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Referencing can seem daunting, particularly if you haven't done it before.  Don't panic: it's a skill that comes with practice and this page provides resources to help.  

The majority of our students use the Cite them Right version of Harvard referencing. For Psychology, Law, and English Literature students go to the APA, MHRA and OSCOLA section on this page to find the correct formatting for your referencing. 

Visit Cite them Right Online or our Quick Guide to Referencing to find out more about this Cite them Right version of Harvard. Use the sections below for more detailed guidance. For specific legal referencing, such as Acts of parliament, see our Quickguide to legal and government referencing


Cite them right online, Cite them right online

Quick guide to referencing, image of quick guide        


In Cite them right Select Harvard as your referencing style unless on the courses mentioned above.

For more help you can sign up for our Webinars

  • What is referencing?

    Referencing is about correctly acknowledging the sources you have used in your assignment by:

    • Providing brief details (in-text citation) for the source within the main body of your assignment.
    • Including the full details of the source in a Reference List at the end. 

    Sources include books, journal articles, websites and most other material, everything except that which is deemed ‘common knowledge’ eg the world is round.

    Information from these sources can either be quoted, summarised or paraphrased. See the Paraphrasing section below.  Referencing correctly shows your academic integrity and helps you avoid any issues of plagiarism. 

    To get you started take a look at this introductory video [2 minutes]  

    Why reference video, video talking about why we reference

    And then have a go at our referencing tutorial (Click on the image)

    Referencing tutorial,

    Referencing needs to follow a specific style. Most of our courses use the Cite them right version of Harvard referencing but if you are studying Psychology (APA), English (MHRA) or Law (OSCOLA) see the section below. 


  • Cite them Right - how to access and quick guides

    Referencing needs to follow a specific style (imagine the chaos if we all made up our own!) and most courses, at the University of Cumbria, use a version of the Harvard system of referencing contained in Cite them Right, 11th edition. This book is your key to referencing and can be accessed:

    • Cite them Right Online. You may need to login with you UoC network username and password. On the Cite them Right homepage you can choose to select the Harvard option or use the search box to find the type of source you need. If using the search remember to use the options on the left hand side to filter to Harvard on your result list. 

    • Print copies in the library. If you prefer to have a print copy it will be worth purchasing a print copy for your course.
    Quick GuidesThese guides will help you to format the key sources, both in-text citation and full reference. 
    Quick Guide to Referencing covers the basics and is a good starting point (a 2 page document worth printing off and having to hand).
    Quickguide to legal and government referencing covering the legal materials, government publications and parliamentary inquiries formats most used by our students. Please note this is for Cite them right style referencing, law students will need to use OSCOLA.
    Quick guide to referencing for UoC Forestry, Conservation and Geography students Ambleside-based students in Forestry, Conservation and Geography will be expected to use this guide.

    Reference lists need to be carefully formatted using the guides above and should be in alphabetical order by author's surname or organisation. Have a go at this tutorial to identify the common mistakes. 

    If you are studying Psychology (APA), English (MHRA) or Law (OSCOLA) see the other styles section below.   


  • Different types of sources - what and how?

    Sometimes you need to work out what type of information you are looking at to know how to reference it. Below are some clues to some of the basic sources and there is plenty more guidance in Cite them Right.  You could also work through our What's my Source tutorial to develop your understanding.

    Try not to get too tied up in knots about it as, at the end of the day, it is a formatting exercise. Have a go and be consistent. The key is to collect the bibliographic (referencing) details of everything you read as you go along. This form might help Recording the details of what you have read.

    Download What source do I have

    What source might I have?Identifying features


    See the Quick Guide to Referencing and Cite them Right for how to format your references


    Probably the first source you will use and normally obvious you have a book. It should have a publisher and place of publication. Books can be print or online, either way it is referenced as print.

    It may have several editions if it has been updated.

    In Text: Godfrey (2018) highlights that…   or … important practice (Godfrey, 2018).

    In List: Godfrey, J. (2018) How to use your reading in your essays. 3rd edn. London: Palgrave.

    Chapter in an edited book

    Some books contain a number of chapters written by different authors. These books are compiled by an editor/editors as displayed on the book cover. In the contents page you will see details of who has written each chapter.

    You need to include the page numbers of the chapter you are referring to in the end text reference.

    The editor(s) may or may not have their own chapter within the edited book. If you want to reference one of their chapters still use this format.

