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How to Cite a Book in Harvard Style?

Published by at August 30th, 2021 , Revised On July 6, 2022

In-Text and Reference List Format with Examples

 

Below are the different formats for citing books, chapters, or quotes, their reference list entry formats, and some examples to clarify.

 

1.    Books with a single author

Harvard style uses the following basic format for reference list entry for a book with one author:

Author Surname, First name initials Year, Title of book in italics, Edition is necessary, Publisher name, Place of publication, City/State abbreviation.

For example,

Hasler, E 2018, The built environment, Liverpool University Press, Liverpool.

It should be noted that in Harvard referencing, if the first Edition of a book is being referred to, its edition number is not written.

For in-text citations, the format is:

Author surname Year the book was published in, p.#

For example, (Anderson 1983, p. 23).

 

2.    Online books

The in-text citation format is the same for ebooks in Harvard as that of print copies. Here is an example of in-text citation for an ebook, from which a paragraph has been used in the manuscript:

The basic format follows:

(Author name, year, loc, chapter #).

For instance, (Burns 2018, para. 15). In such a case, if the page number is also available, the in-text citation will become (Burns 2018, para. 15, pg.25).

 

3.    Chapters from an edited book

Sometimes, authors refer to an entire chapter or multiple, complete chapters from a book in their manuscripts. The Harvard style for citing a chapter from a book is the same as that of citing a book itself, for example:

(Belsey 2006, p. 55)

OR

Belsey (2006, p. 55) mentions…

 

4.    Direct quotes from a book

The basic format for citing a quote from a book (online or print) is the same as that for citing the book itself. For example,

‘I have enclosed a lake in lips, lapped it with crystal tongues’ (Hasler 2018, p. 39).

OR

In her prose, Emily Hasler talks about enclosing a lake in lips (2018, p.39).

The reference list entry for this would be in the same format, too, that is:

Hasler, E 2018, The built environment, Liverpool University Press, Liverpool.

 

5.    Books with 2 or 3 authors

If a book has 2 or 3 authors, the Harvard style dictates that this basic format be used for the in-text citation:

Author 1 surname and Author 2 surname Year

For example, According to Puccio, Cabra, and Schwagler (2018) OR

Author 1 surname, Author 2 surname & Author 3 surname Year

For example: … this is evident from the data (Puccio, Cabra & Schwagler 2018).

The reference list entry follows this format:

Author surnames followed by their initials without any periods with initials Year,

Title of book in italics, Publisher name, Place of publication, City/State abbreviation.

For example, reference list entry for the above in-text citations would be:

Puccio, GJ, Cabra, JF & Schwagler, N 2018, Organizational creativity: a practical guide for innovators & entrepreneurs, Sage, Thousand Oaks, CA.

 

6.    Books with more than 3 authors

Citing and referencing books with more than 3 authors is easier than it sounds. Thanks to the phrase ‘et al.,’ which means ‘and the rest’ or ‘and the others,’ the task becomes easier no matter which referencing style is being followed.

In Harvard referencing too, ‘et al.’ is a writer after the surname of the first author. For example, an in-text citation of a book with 3+ authors will look like this:

Crauder et al. (2018) have found… OR

Mathematical tools are important (Crauder et al. 2018).

The format for such a reference list entry is again the same as that used for books with 3 authors, i.e.:

Author surnames followed by their initials without any periods with initials Year,

Title of book in italics, Publisher name, Place of publication, City/State abbreviation.

Names of all the authors are provided.

For example,

Crauder, B, Evans, B, Johnson, J & Noell, A 2018, Quantitative literacy: thinking between the lines, W.H. Freeman, New York, NY.

 

7.    Books with no author name available

Every book has an author, obviously. But sometimes, the name of the author(s) might not be available. Either the book, if in print, is too old or faded that the author’s name isn’t visible anymore. Or, in the case of online books, the author’s name is just not provided on the website nor the book itself.

When this is the case, Harvard style suggests using the following format for in-text citation of a book with no author name available:

Year, para. # if available, p.#

For example: According to the Style manual for authors, editors and printers (2002, p. 197) … OR

(Style manual for authors, editors, and printers 2002, p. 197).

As the example shows, if the name of the book is available, then instead of the author’s surname, the title of the book is used as the first part of the in-text citation as well as the reference list entry.

For the reference list entry, the format is:

Title of book in italics in place of author’s or editor’s name Year, edition number except when it’s the first edition, Publisher name, Place of publication, City/State of abbreviation.

For example, the reference list entry for the above source will be:

Style manual for authors, editors and printers 2002, 6th edn, AGPS, Canberra, ACT.

