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Referencing is a system used to indicate where ideas, facts, theories and other information used in your work can be found.


Referencing is a essential part of your work. You academic work should not be limited to your own views and opinions, but is developed by thinking about others' ideas. -- It is extremely important to cite and reference your sources in any work you produce for your assignments.

Some schools recommend specific systems or have guides of their own. In this case, use your department's guide in preference to the library guide. If in doubt check with your department.

Referencing is a way of acknowledging that you have used the ideas and written material belonging to another author. It demonstrates that you have searched the appropriate literature and that you have carried out reading on your topic. It enables anyone reading your work to look up your citations and read them for themselves.

Citation information is available in the Library's Referencing and Citing using the Harvard style citation guide, available online from the library website. Please note you will need to login with your Library ID no and PIN to view / print this document. There is also a quick list for the Harvard referencing system.

The library provides training on citation and referencing skills as part of our input to the LIS module. If you are interested in signing up for this training session, please check out our training calendar or contact us.

Key Terms

Bibliography - a list of all references consulted in preparing your work, whether cited or not.

Cite / Citing / Citations - a citation is how you tell a reader that material in your work came from another source. It also gives readers the required information to find the original source.

Quote - taking the exact words from an original source. If you quote a source place the quote in speech marks “ “.

Paraphrase / Paraphrasing - putting the ideas or information of others into your own words. Good paraphrasing uses as few words as possible from the original source without changing the meaning as you rephrase, remember you must cite your paraphrase. Without an appropriate citation, your paraphrase could be taken as plagiarism.

References - the detailed list of sources that have been cited.

Harvard Referencing Style

There are many referencing styles, the Harvard style is one of countless styles available and is the most commonly used one in ATU.

The Library, in consultation with ATU's Academic Council, have developed a referencing guide based on the Harvard style.

The ATU Harvard style is based on British Standard BS ISO 690: 2010. It is an author-date style, where you put the name of the author, the year the information was published and the relevant page number(s) in brackets after the quote or paraphrase in your document. At the end of the document you make a reference list of our sources, in a specific format.

There will be two parts to every reference you use:

  • The in text citation, where you refer to the information you have collected during your research, and
  • The reference list at the end of your text, which gives the full details of the works so that your readers can follow up for themselves

The important thing to remember when referencing is to be consistent with whatever style you are using.

The comprehensive referencing guide developed by the Library describes in detail the rules of the Harvard style, along with examples of references for the various information sources you will use including books, ebooks, journal articles, newspapers, databases etc.


Google Book Search

Cite Them Right Online

The library has access to Cite Them Right online, a comprehensive guide to referencing almost anything you will come across in the course of your studies or research. Cite them right helps to reference a huge range of sources: books, journal articles, websites, legal documents... even graffiti and tweets!

Developed from the bestselling book Cite them right by Richard Pears and Graham Shields, which is used as the referencing standard at many academic institutions, Cite them right is renowned for its comprehensive coverage. There are editable examples, information on other standard referencing styles and guidance on why referencing is important. 

You can find out about the principles behind referencing and how to acknowledge the information sources that you use by launching the tutorial (made-up of 11 short, self-contained topics, which you can explore and revisit at any time). Or watch our recorded training session which shows you how to use the resource (registered ATU users only).


Managing Information

It makes sense to keep track of the information sources you find, read or intend to read.

Having a organised way of doing this will enable you to spend more time on your research and less time on the basics of managing your information; such as storing and retrieving.  It will also make it easier for you to create bibliographies when you need to. 

The Library's search engine Search + Find, along with all our databases have a citation export feature. The facility to create a reference to the article you are viewing in the Harvard style is available, note this is the reference only and not the in text citation.

If you wish to wish to use software to create citations and references, the Library recommends EndNote Online, free software with added storage and styles provided to ATU staff and students from the Library. You need to be on campus to create you account, once you have created your account you can access the software from anywhere with internet access.

EndNote Online allows users to create, store and manage references, up to 2GB storage per account, and it includes many other features for advanced researchers including an option to best match your work to a particular journal or journals.

The 'Cite While You Write' feature allows you to insert references from your EndNote library into a Word document, and it will automatically create and format your bibliography in MS Word.

The Library provides training on EndNote Online throughout the year. Please check our calendar for the training schedule.

A comprehensive guide to using EndNote Online is available to view / download online.

Whilst the library recommends and supports EndNote Online there are also a number of other tools available for managing references:


Make your own searchable library, cite as you write, and read and annotate your PDFs with this free reference manager & academic social network. 


Enables you to capture references from web pages. There is also a plug in for Word to enable you to insert references into your papers. You must use Firefox to use this free plug-in.

Social Bookmarking Tools

Allow you to store and organise your key sites, adding tags so that you can group different topics together. You can also share them with colleagues and discover what sites other researchers are using. Examples: Pocket  and Diigo.

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