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Karlstads universitetsbibliotek - ämnesguider

Harvard KAU - a reference manual from Karlstad University Library

In-text citations

The Harvard citation style is an author-date referencing style. There are two main elements in the Harvard citation style: in-text citations in your text and the reference list at the end of your paper. 

In-text citations should provide enough information for the reader to be able to find the source in the reference list.   

In-text citation:

(Jandt 2013)  OR  ... according to Jandt (2013).

Reference list:

 Jandt, F. E. (2013). An introduction to intercultural communication: identities in a global community. 7. ed. Thousand Oaks: Sage


Authors and corporate authors

In-text citation:

(Phillips 2011)

If you use the author’s surname in a sentence, you need only add the year of publication in brackets.

Based on the study by Phillips (2011) ...


Reference list:

Phillips, R.A. (2011). Stakeholder theory: impacts and prospects. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.


Multiple references by the same author/s
If you cite two or more references by the same author/s, arrange them in chronological order, starting with the earliest date.

(Grönroos 2001, 2005)


When referring to two or more authors at one point in the text, list them in alphabetical order, separated by semicolon.

 (Grönroos 2005; Jonsson 2001)

Two authors
If a work has 2 authors, cite the names in the order in which they appear in the reference list.

(Camén & Lidestam 2016)


If the author names are integrated into the sentence, use 'and' instead of the ampersand '&'.

According to Camén and  Lidestam (2016) ...

Authors with the same surname

When citing references written by authors with the same surname, include the authors’ initials in in-text citations. 

(Larson, P.  2001; Larson, E. 2001)


When P. Larson (2001) and E. Larson (2001) define …

Three or more authors

If a work has 3 or more authors, cite only the surname of the first-listed author followed by ‘et al.’in the text. This is a short form for “et alii” meaning “and others”.

(Guo et al. 2017) OR  Guo et al. (2017)                  


Reference list:

Guo, L., Gruen, T. W. & Tang, C. (2017). Seeing relationships through the lens of psychological contracts: the structure of consumer service relationships. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 45(3), 357-376. doi: 10.1007/s11747-015-0462-5

Corporate author - use of acronyms/abbreviations

Companies, authorities and organizations also produce publications and are listed as the author if no author is mentioned. The organization’s name is usually written in full every time it is quoted. For organizations with well-known acronyms, use the full name in the first instance, followed by the acronym in square brackets. From then on, just use the acronym.

In-text citation:

First citation:

(World Health Organization [WHO] 2013)... OR  ...World Health Organization (WHO 2013)

Second citation:

(WHO 2013)


Provide the full name of the organization in the reference list.

Reference list:

World Health Organization (2013). Mental health action plan 2013 - 2020. Geneva: World Health Organization. http://www.who.int/mental_health/publications/action_plan/en/


If you are unsure when the book is published, you can look up the title in the National Union Catalog - Libris.

If the publication date of a web page or document is un-identifiable,  use the abbreviation  “n.d.” (no date) in brackets instead of the year.

Author with several publications the same year

The same author may have two or more publications released the same year. Then add a, b, c etc. immediately after the year to distinguish the different references from each other. The letter used is determined by the alphabetical list of references at the end of the document, not the order in which the sources appear in the body of your assignment.

In-text citation:

Alvesson (2013a) and Alvesson (2013b)


Reference list:

 Alvesson, M. (2013a). The triumph of emptiness: consumption, higher education, and work organization.  Oxford: Oxford University Press.


Alvesson, M. (2013b). Understanding organizational culture. 2. ed. Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publications.


Reprints of classic original works:

For works which are reprints of classic original works, the reference should include details of the original date of the work and reprinting details.

In-text citation:

(Keynes 1936/1988)

Reference list:

 Keynes, J.M. (1988). The general theory of employment, interest, and money. London:  Palgrave  Macmillian. (Original work published 1936).


Page numbers and quotations

Pages in text reference

There are varied practices in different subject areas when it comes to entering pages in text reference or not. In some subjects, you always specify a page when referring, while others only want pages for quotes. The inclusion of page numbers is normally only necessary for direct quotations. This manual deals with page numbers for quotations only. Follow the practice that is common in your subject area or institution. Consult with your supervisor / teacher if you are unsure what is applicable to your subject

Quotations of no more than three sentences can be incorporated into the main text using double quotation marks and the page number.

Kotler and Armstrong (1996, pp. 385) define a profitable customer as ‘‘a person, household, or company whose revenues over time exceed, by an acceptable amount, company costs of attracting, selling, and servicing that customer.’’

Quotations more than three lines long

Quotations longer than three lines should be inserted as a separate, indented paragraph. Quotation marks are not used for longer quotations. Use a smaller font for the quotation, that is, change from size 12 to size 10.

Shortening a direct quote

You may want to shorten a direct quotation. If you omit a word/words from a quote, indicate this with an ellipsis (three dots) with a space before and after the ellipsis ( ... ). A direct quote should neither start nor end with an ellipsis.

Pearson et al. (2007. p.74) conclude that "Critical appraisal is a difficult component of the systematic review process ... the major aim of critical appraisal of any type of evidence is to establish the validity of the evidence for practice." 


Secondary sources

Sometimes you may wish to quote a piece of work that has been referred to in something you have read. You should try to get hold of the original source but sometimes that is not possible and you still want to refer to this secondary reference.

Secondary references should be avoided as far as possible. They should only be used when the original reference is definitely unobtainable.

There are two different ways this information can be formatted:

In-text citation:

Brown (1987; cited in Jacobsen, 2009, p.99) proposed a new theory…


…..new theory  (Brown, 1987;  cited in Jacobsen, 2009, p.99).

Your reference list only needs to give the details of the source that you have read (Jacobsen 2009) without mention of the original reference (Brown).

Reference list:

Jacobsen, B (2009). Modern development. London: Routledge.

Personal communications

Information gained through conversations, emails, phones calls, faxes, letters, lecture presentations or interviews may be cited as "personal communication" in your text. Details are usually not included in the reference list but provided as a source in a footnote. It is important to obtain the permission of the person being referred to.

A footnote to an interview in your text:

Björk1 recommends that …

The footnote at the bottom on the page:

1Hans Björk VD KPMG, interview June 14 2006.

A footnote to a lecture in your text: 

Rundhpoints out that ...

The footnote at the bottom on the page:

1Bo Rundh, professor at Karlstad Business School, Karlstad University. Distributionens betydelse [The importance of the distribution], lecture November 30 2016.

N.B. Interviews and surveys which form part of your empirical material are not considered as personal communication. The way they are to be referred to can vary; they can be presented in the body of the text or listed in an attachment. Consult your supervisor.