    In Text: Sturgis (2020) found that….

    In List: Sturgis, P. (2020) ‘Surveys and sampling’, in Breakwell, G. M., Wright, D. B. and Barnett, J. (eds.) Research methods in psychology. 5th edn. London: Sage, pp.373-394.

    Journal article

    Journals are published throughout the year, have volumes, parts or issue numbers and are a collection of articles.

    You will have two titles, the article title and the journal title

    If you have found the article online then include the DOI (Digital Object Identifier) if available.

    Some more recent articles found online may have an article number instead of page numbers - see example. More on this and when to use Digital Object Identifiers (DOI) see the FAQs.

    In Text: Bolonz and Glode (2021) establish….


    Bolenz, S. and Glode, L. (2021) ‘Technological and nutritional aspects of milk chocolate enriched with grape pomace products’, European Food Research & Technology, 247(3), pp. 623–636.


    Griffith, L. and Board, M. (2018) ‘Influences on clinical decision-making during a community placement: reflections of a student nurse’, British Journal of Community Nursing, 23(12), pp. 606–609. Available at:

    With Article Number:

    Jiménez, I. and Basurto, X. (2022) ‘An organizational framework for effective conservation organizations’, Biological Conservation, 267, article number 109471. Available at:


    Newspaper article

    Similar to journal articles, these are published in parts and will include a specific day of publication, and have two titles, one for the article and one for the newspaper.

    They may not have a named author and not always a page number.

    In Text: Blakely (2020) found …..

    In List: Blakely (2020) ‘Health boost for milk chocolate lovers’, Times, 18 August, p. 19.


    In Text: Guardian (2019) highlighted....

    In List: Guardian (2019) ‘4 Surprising Health Benefits Of Chocolate’, 17 September.


    Webpages can be tricky. Be clear whether you are using the actual webpage or whether you are referencing a document loaded onto the webpage. Either way the content is openly available online and should be referenced as such.

    Look for the author, whether that's an individual or an organisation. If there is no author consider whether you should be using it. See our section on Evaluating Sources

    See the FAQs for more about websites.

    Organisation as author - website
    HCPC (2018) Standards of conduct, performance and ethics. Available at: (Accessed: 28 June 2021).

    Organisation as author - pdf of document
    HCPC (2018) Standards of conduct, performance and ethics. Available at: (Accessed: 28 June 2021).

    Individual as author:
    Siang, S. and Carucci, R. (2021) What pandemic parenting can teach us about leadership. Available at: (Accessed: 28 June 2021).


    Government document

    Government documents can come from different Departments e.g. Health or Education but will generally have in the web address. The author is generally the Department and they are generally found online. See the Quickguide to legal and government referencing for more detail.

    Public Health England (2018) The Eatwell guide. Available at: (Accessed: 28 June 2021).

    PDF of document
    Public Health England (2018) The Eatwell guide. Available at:
    (Accessed: 28 June 2021).


    Also called Acts of Parliament or Statutes. They have no author as such. The title is used instead and needs to be in italics. These are referenced differently to the normal format so check these resources

    N.B. If you need to refer to specific sections, add this into the text not in the reference list. 

    In Text: The NHS Funding Act 2020 states ...

    In Text: Section 1 of the NHS Funding Act 2020 provides for...


    In List: NHS Funding Act 2020, c. 5. Available at: (Accessed: 05 July 2021).

    NB: c. 5. - refers to the number of this Act in the Statute Book in Parliament. It is not the same as a section of an Act.


    Just because an image is online doesn't mean that it doesn't belong to someone. You should still reference it. The way you reference it depends on where you found it, for example on a website or in a collection, and what kind of image it is.

    Images can include photographs, charts, graphs, tables, figures.

    See our FAQs for how to reference images in a PowerPoint presentation

    As a general rule in List: Author/artist/photographer/organisation (year) Title. Available at: URL (Accessed date).

    For full detail on referencing images see Cite them Right visual sources

    Specific formats:

    Photographs from the Internet

    Photographs from online collections

    Everything else! As you start researching more widely you will find many other different sources. Cite them right has details on how to reference everything, from clinical information to confidential publications, blogs, encyclopaedias and more.

    Check out Cite them Right

  • FAQs

    This is a selection of the most common questions we are asked.  If this doesn't answer your question check Cite them Right or email 

    Download the Referencing FAQs

    Does the author's name go inside or outside the brackets in an in-text citation?

