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Singapore Polytechnic Library

Cite It Right!
A Guide to Citing References

What does “citing references” mean?

When writing a paper or report, you may need to quote or incorporate ideas, information, diagrams or
statistics from other sources (e.g. books, reports, articles, websites). When this is done, proper
acknowledgement to the source should be provided.

Why do I need to do this?

There are 3 important reasons:

1. To give credit to the person who originated the idea or information.


2. To allow your readers to trace your sources easily if they are interested to learn more about
your subject.
3. To show how well and thoroughly you have done your research.

How do I cite references?

You may cite references using one of several standard styles, e.g. APA, MLA, Chicago Style, Harvard
Style, etc. that have been developed by various organisations. Once you choose a style, use it
consistently throughout your report.

This guide will show you how to cite your references using the Harvard Style, which is one of the
simplest and is widely used in many educational institutions.

The Harvard Style is made up of two components:

1. Citing within the text – This provides brief details of the author and date of publication.
2. Citing at the end of the text – You must include a list of References at the end of your text.
This is a list of all the books, journal articles and other sources of information you have referred
to in your paper or report. Full bibliographic information must be provided.

Citing references is not difficult. The key is to be consistent!


Singapore Polytechnic Library – Cite It Right!

Contents Harvard Style of Citation Page


Citing within the Text…………………………………………………... 2
Quotations……………………………………………………………….. 4
Illustrations / Tables / Charts / Pictures ……………………………… 4
Websites………………………………………………………………… 4
Compiling a List of References……………………………………….. 5
1. Books…………………………………………………………….. 5
2. Article within a book……………………………………………. 6
3. Publication from a government or private organisation…….. 6
4. Journal articles………………………………………………….. 6
5. Newspaper / magazine articles……………………………….. 7
6. Conferences…………………………………………………….. 7
7. Theses and dissertations……………………………………… 7
8. Standards……………………………………………………….. 8
9. Research reports……………………………………………….. 8
10. Statutes and subsidiary legislation…………………………… 8
11. Law reports……………………………………………………… 8
12. Films / Videos / VCDs / DVDs………………………………… 9
13. CD-ROMs……………………………………………………….. 9
14. Articles from an electronic journal / database……………….. 9
15. Internet resources………………………………………………. 10
16. Emails……………………………………………………………. 10
Tips for Making Your Task Easier….…………………………………. 10
Other Major Style Guides ……………………………………………... 11
References………………………………………………………………. 12

Harvard Style of Citation

Citing within the Text

When referring to a source or document in the body of your report/paper, indicate the author’s surname
and year of publication.

One author:

Examples
Gates (1996) said that the Internet was not always the top priority in Microsoft’s strategy.

or

The Internet was not always the top priority in Microsoft’s strategy (Gates 1996).

Multiple authors / Multiple sources:

Examples
Yablonski and Mancuso (2002) advised against controlling microbial contamination in
cosmetics by adding more preservatives.

These techniques have been used for determining total fluorine in environmental and
biological samples (Sweetser 1965; Kissa 1986).

For 4 authors or more


Cohen, et al. (1999) described how the DNA encoding these tumor-cell proteins can be
injected into cells that might help people mount an immune response against the cancers.
[Note: “et al.” represents the rest of the authors]

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Anonymous / No author:

Anonymous
A recent article (Anon 2001) stated that the Service & Support Professionals Association
(SSPA) is the world's largest technical support industry association.

No author
Business Week Online’s (2004) interview with Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs revealed that one of
his strategies is “saying no to 1,000 things” so as to concentrate on the “really important”
innovations.

Asian Authors:

Chinese names
Example
Authors: Sunny T.H. Goh and Khoo Kheng-Hor

The main purpose of an advertisement is to win sales, not awards (Goh and Khoo
2003).

Malay names
Example
Author: Rindra Mohktar bin Ramli

Rindra Mohktar (2002) found that the most common and popular electronic
information resource was the Internet.

Indian names
Examples
Author: Hiru Bijlani

Hiru (1999) recommends providing training programmes for managers who do not
have experience in the global marketplace.

Author: G. Sivalingam

There are many competing and conflicting theories of what determines the price or
value of a stock (Sivalingam 1990).

Sikh names
Examples
Author: Ranjit Singh

Singh (1990) also describes group strategies as a set of individual strategies.


However, the joint plans discussed in this paper include actions and plans performed
by other agents or teams with appropriate synchronization.

Material published by an organisation or company:

Examples
According to the World Health Organisation (1985), the safe level of protein intake for an
adult is 0.75g/kg body weight per day.

Survey results showed that simple home pleasures such as reading a book or watching
television are the most popular pastimes for Singaporeans (Visa International 1996).

