Referencing a Text in the Harvard Style

This guide explains how to cite sources from various types of documents, including sources for a reference list, using the Harvard referencing system used by Umea University.  

Citing a book with a single author

Where available, include the surname and first name of the author, the publication year, the book’s title, the edition (where the book is not a 1st edition), publication place, and publisher’s name.

Fictional example:
Stevens, James. 2010. Methods for researching social issues. 2nd ed. London: London City Press.

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Citing a book that has been authored by two people or more

Baggot, Simon B., Herraro, Pinotti and Lyons, Simon B. 2009. How financial institutions and markets function. 3rd ed. New York: Brice Jones.

Edited books, e.g., anthologies

In the case of books that have been edited, include the terms “ed.” or “eds. in between the editor or editors’ names and the publication year as per the fictional example below:  

Grayson, Astor, and Wise, Jason Manners (eds.) 1990. The philosophical thinker: feminism and philosophy in modern-day France. Lexington: Florida Colleges Press.

Citing an e-book

Include the information you would for a print-version book as per the above example. In the case of books that you have read or have downloaded from the website of a book store or library, indicate at the end of your citation that the publication is an electronic book.

Fictional Example:
Ryder Natalie P. and Bowers, Tokyo, 2009. Modeling of structural equations. Baltimore: Maryland Publishing. E-book.

Sometimes, books with expired copyright can be easily found online i.e. they are publicly accessible. If you use these books, include the full URL, e.g., http://www... or a publisher-provided link and the access date, e.g., the date you accessed, read, or downloaded a particular book.  
In most cases, it is permitted, and occasionally recommended to provide the website’s URL instead of a long direct link to a given book. 

Brown, Raymond. 1912. Recollections of a summer festival. Berlin: White’s Publishing. http://www.recollectionsofasummerfestival (Accessed 2002-04-22).

Warberg, June. 1923. Three stories: counting time; the Fugitive; the Weaker. San Francisco: International stories library. (Accessed 2002-04-22).

Citing Chapters of Books

Where available, include author(s) surname and first name(s). Publication year. Chapter’s title. In (add first and surname(s) of editor/editors) and, in brackets, the term “ed(s)”. Book title. Edition (where the edition is not a first edition). Publication place. Publisher’s name, chapter page number(s).  

Maynard, Charles. 2013. Outside the bubble: connections of a local and global nature. In Jeremy Ball and Sam Lee (eds.). Rebuilding the World’s Economy. New York: Globe Publications, 134-151.

Citing articles from journals

Where available, include the author or authors’ first names and surnames. Publication year. Article title. Name of journal Volume (issue): article’s page number(s).

Fictional examples:
Winters, Melinda. 2011. Restructuring of tourism in Sweden’s mountain areas. Tourism and Hospitality Journal Scandinavia (2): 31–53.

Joyce, Carter and Foyle, Simon. 2010. Editorial overview:theories about geographical populations: mapping hostile terrain. Global Journal of Geography 6 (7): 371-379.

Citing articles from electronic journals

You should include the information you would for articles from print-version journals (as in the above example) as well as the relevant Digital Object Identifier (DOI) number. This number uniquely identifies objects like electronic articles. A DOI number is permanent so this means it is easy to locate journal articles even if an article’s URL has been changed. Most notable academic publishing houses assign DOI numbers to articles. In the absence of a DOI number, use the article’s URL and, sometimes, the date of access (primarily for any articles that can  be freely obtained online). Quite often, publishers will indicate how reference should be shown.

Fictional Examples:

Winters, Melinda. 2011. Restructuring of tourism in Sweden’s mountain areas. Tourism and Hospitality Journal Scandinavia (2): 31-53. doi: 11.1181/14033340520015374.

Wilson, Peter B. and Brice, Charles T. 2010. Why performance is important in determining public satisfaction in policing. US Journal of Business and Economics 2 (2): 2-11. (Accessed 2011-10-18).

Citing articles from newspapers

Where available, include the name of the person who authored the article. Publication Year. Article title. Magazine or newspaper name. Day plus month of published article

Fictional example:
Varney, Jason. 2009. Food production reforms being blocked by corporate lobbyists, warns UN food official. Telegraph.18 August.

Citing articles from newspapers found online

Include the informaton you would from a print version newspaper article (as per the above example) along with the article’s URL and, in brackets, access date. In the case of extremely long URLs, it can be enough to use the newspaper’s URL, for example,
Varney, Jason. 2009. Food production reforms being blocked by corporate lobbyists, warns UN food official. Telegraph. 18 August. (Accessed 2009-10-24).

Citing blogs, web pages and posts from Twitter

Where available, include author’s name, company, authority or organization. Last web page update (year). Page or document title. Website name or name of website owner. Full URL (http://www.....) (Date of access).

Committee for Economic Development and Co-operation. 2009. Living: Committee urges governments to fight obesity.,2145,en_20462371_48213205_41407198_1_2_1_2,00.html
(Accessed 2009-09-11).

Include the day and the month in the case of blogs and twitter posts.

Fictional Examples:
Lowther, Bernie. 2010. An overview of language teaching policies in Pakistan and India. Dailyblog [Blog]. 8 May. (Accessed 2010-09-24).

Winströp, Hans. 2011. A few topics in more detail. #science # Science skills in Thailand compared to the West [Twitter]. 14 April. (Accessed 2011-09-11).