    There are two ways to cite your authors:

    • As part of the text.
      E.g. Brown (2020) found that ...
      The author's name is needed for the sentence to make sense, so it needs to be outside the brackets and part of the sentence.
    • Supporting a point to indicate where you found the idea. E.g. Bodily communication is as important as verbal communication (Smith, 2015). 
      Here the author's name is not part of the sentence and needs to be inside the brackets.
      N.B. the fullstop goes after the citation so we know which sentence the citation belongs to.
    How do I reference an online document (usually a pdf) from a website?

    Reference it as you would a website: either with an individual author or an organisation.

    If the pdf displays within a browser use the URL of the pdf webpage.  

    e.g. HCPC (2018) Standards of conduct, performance and ethics. Available at: (Accessed: 28 June 2021). 

    If it opens up a separate document, then use the URL of the page it is linked from

    e.g HCPC (2018) Standards of conduct, performance and ethics. Available at: (Accessed: 28 June 2021).  

    If there is more than one organisation on a pdf document which do you choose to reference?  Try to work out if there is a ‘main’ organisation involved.  Is there one more prominent?  Who is on the copyright page? Is there a prominent organisation on the summary or introduction? 
    There is no date on an online article but the webpage has a copyright date, can I use that?  Yes, use the copyright date if no other date is obvious.  If there is no copyright date then look into the document.  Can you find any clues to the date it was created? You need to consider the validity of a source if a date is not easy to find. 
    How do I reference an ebook?

    Reference an ebook in the same way as a print book.


    I can't find the volumeissue or page numbers for an article

    If you located an article via OneSearch, click through to the full text and you can usually find them there.  You sometimes have to open the pdf to see all the details, often located at the start of the article or in the footnotes.

    If these details are still not available this may be because this article comes from a journal only available online or in preprint - in which case see the next 2 FAQs.   

    What’s a DOI and do I need it in my reference list? 

    A DOI (Digital Object Identifier) is a unique code number given to a journal article.  If you copy and paste it into a search engine it will give you the full details of the article. 

    Most articles found online will have a DOI which should be included at the end of your reference.

    eg Available at:

    I've found an article with an article number instead of page numbers.  Can I use this instead?

    This is occurring more and more as journal articles are only being published online. Use the article number instead of page numbers.

    Eg article number 23455 

    See Cite them Right  

    How do I cite several sources that support the same point in my assignment?


    To show you have found the same idea from a number of sources, list them in chronological order separated by semi-colons. 


    Recent studies (Strong and Taylor, 2015; Frost and Purkiss, 2021; Ahmed, 2023) indicate that.....


    Do I need to write out the full organisation in the citation or can I use the acronym?  

    You need to write out in full the first time you cite the organisation along with the abbreviation e.g. Department of Health (DoH) (2021).  Subsequently you can put DoH (2021) in your in-text citations.  
    You need to use the full name in the reference list.

    Some organisations such as the NHS, HCPC and the BBC are now well known by their abbreviations so no need to spell out in full.  

    When do I need to include a page number in my in-text citation? 

    If you use a direct quote you need to put the words in speechmarks and add a page number. 

    If you paraphrase from a specific page Cite them right says you should include a page number.  

    If you summarise from more than one page (refer to an author's ideas in general) you do not need to include a page number.  

    How do I reference an author cited in another source I’m reading? 


    What is "secondary referencing"?


    In your text you need to include both the original author and the author of the book in which you read it, to make it clear that you have not read the original source.  The author you are reading may have used a direct quote or paraphrased/summarised the original.

    E.g. Smith (2003, quoted in Allan, 2020, p.34)  - for a direct quote.

    E.g. Smith (2003, cited in Allan, 2020) if it is summarised or paraphrased.

    The item by Allan would go in in your Reference List as this is the source you have actually read.   

    Please note that it is highly recommended you go to the original source where possible rather than use secondary referencing if you can avoid it.
    What do I do when two sources written by the same author were published in the same year? 

    You can add an additional letter after the date for each one, both intext and in the reference list, e.g. 

    Hurst (2020a)  

    Hurst (2020b) 

    I’ve referenced something following Harvard guidance, but my feedback says I’ve got it wrong – why is that?  

    There are many versions of Harvard and Cite them Right contains just one of these versions. Any citation you copy needs to be checked and edited against our Quick Guide to Referencing which is based on the Harvard option in Cite them Right.  See also the section below on Citation Generators.

