What Is Harvard Format? Easy Tips

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What is Harvard format? There is no definite form of Harvard citation style and description of references because there is no organization that would develop it. Since there is no standard form, there is a huge variety of options in Harvard style. They vary not only depending on the region, but also on the level of individual universities.

Harvard style involves the use of references in the text of the work whenever you quote a source, whether it is a paraphrase, a quote inside a line, or a blockquote. An internal text link contains information about the author of the quoted work, the date of publication, the page spacing (if there is a direct quote or paraphrased specific information from the source).

Paper Formatting Guidlines

There are various paper formatting guidelines, which help to design references in the text of the publication.

  1. Rephrase. It is possible to rephrase the words or ideas of the author, formulate them in your own words, but without distorting their meanings and not providing own interpretations.
  2. Generalization. Generalization involves the use of own words to represent the main arguments of the author or his key ideas, not distorting their meaning.
  3. Citation. To confirm the arguments, it is possible to quote the words of the author directly without making any changes.
  4. Reference to the source, indication of the author without detailed information.

Formatting Harvard In-Text Citations

There are two ways of formatting Harvard in-text citations:

  • if the surname of the author of the cited work is not in the text, it is indicated in brackets at the end of the sentence before the period, or according to the logic of the sentence;
  • if the author of the cited work is mentioned in the text, the year of publication is placed in parentheses after the author's surname or after the quoted passage, if it is a direct quote.

Formatting the Reference List Harvard Style

There are a few rules of formatting the reference list Harvard style. The list of used sources is placed at the end of the work on a separate page. It provides the information needed to find and receive any source cited in the text of the document. Each source cited in the work should appear in the list of the used sources. Similarly, each entry in the list of used sources should be mentioned in the text of the work. The sources in the list are not numbered but are organized alphabetically by the authors' names and in chronological order, when references to more than one work of one author are made (by the year of publication, starting with the earliest one).

If there are works by one author, published in the same year, they are placed in the bibliographic list in alphabetical order. In case there are several works of one year of publication with the same first author, the list first refers to the works with a smaller number of authors.

The Bibliographic Description

The reference alludes to all authors of the work (editors, if there is no author). If there are many authors (for example, in some scientific articles), it is advisable to consult with your professor about limiting their number and introducing "etc." after certain names. Titles of books and magazines must be indicated without abbreviations. For books in the electronic form (placed on the Internet), the following details are indicated in such an order:

  1. Author (surname or name of organization).
  2. Year of publication.
  3. The name of the book in the original.
  4. Note [e-book] in square brackets.
  5. Place of publication in the printed form.
  6. Publishing house of the printed version.
  7. The original language in brackets (in Italian), (in German) if the source is not in English.
  8. The words "Available at:" with the full Internet address.
  9. The word “Accessed:” with the date of copying (using) the document.

Publications published by various organizations and institutions are listed in the following order:

  1. The name of the organization.
  2. Year of publication.
  3. Title of the publication (italics).
  4. City.
  5. Publisher.
  6. Indicate the original language in brackets (in Serbian), (in French) in case the source is not in English.

Reports From Conferences

Reports from conferences and papers published in the collections of conferences proceedings are listed in the following order:

  1. Author.
  2. The year of publication of the collection of works or the year of the conference.
  3. The name of the work.
  4. In: Conference name (italics).
  5. Conference location.
  6. Page numbers in the collection of works.
  7. The date of the conference.
  8. Indicate the original language in brackets in case the source is written not in English.
  9. Available at: link.

Web Pages

The content of web pages very often has corporate authorship, and in some cases, authorship is not specified at all. The name of the web document is indicated if it is given on the site. In some cases, only the Internet address is indicated. Web pages, the content of which is used in the work, are indicated as follows:

  1. Author.
  2. The name of the material (italics).
  3. Note [Internet] in square brackets.
  4. The words "Available at" with the full Internet address.
  5. The word "Accessed:" with the date of copying (using) the document.

Links to Unidentified Sources

If the article contains a link to a work, the authorship of which has not been identified, the name of the cited work and the year of its publication are indicated.

Dissertations are indicated as follows:

  1. Author.
  2. Year of writing (publishing).
  3. Title of the dissertation (research).
  4. Category of work (thesis, doctoral dissertation, etc.).
  5. City: Educational (research) institution in which (for which) the work was created.

Indicate the original language in brackets (in Japanese), (in Italian) if the source is not in English.

When citing a literary source that is not originally based on Latin writing (for example, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Arabic, Hebrew or other writing systems), the description consists of two parts. The first part (Latin) describes the source with Latin letters. The second part is the description of the source in the original language (written in parentheses in the continuation of the first part, but not from a new line).

The formatting of the first part of the description depends on the presence (absence) of the English abstract, which includes the author's surname and initials, the title of the article and its summary. As a rule, the summary is placed at the end of the source.

The Relevance of the Correct References List Formatting

Bibliographic descriptions must be arranged in accordance with the standardized requirements of formatting in a particular language. When preparing a scientific article, special attention should be paid to the list of references, since they often contain errors.

Science is constantly moving forward. However, there are some other reasons for indicating references in scientific papers. References to relevant sources show that you have done the work properly and are familiar with the issues under consideration. The references list also provides readers with the opportunity to follow the aspects of your paper.

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