Referencing: Referencing guides and useful resources

Referencing guides

Harvard is one of the most commonly used referencing styles. We recommend you consult:

The Cite Them Right platform to find advice on the Cite Them Right Harvard style (12th edn). This website, available only via Brunel Library, offers advice on how to cite and reference in a variety of styles, as well as more general guidance on plagiarism and referencing. You can select Harvard as your referencing stye to find up-to-date examples of how to lay out and format sources such as articles, texts and website. The platform can also be accessed via the Library catalogue by searching 'Cite Them Right'. 

Cite Them Right is also available as a book shelved at PN171.F56P43 2019 - Pear, R. and Shields, G. (2019) Cite them right. 11th edn. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. However, the advice on the web platform is current. 

NOTE: Harvard has variations in style, so:

  1. check your module guide for the preferred style, and
  2. be consistent.

If your programme uses APA referencing we recommend you consult the appropriate American Psychological Association referencing manual:

For students who have started their studies before 2020:

American Psychological Society. (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association
(6th ed). Washington DC: American Psychological Association

For students who have started their studies in or after 2020:

American Psychological Society. (2020). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed). American Psychological Association.

For help with referencing in APA style contact the Academic Liaison Librarian for the Department of Life Sciences, Joanne McPhie at

Used by History and occasionally Politics. We recommend you consult:

University of Chicago Press, The Chicago Manual of Style. 17th ed. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2017).

OSCOLA = Oxford Standard for Citation of Legal Authorities

Used by Brunel Law School and occasionally other law based modules within the university.

The OSCOLA quick reference guide can be found at: oscola_4th_edn_hart_2012quickreferenceguide.pdf (

We recommend, however, you consult the main OSCOLA guide as detailed below:

The 8th edition of the MLA Handbook was published in April 2016. Copies are available in the Brunel library collection for you to consult. You should refer to your module guide and/or tutor as regards specific requirements.

IEEE = The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers

Referencing software

There are many different referencing softwares designed to help you with your referencing. It is important to remember a few things:

  • The output from each of these pieces of software may be slightly different; this is especially true for Harvard which can vary in style.
  • Always check for referencing advice given to you by your subject/department, and follow this.
  • If you do decide to use any kind of referencing software, always check your referencing before submitting your work. You, not the software, are ultimately responsible for your own referencing.

RefWorks is web-based software for collating references and creating bibliographies, subscribed to by Brunel. Using RefWorks can help you manage your references more effectively, keep accurate records, and save you time when producing a bibliography for a dissertation, thesis, or paper.

Brunel's search tool, Summon, will convert your search results to a referencing style of your choice:

  1. Conduct your search
  2. Select the items you wish to reference by selecting the 'Save this item' icon (top right of result)
  3. Go to 'Saved items' (bottom of screen)
  4. Your results will appear in a pop up box - simply select your referencing style
  5. Print/email references

Note: these references are only stored temporarily. When you close the browser window, your references will be cleared.

Microsfoft Word has a referencing tool. It allows you to enter bibliographic information about the item you want to reference, and choose your referencing style, including APA 6th edition and Harvard.

Mendeley is a free reference manager and academic social network that can help you organize your research, collaborate with others online, and discover the latest research.

Zotero is a free tool to help you collect, organise, cite, and share your research sources.

Referencing FAQs

Our LibAnswers system contains many FAQs on Library subjects, including referencing. Search our FAQs or see our links to some popular referencing ones.

Referencing and Avoiding Plagiarism Library Online Modules

There are a range of Library Online Learning resources with guidance and, often, activities. These are available for access in Brightspace:

RefUnderstanding and avoiding plagiarism online module

Recommended reads

Quick links