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Referencing Guidelines

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What is referencing?

Referencing is a standardised method of acknowledging the sources of information and ideas you have used in any written work. At the end of your written work, you need to include a list of references or bibliography of materials used in writing the piece. The most important aspects of using any style are consistency and accuracy.

Why do I need to reference?

  • to acknowledge the work of others and to avoid plagiarism

  • to allow the reader to verify quotations and use your sources to find further information

  • to enhance the credibility of your information

What do I need to reference?

  • direct quotations

  • ideas you have summarised

  • statistics

  • electronic sources, e.g. web pages, emails

Order of References in the Reference List or Bibliography

The list is arranged in alphabetical order of authors' surnames.

If a reference has no author, list it alphabetically according to the title. Ignore the words 'A' and 'The' at the beginning of a title.

If there are two references by the same author, list them in order of publication date with the older one first.

If references by the same author have been published in the same year, list them alphabetically by title. Letters a, b, etc. are placed after the year, e.g. (2008a), (2008b).

Book Reference

Bibliographic details are given as follows:

Sample one:

Author, A. A., Author, B. B. & Author, C. C. (year of publication). Title of book: Subtitle. (Edition [if not first]), Publisher, Place of publication.

Sample two: VNM Preferred Method

Author, A. A., Author, B. B. & Author, C. C. (year of publication) “Title of book: Subtitle. (Edition [if not first]), Publisher, Place of publication.

1. The surname ( if known) of the writer goes first. eg...John Smith becomes Smith, John. Note the comma between the surname and the first name.

2. Following the surname and first names (western methods) goes the year in which it was written inside brackets like this ( ) eg. Farah, Joseph (2002)

3. Following the year is the title of the article using upper case letters for words longer than 2 letters long.

4. Under the title is a line

5. The title is inside speech marks like this "  ... "

6. Following the title goes the publisher.

7. Following the publisher goes the city and country.

8. Specific page numbers are then listed if necessary and other details of the date.

9. Then lastly the list goes in alphabetical order . 


Book with single author:

Reynolds, H. (2000). Black Pioneers. Ringwood, Vic.: Penguin.

Book with multiple authors

Two to six authors:

Gilbert, R. & Gilbert, P. (1998). “Masculinity Goes to School”. St. Leonards, Allen & Unwin, N.S.W.

More than six authors:

After the sixth author's name and initials, use et al. to indicate the remaining authors.

Book with editor (s):

Broinowski, A. (Ed.). (1990). “ASEAN Into the 1990s”. Macmillan, London.

Nugent, S.L. & Shore, C. (Eds.). (1997). “Anthropology and Cultural Studies”,  Pluto Press, London.

Book, author unknown:

“Longman Dictionary of the English language (1984). Harlow, Longman, Essex.

Book with author and editor:

Valéry, P. (1957). “Oeuvres” (J. Hytier, Ed.). Gallimard, Paris.

Book other than first edition:

Goudie, A. (2000)The Human Impact on the Natural Environment” (5th ed.). Blackwell, Oxford.

Book with more than one volume:

Corsini, R.J. (Ed.). (1994) “Encyclopedia of Psychology” (4 vols). J. Wiley & Sons, New York.

Topliss, H. (1985) “Tom Roberts 1856 - 1931: A Catalogue Raisonné: Vol.2 Plates”, Oxford University Press, Melbourne.

Book with corporate author:

Dames & Moore. (1995) “Environmental Management Plan: Townsville Field Training Area”. Author, Brisbane.

Chapter or Article in a Book

Bibliographic details are given as follows:

Author's surname, initials. (year of publication). Title of chapter: Subtitle. In Editor/s (Ed/s.), Title of book (pp.xx-yy). Publisher's name, Place of publication.


Fontana, A. & Frey, J. (1994). Interviewing: The Art of Science. In N. Denzin & Y. Lincoln (Eds.), “Handbook of Qualitative Research. (pp. 361-376). Sage, Thousand Oaks, CA.

Beck, W. (1994). Food Processing. In D.Horton (Ed.), “The Encyclopaedia of Aboriginal Australia: Vol. 1.” (pp. 380-382). Aboriginal Studies Press, Canberra.

Journal Article

Bibliographic details are given as follows:

Author's surname, initials. (year of publication). Title of article, “Title of Journal, volume number” (issue number), page numbers.