 

8.    Books with one or multiple editors

The in-text citation format in Harvard style for books with an editor is:

edn. The surname of editor Year

For example, (edn. Smith 2018) OR

… edited by Editor’s surname (Year)

For example, edited by Smith (2018)

If there is more than one editor, the first editor’s surname is written, followed by eds. (short for editors).

The reference list entry follows the same format as that of a book with a single author. However, instead of the author’s surname, the editor’s surname is mentioned.

For example, reference list entry for the above-mentioned source would be:

Smith, KL (edn.) 2018, Sociology of globalization: cultures, economies, and politics, Routledge, Boulder, CO.

 

9.    Chapters or other kinds of parts from a book with multiple contributors

It might be that a book has been referenced to which has multiple contributors. They can be other authors or scholars who have written about the subject under discussion. Harvard in-text citation format for such a book or chapter from such a book is the same as a regular book i.e.:

(Author surname year, p.#)

For example, ‘Special economic zones were the earliest to be established in China’ (Wang 2018, p. 137). OR

Author surname (Year, p.#)

For example, Wang (2018, p. 137) states that ‘Special economic zones were the earliest to be established in China’.

The point to remember is that the name of the chapter’s any one author (contributor) has to be mentioned in the in-text reference.

The reference entry list also follows the same format as that of a regular book. So, the reference list entry for the above source would be:

Wang, S 2018, ‘From special economic zones to special technological zones’, in C Hsieh & M Lu (eds), Changing China: a geographic appraisal, Taylor & Francis, Boulder, CO, pp.137-155.

 

10.    Books with a translator alongside an author

If a book’s translated version has been used in a manuscript, it’s important to give reference to its translator. Harvard follows this format for doing so in the case of in-text citation:

(Translator name Year)

For example, (Jablonka 2018)

The format for such a book’s reference list entry in Harvard style is the same as that for books without a translator. However, in place of the author’s surname, the translator’s surname is written instead. Also, trans. which is short for translation is written after the book’s title, for example:

Jablonka, I 2018, History is contemporary literature: a manifesto for the social sciences, trans. N Bracher, Cornell University Press, Ithaca, NY.

 

11.    Books with organization names

Sometimes, the organization that publishes a book is considered its author, too. In such a case, Harvard referencing style dictates the following formats be used for in-text and reference list entries:

For in-text citations: Name of the organization in place of author’s surname Year, for example:

(Britannica Educational Publishing 2018)

An important point to note: In case an organization has a very long name, its abbreviated title is written instead of its name. However, whichever format is to be followed, it should be followed consistently throughout the manuscript.

For reference list entry: Name of the organization Year, Title of the book in italics, Publisher name (often the same as the name of the organization), Place of Publication, City/State abbreviation.

For example, reference list entry for the above source would be:

Britannica Educational Publishing 2018, Statistics and probability, Britannica Educational Publishing, Chicago, IL.

 

12.    Books from a library database

The format for such books is the same as that of a print book. An example of in-text citation from a library database is:

(Bowie et al. 2018) OR

Bowie et al. (2018) regards…

Its reference list entry would be:

Bowie, D, Buttle, F, Brookes, M & Mariussen, A 2016, Hospitality marketing, Routledge, London.

Point to remember: Library database books are also online, therefore, these are ebooks, too.

 

13.    Books from a website, blog, or another online platform

The format for citing and referencing books from a website is also the same as that for print or other ebook formats. However, the only difference lies in the fact that retrieval data and a URL is included instead of city/state of publication in reference list entry.

An example of an in-text citation of a book obtained from a website is:

(Fetter 1904) OR

Fetter (1904) stated…

Its reference list entry will be:

Fetter, FA 1904, The principles of economics: with applications to practical problems, Century, viewed 21 January 2019, <https://www.gutenberg.org/files/40077/40077-h/40077-h.htm>.

It can be written as either ‘viewed’ or ‘retrieved on.’ But whichever term is used, it should be used consistently throughout the manuscript.

 

14.    Books from an eReader

An eReader is an online platform that is used for reading books, either for free or for a certain amount of money. Commonly used eReaders these days include Amazon and Wattpad.

In Harvard style, the format for in-text citations for eReader books is:

(Author surname Year, Section/Chapter Title, p.#)

For example, ‘I decided to openly fight the machine, the manufacturers of myth…’ (McGowan 2018, Author’s note, Loc 236)

In case of reference list entries, the format followed is:

Author surname, First name initials, title of the book in italics, eReader version #, retrieval date Month Year from eReader name.

For example,

McGowan, R 2018, Brave, eReader version, accessed 18 May 2018 from Amazon.com.

In case of referencing direct quotes from an eReader book whose page numbers aren’t accessible, the name of the chapter, section, and paragraph number is written instead.

