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Karlstads universitetsbibliotek - ämnesguider

Harvard KAU - a reference manual from Karlstad University Library

Reference list

The reference list is  a complete list of all the cited references used in your work with full bibliographic details, to allow the reader to follow up these references and find the original text. The reference list is sorted alphabetically by author.  If there are multiple works by the same author these are ordered by date, oldest one first. If the works are in the same year they are ordered alphabetically by the title and a letter (a,b,c etc) is added to the date, e.g. (1998a). Each reference entry should have an indent for all but the first line. This is called a hanging indent and can be formatted easily in most word processing software packages.

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).


New edition

The edition statement is placed after the title of the work. This is not necessary for a first edition.

Reference list:

Polit, D.F. & Beck, C.T. (2017[2018]). Essentials of nursing research: appraising evidence for nursing practice. 9. ed. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer.


References are listed at the end of your work and arranged alphabetically A-Z by the surname of the author.