Journal article:

Rogers, G. (1999). Reflections on Teaching Remote and Isolated Children.Education in Rural Australia, 9(2)”, 65-68.

Newspaper article:

Lawlor, A. (2000, July 20). Phoenician 'find' makes textbooks ancient history, “The Courier Mail”, p. 3.

Conference Papers

Gleeson, L. (1996). Inside looking out. In “Claiming a Place: Proceedings from the Third National Conference of the Children's Book Council of Australia” (pp. 22-34). D.W. Thorpe, Port Melbourne.

Abbott, K. & Seymour, J. (1997, September 20). “Trapping the Papaya Fruit Fly in North Queensland”. Paper presented at the Australian Entomological Society Conference, Melbourne.


Ward, I. (1998) “Sedimentary History of the Pandora Wreck and Surrounds”. Unpublished master's thesis,  James Cook University, Townsville.

Government Publication

Queensland. Queensland Health. (1992) “Towards a Women's Health Policy: Social Justice for Women,” Author, Brisbane.

Australian Bureau of Statistics. (1994) “Building Approvals Australia”, (No. 8731.0). Author, Canberra.

Further Examples

Two entries by same author, same date:

Allan, M. S. (1983a). Uses of video recording in an institution. In McGovern, J. (Ed.), “Video applications in English language teaching” (pp. 83-93). London: Pergamon.

Allan, M. S. (1983b). Viewing comprehension with video. “ELT Journal”, 37(1), 23-27.

Work with multiple authors

Follow the same rules for journals and other works as for Book with Multiple Authors


Collins, J. (1993). Immigrant families in Australia. “Journal of Comparative Family Studies”, 24, 291-315. Abstract obtained from Multicultural Education Abstracts, 1995, 14, Abstract No. 95M/064.

Personal communication

For example, letters, memos, email, interviews, telephone conversation.

Because they don't provide recoverable data, personal communications are not included in the reference list. Cite in text only.

M. Jones (personal communication, April 4, 2002)
(R. Brown, personal communication, July 23, 2000)

Electronic References

Electronic sources include databases, online journals, Web sites or Web pages, newsgroups, email discussion groups.

Journal article retrieved from an aggregated database

Dixon, M. R. & Hayes, L. J. (1999). A behavioural analysis of dreaming . “Psychological Record, 49”, 605-612. Retrieved August 30, 2001, from Expanded Academic ASAP database.

Internet article based on a print source

Sherry, A. (2000). Building the Bridge: Taking Feminism into the Twenty-First Century (Electronic version). “Australian Feminist Studies, 15, 221-226.

Article in an internet-only journal

DeMarie, D. (2001, Spring). A Trip to the Zoo: Children's words and photographs. “Early Childhood Research and Practice”, 3(1). Retrieved August 30, 2001, from http://ecrp.uiuc.edu/v3n1/demarie.html


Ludwig, D. N. (1996). Preschool children's cognitive styles and their social orientations. “Perceptual and Motor Skills”, 70, 915-921. Abstract retrieved January 25, 1997, from PsycINFO database. 

Web page

“The Mariner 2002: Undergraduate Student Information” (2002). Retrieved 3 April, 2002, from James Cook University Web site: http://www.jcu.edu.au/school/ns/Notices/General/Mariner/Contents.html

Information from a Website

Australian Bureau of Statistics (2000) “1996 Census of Population and Housing: Northern (Statistical Division) Queensland”, [Data file]. Available from the Australian Bureau of Statistics site, http://www.abs.gov.au 

Use 'Available from' to indicate that the URL leads to information on how to obtain the cited material, rather than to the material itself.

Audiovisual References

York, F. A. (1990) “Children's Songs of the Torres Strait Islands” [Cassette recording]. Owen Martin, Bateman's Bay, N.S.W.

Diamond, N. (1970) Cracklin' Rosie. “On Tap Root Manuscript” [Record], MCA, Universal City, CA.
(In text citation, include side and band or track numbers.)

Loi, M-A. (1997) “Green Tree Frogs”, [Illustration], Queensland Department of Environment, Brisbane.

Scorsese, M. (Producer), & Lonergan, K. (Writer/Director). (2000) “You Can Count on me” [Motion picture], Paramount Pictures, United States.

Citing in the Text

When you include information from another source in your essay, you need to acknowledge it in the text. You should include the author, year and sometimes the page number. The person reading your essay can then refer to the bibliography/reference list at the end, and see exactly where you found your information.