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Quotations

A short quotation should be included in the body of the text in quotation marks, and the page number
given.

Example
He observed that “humor is by far the most significant behavior of the human brain” (De Bono
1992, p. 8).

If it is longer than a line, the whole quotation should be indented:

Creativity is not a mystical talent that some people have and others can only envy.
Lateral thinking is the type of creative thinking that can be learned, practiced, and
used by everyone. Some people will be better at it than others, as with any skill.
(De Bono 1992, p. 310)

Web documents usually do not have fixed page numbers. For documents without pagination,
alternatives such as number of lines, paragraphs or screens etc. may be used e.g. (l. 65), (para. 2) or
(screen 4).

Illustrations / Tables / Charts / Pictures

When referring to data from a table or chart, include the author and page number to enable the reader
to verify the data.

Example
The survey found that 6.9% of Singapore residents aged 18 to 69 years were obese
(Singapore Ministry of Health 2004, p. 25).

If the source of data is not the author’s own, but from another source, it is cited as a second hand
reference:

Historical figures show that only sixty percent of households had televisions in Britain by the
1970s. (National Statistics Office 1985 cited in Amazon 2005, p. 310)

If the entire illustration, table, chart or picture is to be reproduced in your report, place the citation as a
footnote:

Weight Status (%) of Singapore residents aged 18-69 years, by gender, 2004
Weight Status Males Females Total
Underweight 6.2 12.2 9.2
Normal weight 58.8 57.9 58.3
Overweight (Pre-obese) 28.6 22.6 25.6
Overweight (Obese) 6.4 7.3 6.9
(Singapore Ministry of Health 2004, p.25).

Websites

Include the name of the author or organisation responsible for the website and the date of website’s
creation or last revision.

Example
Food companies are required to comply with stipulated food regulations and standards (Spring
Singapore, 12 Oct 2006).

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You can also include web addresses directly in your text. Be careful not to create any misinterpretation
of any sentence punctuation taken as part of the punctuation in the website addresses. To avoid that,
enclose the web addresses with arrow brackets.

Example
Health Sciences Authority’s web site < http://www.hsa.gov.sg/ > provides information on health
products regulation.

Compiling a List of References

At the end of your report, compile a list of publications that you have made reference to, and arrange
the publications alphabetically by author. This list will provide your reader with details of the information
sources that were cited in the body of the text. The following show what details to provide for each type
of information source.

1. Books

Details to provide
• Author(s)
• Year of publication
• Book title (in italics)
• Edition (if not the first)
• Place of publication
• Publisher

Examples
Gates, B. and Hemingway, C., 1999. Business @ the speed of thought: using a digital nervous
system. New York: Warner Books.

Burrows, T.D., et al., 2001. Video production: disciplines and techniques. 8th ed. Boston:
McGraw-Hill.

Anonymous author:
Anon., 2002. Maximum Windows 2000 security. Indianapolis, Indiana: Sams.

No author:
Merriam-Webster's collegiate dictionary, 2003. 11th ed. Springfield, Massachusetts: Merriam-
Webster.

Note:
For book without an author, the title is used in the reference list. Titles beginning with any
articles e.g. a, an, or, the, etc. are disregarded from the alphabetical arrangement.

Examples
Angelides, M.C. and Agius, H.W., 2000. ..
The digital crime network….
Fogey, B., 2001…

Asian Authors:

Chinese names
Authors: Sunny T.H. Goh and Khoo Kheng-Hor

Goh, S. T. H. and Khoo, K. H., 2003. Marketing wise: an unconventional approach to strategic
marketing for Asia. Selangor, Malaysia; London: Prentice Hall.

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Malay names
Authors: Muhamad bin Zakaria and Mustafa Ali Mohd

Muhamad bin Zakaria and Mustafa Ali Mohd, 1994. Traditional Malay medicinal plants. Kuala
Lumpur : Fajar Bakti.

Indian names
Author: Krishna Sankar, et al.

Krishna, S., et al., 2004. Cisco wireless LAN security. Indianapolis, Indiana: Cisco.

Author: G. Sivalingam

Sivalingam, G., 1990. Modern portfolio management. Singapore: Longman Singapore.

Sikh names

Singh, M., 2006. Heated, humidified air for the common cold (Cochrane Review). The
Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2006, Issue 3.

2. Article within a book

Details to provide
• Author of the article/chapter
• Year of publication
• Article/chapter title
• Editor(s) of book
• Book title (in italics)
• Place of publication
• Publisher
• Article/chapter pages

Example
Moregu, A., 2001. Principles of heat transfer. In: D.B. Marghitu, ed., Mechanical Engineer’s
Handbook. San Diego: Academic Press, pp. 446-559.