For example:

In-text citation: (Nietzsche 2017) OR

(Nietzsche 2017, chapter 1, para. 2)

Reference list entry: Nietzsche, F 2017, Beyond good and evil, Kindle edition, AmazonClassics, Seattle, viewed 18 August 2019, <https://www.amazon.com.au/>.

 

15.    Multiple books by the same author

Sometimes, it might be that more than a single book has been cited or referenced, all having the same author. In such a case, every reference entry is separate for each of the books cited in the text. Also, the book that was published first is referenced first in the reference list.

The Harvard format for citing multiple works by the same author in the text is the same as that of a regular book, by a single author, i.e.:

(Author Surname Year, p.#)

For instance, ‘Perceptions of an event have more impact than the event itself, so accurate perceptions are key (Fujishin 2016, 2018).’

OR

‘Fujishin (2016, 2018) tells us gesture is critical to creating genuine interpersonal connections.’

The reference list entry follows this format:

Author Surname, First name initials, the title of the book in italics, Publisher name, City, Country.

For instance, the reference list entries for the above two books by the same author will be:

Fujishin, R 2016, Natural bridges: a guide to interpersonal communication, Routledge, Abbingdon, England.

Fujishin, R 2018, The natural speaker, 9th edn, Routledge, New York.

The book that was published first is referenced first.

16.    Multiple books with the same author and publication date

In Harvard referencing, the letters a, b, c etc. are written alongside the year of the books’ publication by the same author. In the text, the citation follows the format:

(Author surname, Yeara, Yearb)

For example, ‘The illustrations in Branford & Coutts (2015a, 2015b) highlight how line drawings add to the textual message … ‘

​The reference list entry is the same as that for a regular book with a single author. However, the same letter is written with the publication year as that written in the in-text citation whose reference is being given.

For example, the two books (by the same authors) for the above in-text citation will have the following reference list entries:

Branford, A & Coutts, L 2015a, The precious ring, Walker Books Australia, Newtown, NSW.

AND

Branford, A & Coutts, L 2015b, The wishing seed, Walker Books Australia, Newtown, NSW.

Here, ‘a’ and ‘b’ denotes the two books, indicating to the readers that both are by the same authors.

 

17.    Books that are part of a series

When a book that is part of a series is being referenced and cited in Harvard style, the series title is written after the book title. If the first edition was used, it’s not mentioned. All other editions must be specified after the series’ title.

The general Harvard format for citing such books is:

In-text citation: (Author Surname Year) OR

(Author Surname Year, page number)

Note: When multiple authors’ names are written in the text, ‘and is used in between them.

Reference list entry: Author Surname, Initial(s) Year, Book title in italics, Series title Publisher, Place of Publication.

For example:

In-text citation: (Saad 2007) OR (Saad 2007, p. 89)

Reference list entry: Saad, G 2007, The evolutionary bases of consumption, Marketing and consumer psychology series, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Mahwah, New Jersey.

Similarly, another example is:

In-text citation: (Pugel 2009) OR (Pugel 2009, p. 55)

Reference list entry: Pugel, TA 2009, International economics, The McGraw-Hill series in economics, 14th edn, McGraw-Hill Irwin, Boston.

 

18.    Secondary Sources

Secondary sources refer to the use of some words/phrases and ideas etc. of an author who himself/herself has been referenced to in the book. In-text citation used in Harvard style for such a source has the format:

(Surname of Author whose ideas/words are being referenced to, cited in Surname of Author whose book contains the reference to the original author Year, p.#).

For example, ‘…new forms of oversight and ethical review were integrated into growing bureaucracies of big bioscience’ (Stark, cited in Hurlbut 2017, p.3).

This way, justice is done and the names of both the authors are provided.

In the reference list entry, the title of that book is provided which was read, which contained the ideas/words of another author. The remainder of the reference format is the same as that of a regular with a single author.

For example, for the above source, the reference list entry will be:

Hurlbut, JB 2017, Experiments in democracy: human embryo research and the politics of bioethics, Columbia University Press, New York, NY.

 

19.    Classical books

In-text citation for quotes or other forms of references from classical works is like that of the Bible. The author’s surname is followed by a chapter, volume, or section number (depending on whichever is available) and, after a semi-colon, the page number and version name of the classic is given.

For example, ‘Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself (John 15:4, New International Version).

In the case of reference list entries for cited classics,

  1. A reference list entry is not needed if no direct quote or extract has been cited in the text.
  2. In case a particular edition—for instance, an abridged version of a classic—has been cited in the text, its reference is given in the same format as that of a regular print book.
  3. In citations such as this one, ‘William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, act 3, scene 2, line 74 illustrates the involvement of family …’ a reference list entry is not needed.

 

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About Alaxendra Bets

Bets completed her degree in English Literature in 2014. She has been working as a professional editor and writer with Research Prospect since then. Bets loves to help students improve their learning.