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Managing your references: Referencing Styles


This page summarises the different referencing styles you may need to use in your written work: name-date, consecutive numbering and recurrent numbering. You will also find details of where to get further help.

Types of referencing style

All styles consist of two parts.  The first is the in-text citation, which gives enough information for the reader to find the reference in the second part, the list of references at the end of the document. 

Referencing styles fall into three main groups:

  1. Name-date
    • In-text citations consists of the author(s) name and date of publication
    • References listed in alphabetical order of authors surname in reference list
  2. Consecutive numbering
    • In-text citations consists of a number
    • A new number is used each time a reference is cited
    • References listed in numerial order in reference list
  3. Recurrent numbering
    • In-text citations consists of a number
    • If a reference is cited more than once the number is re-used
    • References listed in numerical order in reference list

If you are uncertain which referencing style you should be using contact your department or ask your tutor for advice. 

The University's guide to academic good practice discusses citing and referencing and how to use them to avoid plagiarism:

Name-Date Example

This is how a book (Carroll, 2009), book chapter (Shishkin et al., 2000), journal article (Nakajima & Schoch, 2011) and conference paper (Zajic, 2006) look in the Harvard name-date style.


Carroll, R.L. (2009) The rise of amphibians: 365 million years of evolution. Baltimore: The John Hopkins University Press.

Shishkin, M.A., Novikov, I.V. and Gubin, Y.M. (2000) 'Permian and Triassic temnospondyls from Russia', in M. J. Benton et al. (eds) The Age of Dinosaurs in Russia and Mongolia. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 35-59.

Nakajima, Y. and Schoch, R.R. (2011) 'The first temnospondyl amphibian from Japan', Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 31(5), pp.1154-1157.

Zajic, J. (2006) 'The main fish communities of the limnic Permian and Carboniferous basins of the Czech Republic' (from the 7th Paleontological Conference, Brno, Czech Republic, 19-20 October 2006), Geology, (33-34), pp. 99-101.

Numbered Example

This is how a book1, book chapter2, journal article3 and conference paper4 look in the citation style of the journal Nature, a recurrent numbering style.

1. Carroll, R.L. The rise of amphibians: 365 million years of evolution. 360 (The John Hopkins University Press: Baltimore, 2009).

2. Shishkin, M.A., Novikov, I.V. & Gubin, Y.M. Permian and Triassic temnospondyls from Russia. The Age of Dinosaurs in Russia and Mongolia 35-59 (2000).

3. Nakajima, Y. & Schoch, R.R. The first temnospondyl amphibian from Japan. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 31, 1154-1157 (2011).

4. Zajic, J. The main fish communities of the limnic Permian and Carboniferous basins of the Czech Republic. 7th Paleontological Conference 33-34, 99-101 (2006).

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Recommended ebook

We recommend this ebook as a guide to referencing.

Recommended print books at the Bodleian Libraries

The books below are available in print at a number of the Bodleian Libraries. The links will take you through to SOLO, the University's resource discovery tool, where you can find out which libraries hold these books.