Citing from dictionaries and encyclopedias

When citing entries or articles from online encyclopedias, add (where available): article’s author, publication year, article title, encyclopedia name; full URL (e.g., http://.....) and access date. Where author name is not available, include the article or entry title first.

Fictional Example:
Avian influenza. 2011. International Medical Encyclopedia. (Accessed 2011-09-28).

Citing a dissertation

Citation should include relevant information, e.g., about the university where the graduation took place and title or name of degree.

Fictional Example:
Ekström Annika. 1992. Protection of Swedish forest environments: research into implementing the necessary processes. PhD diss., Stockholm University.

Damberg, Gustav. 2010. Three essays on reforming the Central Bank to make it independent. Master’s. diss., Stockholm University.

Recommendation for citing a thesis published electronically:
Romson, Peter. 2009. Data analysis for random fields, processes, and other problems related to design. Diss. (Detailed summary), Stockholm University. (Accessed 10-05-29).

Citing the proceedings from conferences

Lecture and presentation notes from seminars and conferences are usually published in anthology form and are commonly referred to as proceedings. You should include, where available, title or name of conference, the year, and the city where the conference was held. Individual presentations or contributions to proceedings, when published in their entirety (rather than in abstract form only) should be treated as book chapters.

Willow, D. Martin. 2010. Nationwide views on overseas tourism, development in regions and in outlying areas. In Tomas K. Lövin and Ana Linde (eds.), Tourism in outlying areas: views from around the nation, 21-49. Views of tourism in the Nordic and in other outlying areas, 2010, Stockholm. Chipping: CABI.

At times, you will find contributions that have been presented in abstract form at conferences published in relevant journals. In such cases, the correct procedure is to refer to the full journal article rather than the abstract version that appeared as a conference proceeding.

Citing illustrative materials, e.g., diagrams, figures, tables, photographs, and so on

The illustrations that other people create are often copyright-protected. Before using such illustrations, you will need to get permission from the owner or copyright holder. Where possible, you should always list the creator in your reference page or list.

Devere, Ronald. 2009. Night of delays [Photography]. (Accessed 2010-15-06).

List the illustrator or creator’s name where this differs from the name of the author of the piece of work you are referring to. Where possible, include the page number where the illustration appears:

Castle, Edwina. 2009. Prague in daylight [Photography]. In K. Moynes. Photography of the Czech Republic in this century. Prague: Greenlight Publishing, 28.

Where you have looked at an image of a piece of work on the Internet, reference the fact this is an online version of the image irrespective of where it originated from. Where possible, provide the artist’s name as well as the name of the art collection:

Mason, Lars. 1851. The Battle Ship [Oil painting]. The National Art Gallery [online]. www. (Accessed 2014-08-07).


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Citing personal correspondence/communications

Communications of a personal nature include several informal types of sources such as phone conversations, one-to-one conversations, emails, letters, and so on. You will need to seek permission before quoting sources like these and you will need to retain a copy for future reference. In the event you have agreed to keep the name of someone you interviewed anonymous, that is a promise that must be kept. It should be possible to find additional information online about how to research and reference texts.  

It is worth noting that personal communications are not always included in a reference list since it is often impossible to trace these sources. In such cases, you should only provide information relating to personal communications in footnotes. Consult a teacher or course supervisor if you are not sure about anything!

You should include whatever detail you possibly can when referring to personal communications, e.g., name(s) of people involved, position/profession, year of communication, details about the communication, date (i.e. the day and the month).

Fictional Examples:

Baylan, Katrina; student from Stockholm University. 2009. Participant interview 22 July.

Survey One: State school, Stockholm. 2011. 14 girls and the same number of boys, interviewed individually 14 Sept.

Bolund, Kristina; Professor of Physics, Stockholm University. 2008. Lecture on northern lights 31 February.

Please be aware that you should only include a private individual’s email address if you have been granted permission by the address owner.

Gregson, Aaron. 2010. E-mail 22 March. < >.

Citing programs from television

Include the program’s title. Program year. Name of channel or organization that transmitted the program. Date of the transmission and time. URL.

Citing a part or episode of a television series:

Understanding antiques. Season 13, Section 11. 2009. UK Television, ukt2, 14 January.

Citing a television program from UR-play:

Feelings of power and being powerless. 2009. UR Play, Discovery Channel. 10 June, 12:45.

Citing a television program through UR access:

UR Modern – How to treat extrovert children. 2008. Discovery Channel.

UR Modern – Weekly debate 2009: Language prohibition. 2009. Discovery Channel. 22 May at 17:00. 

Citing recorded presentations, lectures, interviews, speeches

Where available, include first name and surname of lecturer, speaker, or relevant person. Year speech took place. Speech title. [online]. Publisher’s name. Full URL (http://...)  and access date.

Where a publisher provides instructions on citing a speech or lecture, you should use these instructions and check that your citation fits the rules of the Harvard style. See the example provided on the audio-visual page of’s website:   

a) Citing speech or lecture:

Taylor, James. 2009. Ways to achieve peace. Avoid getting angry. [online]. JOB talks. (Accessed: 2010-15-05).

b) Citing online videos:

JOB talks. 2011, pluto. Ways to achieve peace. Avoid getting angry. [online]. [Accessed: 2011-12-28]

Harvard E-Business. 2009. How Google Innovates. [online]. (Accessed: 2009-09-01).