3. Publication from a government or private organisation

Details to provide
• Name of organisation
• Year of publication
• Title of publication (in italics)
• Place of publication
• Publisher

Examples
Euromonitor, 2001. Consumer Asia. London: Euromonitor.

Singapore Department of Statistics, 2001. Yearbook of Statistics Singapore. Singapore:


Ministry of Trade & Industry.

4. Journal articles

Details to provide
• Author
• Year of publication
• Article title
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• Journal title (in italics)
• Volume
• Issue (if available)
• Pages

Example
Angelides, M.C. and Agius, H.W., 2000. Eight scenarios of the national information
superhighway development. Journal of Information Technology, 15(1), 53-67.

5. Newspaper / magazine articles

Details to provide
• Author
• Year of publication
• Article title
• Newspaper/magazine title (in italics)
• Date of publication
• Pages

Example
Moreau, R., 2001. Saving the coral reefs. Newsweek, 12 Nov, p. 60.

6. Conferences

Details to provide
• Author of paper
• Year of publication
• Title of paper
• Editor(s) of conference proceedings
• Conference title (in italics)
• Location (if available)
• Date of conference
• Place of publication
• Publisher
• Pages

Example
Olivella, J., 2000. The need to control the ship’s stability in port operations. In: F. Piniella , ed.
New maritime impulses in the presence of a new century: 2nd international congress on
maritime technological innovations and research proceedings, 8-11 November 2000. Cadiz,
Spain: Servicio De Publications, Universidad de Cadiz, pp. 117-122.

7. Theses and dissertations

Details to provide
• Author
• Year of Publication
• Thesis/dissertation title (in italics)
• Type of document (e.g. Ph.D. thesis, degree dissertation)
• Awarding institution

Example:
Teh, Y.C., 1990. The organisation of Singapore Polytechnic. Thesis (M. Ed.), University of
Manchester.

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8. Standards

Details to provide
• Organisation
• Year of publication
• Standard number and year
• Title of standard (in italics)
• Place of publication (if known)
• Name of publisher

Example
British Standards Institution, 1990. BS5605:1990. Recommendations for citing and referencing
published material. Milton Keynes: BSI.

9. Research reports

Details to provide
• Author
• Year of publication
• Report title (in italics)
• Research Report No. (if available)
• Place of publication (if known)
• Publisher

Example
Edwards, A., 1995. Asia-Pacific travel forecasts to 2005. Research Report R460. London:
Economist Intelligence Unit.

10. Statutes and subsidiary legislation

Details to provide
• Country/state name
• Title (in italics)
• Year of publication
• Chapter number
• Regulation number, if available

Examples
Singapore. Companies Act 1994 (c. 50).

Singapore. Factories (Building Operations and Works of Engineering Construction) Regulations


1999 (c. 104, r. 8).

11. Law reports

This is one way law reports may be cited:


Details to provide
• Case title (in italics)
• Year of report
• Volume number
• Abbreviation of the law report series
• Pages

Example
Lee Hin Realty Pte Ltd v Lee Tah Wee David [1995] 3 SLR 521-530.

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12. Films / Videos / VCDs / DVDs

Details to provide
• Series title and number (if any)
• Programme Title (in italics)
• [Medium: Format]
• Year of publication
• Place of publication
• Publisher

Examples
Manufacturing Engineering Magazine Video series. Manufacturing insights: Flexible material
handling [video:VHS], 1998. Dearborn, Michigan: Society of Manufacturing Engineers.

Computer animation extravaganza [DVD], 2000. Chatsworth, California: Odyssey Productions.

13. CD-ROMs

Details to provide
• Author
• Year of publication
• Title (in italics)
• [CD-ROM]
• Place of publication
• Publisher

Examples
Albers, J., 1994. Interaction of color [CD-ROM]. New Haven: Yale University Press.

World Bank, 2000. World Development Indicators [CD-ROM]. Washington, D.C., World Bank.

14. Articles from an electronic journal / database

Details to provide
• Author(s)
• Year
• Title of article
• Title of journal/magazine (in italics)
• [Online] or [CD-ROM]
• Date of publication
• Volume number (issue number)
• Pages (if available)
• Available from <URL> or database title
• [Accessed date]

Examples
Iovine, J., 2001. Hexapos walker robot. Poptronics [online], December 2001, 2(12), 42-46.
Available from: Proquest [Accessed 28 September 2001].

Fogey, B., 2001. The skyscraper age is far from over. The Straits Times [online], 23 August
2001. Available from: Factiva.com [Accessed 27 June 2002].

Swaine, R., 2000. Flavor chemistry and innovation. Perfumer & Flavorist [CD-ROM], Nov/Dec,
25, pp. 1-6. Available from: Perfumer & flavorist: 25 years, 1976-2000 [Accessed 3 June 2002].

