It is a superscripted version of the Vancouver style which shows the first 10 authors followed by ‘et al.’ in the reference list. 

A journal article would appear like this(1), a book would appear in the format below(2).  If you wanted to insert a web page it would look like this(3). This is a book chapter(4).

This style appears in EndNote on the University network and biomedical science students are directed towards this style throughout the degree programme up to and including the final year project.  If you are using a personal copy of EndNote you will need to download the style from the lib-guide link below.


1           Ren B, O'Brien BA, Byrne MR, Ch'ng E, Gatt PN, Swan MA, Nassif NT, Wei MQ, Gijsbers R, Debyser Z, et al. Long-term reversal of diabetes in non-obese diabetic mice by liver-directed gene therapy. Journal of Gene Medicine. 2013;15:28-41.


2           Brown SP. Exercise physiology : basis of human movement in health and disease. Baltimore: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. 2006.


3           FutureLearn. Ageing Well: Falls.  2015  [cited 18/3/15]; Available from:


4           Battista E. Respiratory system. In: Horton-Szar D, Page C, eds. Pharmacology. 4th ed. Edinburgh: Mosby/Elsevier. 2012:45-52.

Further information on this style is available here

Have a look at our referencing blog for more information about Vancouver style.


This referencing style is used by History at Newcastle University. We have several print copies of the full style manual (16th edition), plus this guide by Kate Turabian, which is aimed at students and researchers. You can borrow them from the Library, and they provide the most comprehensive guidance for using the style in your writing. 

Cite Them Right Online also offers guidance on how to reference many source types in the Chicago style. Use the drop down menu to filter your results to the Chicago style. 

Harvard at Newcastle is the most commonly used referencing style at Newcastle University.  It follows the author/date format, whereby each reference starts with the author's surname, initials and year of publication.  The Harvard at Newcastle style is based on the Cite Them Right book which is available in printed and electronic format to support students who use this style.

Example references using Harvard at Newcastle style.

Standard reference format for print and electronic books: 

Surname, Initials. (Year of Publication) Title in Italics. Edition if not first. Place of publication: Publisher. 


Bell, J. (2010) Doing your research project.  5th edn.  Maidenhead: Open University Press.

Standard reference format for chapter or section from edited book:

Surname, Initial. (Year of publication) 'Title of chapter or section', in Surname, Initial. (ed.) Title of book.  Place of publication: publisher, Page reference.


Franklin, A.W. (2012) 'Management of the problem', in Smith, S.M. (ed.) The maltreatment of children.  Lancaster: MTP, pp. 83-95.

For more examples of other sources in Harvard at Newcastle style please click here.

See Cite Them Right for further guidance and examples.

Cite them right

Practice referencing a book with our online Harvard referencing quiz.

Have a look at our referencing blog for more information about Harvard at Newcastle style.

The IEEE referencing style is used widely in the fields of electrical engineering and computer science.  It uses a numbered reference list; in-text citations are numbered using square brackets [1]. 

You can find the IEEE Style Manual as part of the IEEE Author Digital Toolbox

Have a look at our referencing blog for more information about the IEEE style.

The style recommended for Biology and Zoology students has been adapted from the J Comp Physiology A style. Full details of the style are available in the Guidelines for the Presentation of Written Work. The amended style is available in EndNote as J Comp Physiology A Newcastle Biology.

The main differences from the standard journal style are the omission of issue numbers for journals and the omission of the DOI unless an article is only available in electronic form. The full journal title is needed rather than the abbreviated title.

Example references:

Online image from Red list website:
De Jong-Lantink M (2016) The Giant Panda. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Accessed 22nd March 2017

Conference Paper:
Miller P, Lacy R, Medina-Miranda R, Lopez-Ortiz R, Traylor-Holzer K (2013) Confronting the invasive species crisis with PVA: An explicit, two-species metamodel of an endangered bird and its nest parasite in Puerto Rico. Paper presented at the 26th International Congress for Conservation Biology (ICCB 2013), Jul 21

Newspaper archive article:
Hardwick JC (1931) A Modernist Restatement. Saturday review of politics, literature, science and art 151:7-8

Herbal/medicinal plants from Special Collections:
Blackwell E (1739) A curious herbal : containing five hundred cuts, of the most useful plants, which are now used in the practice of physick, engraved on folio copper plates, after drawings, taken from the life. London : Printed for J. Nourse, London

Modern Humanities Research Association (MHRA)

This is sometimes used in humanities disciplines.  The full MHRA style guide is available to download free from the MHRA site  (referencing is covered in section 11 of this guide).  There is also an MHRA online tutorial from Cardiff University Information Services. 

For more information about MHRA style have a look at our referencing blog.

Modern Language Association (MLA)

This is sometimes used in literature, language and other humanities disciplines, including the School of English at Newcastle University. The MLA Handbook (8th edition) is available in print to borrow from the Library and provides the most comprehensive guidance for using the style in your writing. 

Cite Them Right Online also offers guidance on how to refer to a number a source types in the MLA style and would be a recommended source of advice. Use the drop down menu to choose MLA. 

The MLA Style website is also an excellent source. The MLA use the website to provide updates to the style ahead of new editions being formally published, you will find quick guides to Works Cited and an extremely useful blog, which deals with frequently asked questions about the style and the more challenging references. 

OSCOLA 4th ed.

This is a footnote style used in Newcastle Law School. If you are using EndNote, there is an OSCOLA 4th style available (you need to choose OSCOLA_4th_edn style in EndNote rather than OSCOLA 4th). 

See the OSCOLA section of this library guide for more information.  

From the Royal Society of Chemistry, an online guide is available here.

Have a look at our referencing blog for more information about the RSC style.

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Time to practice

Try our web quiz to test your referencing skills!

See Cite Them Right for further guidance and examples.

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