Harvard Bibliography

Bring credibility to your work with a Harvard bibliography.

The Harvard Referencing System is a common writing style used in science and technical writing. With its citation and referencing rules and guidelines, this system provides writers with a structure that allows Harvard references to be presented clearly. Like many other writing styles, HRS requires citations as a way to reference outside sources of information that were used within the document. A list of these citations at the end of the document is also required and is often referred to as the Harvard bibliography. The correct term is Harvard references and not Harvard bibliography.



The Basics of the Harvard Referencing System



Harvard Bibliography Defined

Most writing styles require an organized list of citations at the end of a research document. The purpose of these lists is to provide readers with all the information required to access the original source of information. The Harvard referencing system also has a references list. This list is often referred to as the Harvard bibliography. The correct term is Harvard references list and it is the Chicago writing style that requires a bibliography. Although the bibliography and reference list serve the same purpose, it is in the best interest of writers to follow the writing style guidelines and use the appropriate terminology.

Harvard Bibliography Example

Harvard Bibliography - Harvard Bibliography example,  Harvard reference list.
Harvard Bibliography example, Harvard reference list

Parenthetical Citations

The Harvard Referencing System uses parenthetical citations to reference the work of others within the text of a work. The citation is often composed of the author’s name, year of publication, and page numbers. Each citation used within a work is also detailed in the Harvard bibliography or references list located at the end of the paper.

Parenthetical Citations Guidelines

  • •  Capitalize the names of authors including initials.
  • •  If the author’s name is in the text, follow with year in parentheses.
  • •  When referencing multiple sources within one set of parenthesis, separate sources with semicolons.
  • •  Each parenthetical citation must be included in the reference list which is sometimes referred to as the Harvard bibliography.
  • •  When articles or studies have no author, use the name of the magazine or journal instead.

Harvard Bibliography

All parenthetical citations used included in the document must also be included in the Harvard bibliography or reference list. It is vital that all sources are accounted for in both the references list and the paper. The purpose of the reference list is to bring credibility to the work and give readers the content needed to access the original source of information. The formatting of each reference list entry is determined by the type of source used. In order to follow the correct format, it is highly advised for writers to refer to the official Harvard Reference System guidelines.

Harvard Bibliography Guidelines


  • •  The proper term for a Harvard bibliography is references list.
  • •  The references list must be labeled “References.”
  • •  The “References” title should be located at the top, center of the page.
  • •  “References” should not be bolded, underlined, or italicized.
  • •  Harvard references must be alphabetized by last name of the author.
  • •  Periodical and publication volume, issue, page numbers, publisher, and place of publication must be included in Harvard references.
  • •  Italicize book and journal titles.
  • •  Do not italicize, underline, or quote journal articles or essays.