    How do I reference an Act of Parliament / legislation? 



    You do not need an author for an Act of Parliament. Instead you use the name of the Act and the year it was created both in text and at the start of the full reference.  


    See our Quickguide to legal and government referencing

    How do I reference an image in a PowerPoint presentation? 

    Add your image onto a slide in your PowerPoint presentation. Add (author, date) underneath the image, this could be the photographer or an organisation e.g.  

    Fusehill, Skiddaw building Fusehill street campus

    (University of Cumbria, 2021)

    In List:

    University of Cumbria (2021) Fusehill street campus. Available at: (Accessed: 6th July 2021).

    For more specific guidance on images from collections see Cite them right.

    When can I use et al. for multiple authors? 

    If you have 4 or more authors you can use the first author followed by et al. within your text 

    e.g. Vernon et al. (2019) claim that ... or (Vernon et al., 2019)

    In the full reference list Cite them right states that you can use et al. or list all authors.  This may depend on tutor preference but listing them all is the safest and fairest option as it acknowledges all the authors' work.

    If I am using the same citation in the next sentence, do I need to add the citation again?   

    You can use 'reference reminder phrases' in your next sentence rather than keep adding the citation.  But it needs to be absolutely clear to your reader who you are citing in this and any subsequent sentences.  

    E.g. As shown by Smith (2012) it is important to follow the correct guidelines. She also highlights that ethics play a key role in practice. 

    Should quotes be in single inverted commas or double speechmark / quotemarks

    They can be either but are generally double, as you can set Turnitin to ignore quotation matches if they are in "double" speech marks.  It won't do this for singles.



    APAAmerican Psychological Association 
    MHRA Modern Humanities Research Association
    OSCOLA Oxford University Standard for Citation of Legal Authorities 


  • Direct quotation, paraphrase and summary

    Direct quotations
    When you directly quote from a source, you use the author's/authors' original words. You need to use quotation marks to indicate this, as well as a page reference. Generally, students are encouraged to keep direct quotations to a minimum in their work and to paraphrase more.     

    Paraphrasing is writing about the sources you use in your own words.  Successful academic writing involves paraphrasing as it demonstrates a greater level of understanding and engagement with your sources. Tutors expect to see more paraphrasing as you progress through your course into higher levels. Cite them right advises that the in-text citation for a paraphrase should include a page number. Work through the short tutorial to understand more about and practise successful paraphrasing:  Paraphrasing tutorial 



    Whilst a paraphrase is a rewriting of a specific idea from a specific point in a source, when we summarise we are referring to the main points of the source, eg a journal article or chapter or webpage.  A summary describes a range of ideas that are covered by more than one section of a source. An in-text citation for a summary does not require a page number. 



    Quotation  Martincekova and Enright (2020, p.434) argue that “Forgiving oneself for postponing work on an important task could increase positive emotions in the present moment and therefore increase motivation to work productively on a current task.”
    Paraphrase Self-forgiveness for previous procrastination could enhance a sense of positivity and promote effective engagement with current work (Martincekova and Enright, 2020, p.434).
    Summary In their research Martincekova and Enright (2020) demonstrate that where university students are prone to shame and struggle with self-forgiveness, procrastination is likely to increase, whereas a capacity for self-forgiveness decreases procrastination.  They argue for further testing of interventions that involve self-forgiveness to investigate their potential to enhance mood and reduce procrastination.




    Martincekova, L. and Enright, R.D. (2020) ‘The effects of self-forgiveness and shame-proneness on procrastination: exploring the mediating role of affect’, Current Psychology, 39(2), pp. 428-437. 

  • Plagiarism, malpractice, academic integrity, and generative AI

    In line with the principles of academic integrity and the academic regulations, all work submitted for assessment by students needs to be your own work.  

    As outlined on the Malpractice page, when you submit work for assessment, you are required to include a declaration that you have followed these guidelines and that the work is your own, including a bibliography and references that show how you have used the work of others. The material referenced must include everything you have used, for example words, images, film or audio found in printed books and journals, content accessed online, material generated by any online service or Artificial Intelligence, and information received through personal contacts (such as interviews and surveys).

    University of Cumbria regulations define malpractice as:"as any attempt by a student to gain an unfair advantage in assessment... includes all forms of cheating, plagiarism, collusion, fabrication and falsification and impersonation”.

