Harvard Referencing System

Harvard Referencing System is not a specific standard to be used when organizing your references and your reference list. It is merely a method - a so-called author/date citation system.   

There are several varieties of Harvard Referencing System.
If you are using a reference management tool you can choose output styles like e.g. Chicago 16th, APA 6th or Harvard. They are all output styles, built after the author/date citation system.  

Harvard Referencing System and citations in the text

When you have to use the Harvard Referencing System, the most important things are:

  • that your citations (your references) are placed in parentheses in your text - not in footnotes
  • your citations should consist of author name(s) and year.

Examples of references/citations in the text

The listed references are examples of how you can choose to create references/citations in your text.

If you use a reference management tool and select a standard (out put style), for example APA 6th, the references will look slightly different than the examples.

As long as the principle that the references/citations should include author(s) and year (and references/citations must be in brackets in the text) are met, there may well be variations in the layout. Therefore, feel free to choose a standard, a way to create your references/citations. The most important thing is that your references are consistent in their structure.

You can create references/citations in the text in different ways:

  • "According to Porter (1982) there are several ways two describe this ..."
  • "There are several ways two describe this ... (Porter 1982).
  • "Several authors have developed models, which describe this phenomenon (Jensen 1983; Olson and Møller 1982; Reynolds 1976).

How to refer to sources with more than one author (if you are using a reference management tool, the output style determines how to refer to sources with more than one author):

  • (Christensen et al. 2000) or Christensen et al. (2000).

Direct quotes from the original sources must be clearly marked as quotes by insertion, use of italics and/or use of quotation marks. You must add the exact page numbers from the source, e.g. "Contracts are overused primarily when their usefulness is perceived to be greater than their cost" (Roxenhall and Ghauri 2004, p. 261).

If you do not refer to (cite) specific sections, do not refer to a specific page number, unless there is a specific reason to do it, for example when you refer to a specific table or graph.

If it is not possible (or is too expensive or time consuming) to find the original source, you should refer to (cite) both the original source and the source referring to the original source, e.g.:

  • "... organization structures (Mintzberg 1980 in Brooks 2004)"

In this way, you mention both the original source and the source you have used.

If you are using Internet sources, you need to refer to (cite) them like this in your text (author/originator and year):

  • (Udenrigsministeriet 2016)

When you quote your own data (eg. from interviews), this has to be clearly marked.

Harvard Referencing System and the reference list

A precise, extensive and consistent reference list is important as it marks the foundation of your knowledge. Others also have to able to refind the sources you use. Your reference list has to:

  • be organized by author(s) and year - just like your references/citations in your text.
  • be extensive - that is to include all relevant information for your reader to refind your sources.

As long as the principle of organizing your sources by author(s) and year is being fulfilled, you might choose from different varieties in the layout. The most important thing is that your reference list has a consistent structure - so feel free to choose a standard, a way to list your references.

Examles of sources in your reference list

The listed references are examples of how you can choose to list references/sources in your reference list.

If you use a reference management tool and select a standard (output style), for example APA 6th, the sources in your reference list will look slightly different than the examples. It is not so important as long as your references/sources are listed by the author/year metod, as long as your refefrence list is consistent in its structure and your sources are extensive.

How to refer to books:

  • Peter, J. Paul, Jerry C. Olson, and Klaus G. Grunert. 1999. Consumer Behaviour and Marketing Strategy. London: McGraw-Hill.

How to refer to chapters in books:

  • Finn Mann, Niels Ole. 2010. "Internettet som nyt vilkår for virksomhedernes PR." In Håndbog i Strategisk Public Relations, edited by Henrik Merkelsen, 107-135. Kbh.: Samfundslitteratur.

How to refer to articles in academic journals:

  • Abrantes, Rui and José Figueiredo. 2015. "Resource Management Process Framework for Dynamic NPD Portfolios." International Journal of Project Management 33 (6): 1274-1288.

How to refer to articles in newspapers and magazines:

  • Grunert, Klaus G. 2006. "Convenience: Så tag på gourmet restaurant." Børsen, June 8, 11.

How to refer to Internet sources:

It may be a good idea to enclose copies of Internet sources in the annexes, as the pages/documents that you refer to may have been deleted, moved to another page or updated.