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Monroe, L.K., 2002. Anatomy of a building. Buildings [online], 96(4), 24-27. Available from:
http://www.buildings.com [Accessed 6 May 2002].

15. Internet resources

Details to provide
• Author/editor
• Year (if available)
• Title (in italics)
• [Online]
• Place of publication (if available)
• Publisher (if available)
• Available from <URL>
• [Accessed date]

Examples
Holland, M., 1999. Guide to citing Internet sources [online]. Poole: Bournemouth
University. Available from:
http://www.bournemouth.ac.uk/using_the_library/html/harvard_system.html
[Accessed 17 September 2001].

Corporate/Organizational author:
Nokia, 2005. Nokia Singapore [online]. Available from: http://www.nokia.com.sg
[Accessed 10 August 2005].

No author:
If the website does not have an author, begin the citation with the title.

GVU’s 10th user survey, 1998 [online]. Available from:


http://www.gvu.gatech.edu/user_surveys/survey-1998-10/ [Accessed 10 August 2005].

16. Emails

Details to provide
• Sender surname, initials.
• Sender’s email address (in brackets)
• Day, month and year the email was sent
• Subject of message in italics
• The words Email to followed by the recipient’s initials, surname
• Recipient’s e-mail address (in brackets)

Examples
Tan, M. (margrettan@yahoo.com.sg), 20 March 2006. Re:How to cite an email. Email to W.P.
Sng (wpsng@hss.com.sg).

When citing emails it is important that you get the permission of the owners of the emails
before citing it.

Tips for Making Your Task Easier


1. Plan your information search strategy in advance, rather than do searches randomly.
2. Keep a record of all the searches you have done, and jot down the source for each article or
piece of information. This will save you from having to repeat your searches or locate the
information source again when you write your report.

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Other Major Style Guides


These are some other frequently used citation styles:

APA Style
• Often used in writings in psychology, education, and other social sciences

• The reference guide to the APA style:


Publication manual of the American Psychological Association, 2001 is available from the
Library at Call No. 808.1:150 PUB (R)

• There are also some guidelines for citing electronic sources at


http://www.apastyle.org/elecsource.html

Chicago Style
• Often used with all subjects in books, magazines, newspapers, and other non-scholarly
publications

• The Chicago manual of style, 1993, is available from the Library at Call No. 808.1(02) UNI (R)

MLA Style
• Frequently used in literature, arts, and humanities publications

• MLA style manual and guide to scholarly publishing by Joseph Gibaldi, Modern Language
Association, 1998, is available from the Library at Call No. 808.1 GIB (R)

Turabian Style
• Designed for college students to use with all subjects

• A manual for writers of term papers, theses, and dissertations by Kate L. Turabian, 1996 is
available from the Library at Call No. 808 TUR

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References
American Psychological Association, 1994. Publication manual of the American Psychological
Association. Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association.

British Standards Institution, 1989. BS1629:1989. Recommendations for references to published


materials. London: BSI.

British Standards Institution, 1990. BS5605:1990. Recommendations for citing and referencing
published material. Milton Keynes: BSI.

Delaney, R. Citation styles for research papers [online]. B. Davis Schwartz Memorial Library, Long
Island University. Available from: http://www.liu.edu/cwis/cwp/library/workshop/citation.htm [Accessed
17 June 2002].

Fisher, D. & Hanstock,T., 1997. Citing References: a guide for users [online]. 2nd ed. Nottingham:
Nottingham Trent University. Available from: http://www.ntu.ac.uk/lis/library/citrefs.pdf [Accessed 10
January 2002].

HOLLAND, M., 2004. Guide to citing Internet sources [online]. Poole: Bournemouth University. Available
from: http://www.bournemouth.ac.uk/library/using/guide_to_citing_internet_sourc.html
[Accessed 20 December 2006].

International Islamic University Malaysia. APA format for reference list [online]. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia:
International Islamic University Malaysia. Available from:
http://www.iiu.edu.my/draa/files/APA%20format.doc [Accessed 2 November 2004].

International Organisation for Standardization, 2002. Excerpts from International Standard ISO 690-2
[online]. Ottawa, Canada: National Library of Canada. Available from: http://www.nlc-
bnc.ca/iso/tc46sc9/standard/690-2e.htm [Accessed 3 June 2002].

Multimedia University. Citation style for reference list [online]. Malaysia: Multimedia University. Available
from: http://www.mmu.edu.my/~crpp/content/appendix(I)_citation1.doc [Accessed 2 November 2004].

Snooks & Co., 2002. Style manual for authors, editors and printers. 6th ed. Canberra: John Wiley &
Sons Australia.

June 2002
Revised Jan 2007

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