    The main types of malpractice outlined within the University’s regulations include: 

    • Cheating in examinations
    • Plagiarism
    • Collusion with other students in coursework
    • Fabrication and falsification
    • Presenting for assessment content generated through artificial intelligence as your own
    • Impersonation including the use of essay mills or ghost writing services, or having work written by friends or family

    Cite them Right Online defines plagiarism as: “Taking and using another person's thoughts, writings or inventions as your own without acknowledging or citing the source of the ideas and expressions. In the case of copyrighted material, plagiarism is illegal.” 

    University Procedures and Processes for Academic Malpractice 5.2.1 say: "Plagiarism consists of unacknowledged use of someone else’s work and attempting to pass it off as one’s own. It includes the representation of work: written, visual, practical or otherwise, of any other person, including another student or anonymous web-based material, or any institution, as the candidate’s own."

    Generative Artificial Intelligence

    A recent area of development is the availability of generative AI tools such as ChatGPT and Google Bard. There may be legitimate uses of generative AI in your subject area and you can discuss these with your tutors. Guidance on how to cite and reference legitimate uses of generative AI is now available via Cite them Right online.

    Generative AI tools should be used with caution as there are serious limitations to some of the content they generate currently, such as drawing on biased, inaccurate sources and making up references that don't exist.

    Using AI to generate work that is submitted for assessment without any acknowledgement and against any directives from tutors, is a form of malpractice. Where it is suspected that AI has been used when it shouldn’t have, or it has not been credited through appropriate referencing, the standard University academic malpractice procedures will be used.

    As this is a constantly evolving and complex area, please visit our dedicated webpage: Generative Artificial Intelligence.

    Contract cheating

    Contract cheating involves students paying money to companies (often called essay mills) for an assignment written by someone else and students then submitting this work as their own. These companies deliberately target and befriend students, eg via social media platforms, sometimes adopting University colours and branding to appear legitimate. These companies have been known to extort further money from students and graduates by threatening to contact universities, employers and professional bodies. 

    Watch this video about the serious consequences of contract cheating: Academic Integrity and Contract Cheating

    Essentially, if you submit an assignment written by someone else or generated by something else, it is malpractice. This has serious consequences, not just for your university studies, but potentially for your life beyond university as well.

    Academic integrity means graduating with pride

    Very few students set out to try to cheat their way to a qualification. Some find themselves struggling for all sorts of reasons and start to believe that the only way out is something like an essay mill or a bot. If you are finding assignments challenging, feeling overwhelmed by deadlines, or something is happening for you that might make you vulnerable to malpractice, seek support. Don't take a step you'll later regret, talk to someone. This might be a friend, family member, tutor, the skills@cumbria team, the Student Union. If you're not sure who to talk to, make a self referral via the Student Enquiry Point. You're not on your own. We're here to support you and we want you to graduate with a sense of achievement, pride, and with your academic integrity intact.      

  • Turnitin

    turnitinlogo, Turn it in Logo


     Turnitin is where you submit your assignments online but it is also a plagiarism checker, flagging up where your writing matches too closely with other assignments, articles or websites. This makes it a useful tool to check your paraphrasing or make sure that you haven't inadvertently forgotten to reference something. You can use our Test Area to check before you submit your assignment.



    Visit our dedicated Turnitin page for all the information you need about Turnitin, including accessing the Test Area.


  • Referencing tools and citation generators

    There are many different reference generators out there that claim to create the reference for you. But beware, none of them are perfect and you will still need to tweak the result to match the correct format.  To start with there are several different versions of Harvard.  After you have grabbed the Harvard option from a reference generator you will need to edit it in your reference list so it matches the version of Harvard found in Cite them Right. Have our Quick guide to hand to help you check.  

    OneSearch will generate a reference for you but you will still need to check it.  Take a look at this example of  Reference creation in OneSearch.

    refworks, refworks logo Another tool that is available to you is RefWorks.  

    Refworks is an online reference management software that is provided by the University.  It helps you to collect and store your references and to create your reference list in the correct format. As with other generators you need to have a good grasp of your referencing style to use it effectively. Download the RefWorks guide to get started.

  • More help

    For further referencing queries and advice please contact skills@Cumbria via the Student Enquiry Pointeg for help with referencing specific sources or to check reference lists. We don't proofread whole lists, but we will check one of each kind of source on a reference list so you can apply the guidance to the rest of your reference list. 

    You could also book onto a Referencing Webinar or book a one to one appointment to discuss your referencing with an Advisor.



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