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Referencing: referencing styles banner image

Once you start creating citations and references, you need to consider referencing styles. There are hundreds of them out there, and each has a slightly different set of rules about how citations and reference lists should appear in your text. The Cite Them Right Harvard style is one of the main referencing styles used at Newcastle University, but there are many other styles, including Vancouver, IEEE, OSCOLA, and many, many more. Referencing styles are like a set of instructions. They tell you what types of information you need to include, the order that information should appear, and the way it should be formatted in your work. At a basic level, every style will ask you to record who created the information, when, what it is called, and how you access it.​

Your lecturers will expect you to use a specific style, and all your citations and references should match that style accurately and consistently; same punctuation, same capitalisation, same everything. The style of referencing you use will vary depending on your subject area. It's important that you know which style you are required to use – check your programme and module handbooks and speak to your lecturers if you are not sure which style to use.

Figures, illustrations and tables

Popular referencing styles
  • Cite Them Right Harvard 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.
  • Harvard uses an in-text citation inserted in the text, coupled with a reference list or bibliography at the end of the document, which provides the key.
  • There are many variations of Harvard, but the one used at Newcastle University can be found in Cite Them Right, which is available in print and electronic format.
  • Cite Them Right Online includes guidance about how to reference just about every type of information you can think of, including the more tricky online sources such as social media.
  • You will find the Cite Them Right Harvard style in Mendeley, Zotero, EndNote and other reference management tools,
  • If you are using EndNote locally on your own device and can't find 'Cite Them Right Harvard' as a style, you'll need to download it from the Clarivate website.
  • If your school does not have a preferred style, Cite Them Right Harvard is the style that we would recommend.
  • IEEE is a numbered style where in-text citations are numbered using square brackets [1] and a reference list/bibliography at the end, which is in numerical order.
  • The IEEE is the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers and they specify a system of citation in their guidance for authors writing for their publications style.
  • The referencing style is used widely in the fields of electrical engineering and computer science.
  • IEEE is widely available on reference management tools.
  • There is a trusty IEEE manual that you can refer to for a wide variety of advice including writing for publication in IEEE transactions and Journals. It also includes a detailed section on editing references (check out section V, page 34 onwards).
  • The University of York has a useful in-house manual.
  • The University of Bath have a useful help sheet.
  • Murdoch University have created an IEEE library guide with examples of how you would apply the style.

  • APA 7th is an author-date style.
  • From the American Psychological Association, the APA 7th referencing style is used by Psychology (FMS), Speech and Language Sciences, and Educational Psychology students (ECLS).
  • Use the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association or Cite Them Right Online to check how to reference your information.
  • APA’s own website is also a great source of information, providing hints and tips about the APA style more broadly.
  • APA's blog is also an excellent source to answer questions about the more obscure and funny referencing questions.
  • APA also have a very useful online tutorial to help you with all aspects of APA 7th edition.
  • APA 7th is widely available as a style in reference management tools.
  • If you're using EndNote on your own device, and you can't find it as a style option, you can download the style from the Clarivate website.
  • The School of History, Classics and Archeology use the footnote version of the Chicago referencing style, with a full bibliography at the end.
  • The bibliography is organised alphabetically by the first author surname.
  • As footnotes are included in the word count, an abbreviated form of the citation is used in subsequent citations and ibid. is used in footnotes where the same source is used consecutively.
  • A different order of the reference elements and punctuation is used in the footnotes and bibliography.
  • The Quick Guide and Q&A on the Chicago style manual is a great source of help for building your references correctly (the full style manual is available as print copy from the Library).
  • A writing guide by Kate Turabian, which is aimed at students and researchers, is also available from the Library and they provide the most comprehensive guidance for using the style in your writing
  • Chicago is also a style in EndNote and as adding the citation in the footnote can be time consuming.
  • You'll also find some guidance on the Chicago style on Cite Them Right Online.
  • The Vancouver style is a numbered style.
  • This style is used by Biomedical, Nutritional and Sport Sciences students. 
  • It can be superscripted e.g. Recent research shows¹… or a number in brackets e.g. Evans(2) explains this clearly in his recent research…
  • This style requires you to show the first 6 authors followed by ‘et al.’ in the reference list. 
  • This style appears in EndNote on the University network.
  • Further guidance on the Vancouver style can be found in Cite them Right online.
  • The Modern Humanities Research Association (MHRA) style is used in a number of schools in the HASS Faculty and is a numbered style.
  • The footnote/endnote function in Word makes it fairly straightforward to add the subscript number.
  • Check with your lecturers if they prefer footnotes or endnotes.
  • MHRA also introduces the use of ibid. ("in the same place") in the footnote to denote where a source has been referenced in the footnote above.
  • Use the style guide from the MHRA website to help you get started. (MHRA updated to the 4th edition in February 2024. If you still require the 3rd edition of the Style Guide, it will be available until January 2025.)
  • Cite Them Right Online provides guidance or referencing many of the common sources using MHRA.
  • The Modern Languages Association (MLA) referencing style is commonly used in subjects such as English and Modern Foreign Languages, as well as other humanities subject areas.
  • MLA is a author-page number style and is used with in-text citations e.g. (Jones 23).
  • In-text citations have no comma between the author and page number.
  • MLA also lists the references at the end as a 'Works Cited'.
  • MLA is covered in Cite Them Right Online, which offers advice about the conventions of the style and examples for many common source types that you will use in assignments.
  • Use the MLA Style Centre for further help - Ask the MLA answers a lot of commons questions students have when it comes to MLA referencing.

  • J Comp Physiology A is an author - date style.
  • This style is used by Biology students and 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

  • The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) is a numeric style, which uses superscript numbers for in-text citations
  • Rsc uses abbreviated journal titles in the reference list.
  • The RSC referencing guide gives you practical examples of how to create references for a variety of information types
  • If you need further guidance or would like to see an article template then use the RSC's Resources for Authors.
  • If you need to check the accepted abbreviation for a journal title, refer to the Chemical Abstracts Service Source Index (CASSI).