Quoting directly from someone else

When you borrow or quote someone else's words, the quote is usually placed in quotation marks, e.g.

This is reflected in the idea that "schools of thought, methodologies and research techniques reflect their social origins." (Hayes, 1995, p. 53)

Using a very long quote

If it is a very long quote (more than 40 words), you can place it in a freestanding indented paragraph starting on a new line. In this case, you don't need to use quotation marks. Insert three full stops - ... - if any words are omitted.

Children are, and have been, economically important to adults/parents in several ways. For those with wealth and land, children, and boys in particular, are and have been crucial ... as heirs. Inheritance, or course, has also been of central political importance; many of the wars that raged through medieval Europe focused on contested inheritance of lands and kingdoms (Gittins, 1998, p. 59).

Source not quoted exactly as it was written

Sometimes you might paraphrase or summarise another author's ideas to back up your own statements. Often you are not quoting them directly. Remember though, if you are using their ideas or data, you still must give them the credit. E.g. Schwarz (1999) questions the use of surveys as measurement devices.

It is argued by Bazzaz (1996) that comparative research in several ecosystems will lead to an understanding of succession as an ecological process.

Quoting something that someone else has quoted

Sometimes in your reading you might come across a quote in another author's article that would be suitable to use. In this case, the best idea is to try and find the original quote to examine the context in which it was written. If that isn't possible, there are special rules for 'quoting a quote'.

Wembley (1997, cited in Olsen, 1999, p. 156) argues that impending fuel shortages give added impetus to developing alternative energy sources.

Include the author and year of both texts, and the page of the citation you are quoting from. Use the words 'cited in' which means 'mentioned in'. In your reference list or bibliography you only include the text that you yourself have read, i.e. Olsen would be listed in the reference list from this example.

One Work by Multiple Authors

If a work has two authors, always cite both names every time.

(Griffiths & Clyne, 1988)
Griffiths and Clyne (1988) stated that ...

If a work has three, four or five authors, cite all authors the first time the reference occurs. After that include only the surname of the first author followed by et al., and the year if it is the first citation in the paragraph.

(Muspratt, Luke & Freebody, 1997)
Muspratt, Luke and Freebody (1997) found that … [First citation in text]
Muspratt et al. (1997) found that … [Subsequent first citation in paragraph]
Muspratt et al. found that … [Subsequent citations in same paragraph]

If a work has six or more authors, cite only the surname of the first author, followed by et al. and the year for all citations.

Citing Electronic References

Dixon and Hayes (1999) or (Dixon & Hayes, 1999)

Sherry (2000) or (Sherry, 2000)

DeMarie (2001) or (DeMarie, 2001)

The Mariner 2002 (2002) or (The Mariner 2002, 2002)

First text citation: (Australian Bureau of Statistics [ABS], 2000)
Subsequent text citations: (ABS, 2000)

(Some group authors would be written in full every time, e.g. University of Sydney)

Smith (2001) or (Smith, 2001)


Footnotes are usually an elaboration of an afterthought on some aspect of the text or they provide further information, which would interrupt the flow of the text if placed in the body of the text. If you decide to include a footnote, place it at the bottom of the page and separate it by a ruled line from the main text.

A superscript number in the text will be used to reference the footnote at the bottom of the page. Footnotes should be numbered consecutively through the text. [See APA Manual p.325]

Referencing Al Quoran

Preferably the original Arabic translation is included in either Arabic script or transliteration.

The translation of al quoran used is to be named as well as the Ayat and the Surah.

Preferably the ayat before and the ayat after the one being discussed, should also be included within the text.

Preferably more than one translation of the English Quorans should be quoted such as:

  • Pooya Ahmed Ali Quoran

  • Yusuf Ali

  • Mohammed M.Pickthall etc.

Use a commentary such as:

1.“An Enlightening Commentary Into The Light of the Holy Quoran” By a group of Muslim Scholars in Isfahan, Iran.
2. “Meaning of the Quoran” By S. Abul Ala Maududi

Referencing Ahadith

All hadiths need to be referenced with the source as well as its chain of narrations preferably.

Where hadiths are not clearly referenced, they will be deleted by the Editor.

Guidelines adapted from James Cook University, Cairns, North Queensland, Australia.


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Last Updated Friday, 29 January 2010