17 Notes and references
17.3 Author–date system
An apparatus for references known as the author–date (or Harvard) system is normal in the scientific, technical, and medical fields, and is also used extensively in the social sciences. It is not based on notes but relies on brief parenthetical references in the text to take the reader to the appropriate point in a consolidated list of full citations, generally known as the reference section. A reference section includes only those works that are cited in the text; a more general list of works of related interest should be called Bibliography or Further Reading. This is an economical method of citing straightforward published sources.
It is possible to combine this arrangement with a separate sequence of numbered notes for explanatory or discursive matter:
a stoutly republican coalition that retained none the less a great deal of the administrative style of the old regime (see Stookey 1974). It was replaced by a government with a different style,2 a style … not forgotten or revoked.
The usual explanation of the timing of the coup is that it forestalled a Ba’athist plot. That this was no simple question … we shall see when we quote the speeches given at a tribal meeting soon afterwards.
Stookey, R. W., 1974. ‘Social Structure and Politics in the Yemen Arab Republic’, Middle East Journal, 28/3: 248–60; 28/4: 409–19
In extreme cases where multiple references (and multiple authors) render a sentence unreadable, and the problem cannot be resolved by rewriting, a group of references may be relegated to a footnote. Bracketed author–date references to a bibliographic list are sometimes included within footnotes.
17.3.1 Reference section
In the author–date system the full references are listed alphabetically in a section at the end of the text (either chapter by chapter or in a consolidated list at the end of the book). As in bibliographies, authors’ initials generally follow their surnames. To facilitate linking with the short references given in the text the date of publication immediately follows the authors’ names. The styling of these references can vary considerably; scientific and medical publishers, for example, may use very different conventions from those adopted in the humanities. For example, end references may be fully or minimally punctuated and formatted:
Kalavala M, Mills CM, Long CC, et al. (2007). The fingertip unit: A practical guide to topical therapy in children. J Dermatol Treat 18:319–320.
There is a general preference for minimal punctuation in scientific work, to save space and keying time, while humanities publications usually prefer fuller punctuation. For further guidance see
17.3.2 References in text
A typical reference in the text consists of an author’s name and date of publication enclosed within parentheses (or occasionally square brackets), with or without a comma separating name and date, according to the style adopted. The reference is placed immediately after the statement to which it relates. If this happens to be at the end of a sentence the closing parenthesis precedes the closing point (but a reference at the end of a displayed quotation follows the closing punctuation). If the author’s name is given in open text it need not be repeated in the parentheses, where the date alone suffices. Several references may be included within the same parentheses, separated by semicolons:
While there was an extraordinary sense of optimism among people establishing their own farms in the early years of independence (Unwin 1994), this is rapidly withering away.
Unwin, T. (1994), ‘Structural Change in Estonian Agriculture: From Command Economy to Privatisation’, Geography, 79, 3: 246–61.
For years, most textbooks referred to the five stages of economic integration as defined by Balassa (1961).
Balassa, Bela (1961), The Theory of Economic Integration. London: Allen and Unwin.
They are also used to detect segmental hypermobility (Magarey 1988, Maitland 2001).
Magarey ME (1988). Examination of the Cervical and Thoracic Spine. In: R Grant (ed.) Physical Therapy of the Cervical and Thoracic Spine, pp. 81–109. Churchill Livingstone: New York.
Maitland G (2001) Maitland’s Vertebral Manipulation, 6th edn. Butterworth–Heinemann: Oxford.
Multiple authorship is very common in scientific publication. Each work should have a consistent convention as to how many authors’ names are given in full and what number, if any, should be reduced to ‘et al.’ (sometimes italicized) after the name of the first author (see
One of the biggest successes of the 1960s was transformed into an albatross hanging from the neck of an embattled Community (Rosenblatt et al., 1988).
Rosenblatt, Julius et al. (1988). The Common Agricultural Policy of the European Community, International Monetary Fund, occasional paper 62, November.
Prototypical birds, for instance, seem to be birds of average size and average predacity (Rips et al., 1973).
Rips LJ, Shoben EJ, Smith EE (1973). Semantic Distance and the Verification of Semantic Relations. Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behaviour 12: 1–20.
It has been estimated that the human eye can discriminate no fewer than 7.5 million just noticeable colour differences (Brown and Lenneberg 1954).
Brown, R., and Lenneberg, E. H. (1954). ‘A Study in Language and Cognition’. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology 49: 454–62.
If the reference section contains works by authors of the same surname their initials may be retained in the in-text reference to distinguish between them. If there is more than one work by an author in a single year they are distinguished by lower-case letters (either roman or italic depending on house style) appended to the year in the parenthetical reference and in the list. The dates of several works by a single author are separated by commas. Occasionally a parenthetical reference may be introduced by terms like ‘see’, ‘see also’, or ‘cf.’:
a diverse body of work has emerged which focuses on the ‘governance’ of socio-economic systems (see Jessop 1995a, 1997)
Jessop, B. (1995a) ‘The Regulation Approach, Governance and Post-Fordism’, Economy and Society, 24, 3: 307–33.
Jessop, B. (1995b) ‘Regional Economic Blocs’, American Behavioral Scientist, 38, 5: 674–715.
Jessop, B. (1997) ‘The Governance of Complexity and Complexity of Governance’, in A. Amin and J. Hausner (eds) Beyond Markets and Hierarchy, Aldershot: Edward Elgar.
How to style references to works that do not fit into the normal pattern of author and title is a matter for editorial judgement. A reference to an anonymous work, for instance, may place either ‘anon.’ or a short title before the date of publication; reference to a work produced by a corporate body may similarly use either the work title or the name of the body, abbreviated if the name is very long:
at the hands of the state, paramilitary and guerilla forces (CNRR/GMH, 2008a)
CNNR/GMH (Comisión Nacional de Reparación y Reconciliación y Grupo de Memoría Historica) (2008a) Trujilla: Una Tragedia que no Cesa [Trujilla: A Tragedy Without End], Bogotá, Colombia: CNRR.
A reference to an unsigned item in a periodical may use its title and date. The crucial point is that all in-text references should be styled consistently with the reference section and should enable the reader easily to identify the source there.
A personal communication or an interview with the author may be so described in a parenthetical reference, but need not be included in the reference section:
By this time, industry had come to play a leading role (World Bank 1993).
World Bank (1993) Vietnam: Transition to the Market. Washington, DC: The World Bank.
in Uppsala ‘the main aim is to create sustainable development, although there is no true consensus as to what this means’ (Peterson, pers. comm.).
Agneta Peterson, environmental planning officer, Uppsala municipality.
The same is also true of academic papers submitted but not yet accepted for publication; see also
Broadly speaking, articles in scientific disciplines are shorter than those in the humanities, and often it is not necessary to specify a location within in-text references; locations are more commonly cited in references in the social sciences. When a location is given it is usually separated from the date by a colon.
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