A referencing style is a set of rules telling you how to acknowledge the thoughts, ideas and works of others in a particular way.
Referencing is a crucial part of successful academic writing and is key to your assignments and research.
Which referencing style should I use?
- There is no standard style used at UQ
- In some cases there is a standard style used by a particular school or discipline, but even in those cases it is still possible that a particular lecturer may require a different style
- Students should check their course profile or ask their lecturer
- Researchers submitting a paper for publication in a journal should check the journal's Instructions for Authors, which will normally be available on the journal's website
See also information on the Referencing Software page for information on ways to automate your referencing.
Guides to Referencing Styles
|ACS||American Chemical Society|
|AGLC||Australian Guide to Legal Citation|
|AMA||American Medical Association|
|APA||American Psychological Assocation|
|Chicago||Chicago Manual of Style|
|CSE (CBE)||Council of Science Editors/Council of Biology Editors|
|IEEE||Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers|
|MLA||Modern Language Association of America|
Griffith University Referencing Tool
The following schools have their own official referencing guides.
Caution: Even if you are a student in one of these schools, you should still check which referencing style your lecturer prefers.
- Agriculture and Food Sciences (Gatton) (PDF, 187 KB)
- Business (Academy of Management Journal) (PDF, 174 KB)
- Dentistry (Australian Dental Journal) (PDF, 236 KB)
- Geography, Planning and Environmental Management
- Journalism and Communication
- School of Languages and Cultures
- Political Science and International Studies
- Social Science
- Veterinary Science (Australian Veterinary Journal) (171.96 KB)
ACS (American Chemical Society)
The style manual of the American Chemical Society is now in its third edition. It is widely used in chemistry and related disciplines. The ACS manual gives instructions for numbered referencing and also for in-text (Harvard style) referencing.
The ACS style gyide: efffective communication of scientific information, 3rd ed is available in the Library.
AGLC (Australian Guide to Legal Citation)
This is now the standard Australian guide for referencing in Law. It is a footnote style and includes detailed provisions for referencing statutes, case reports and other legal materials.
Australian guide to legal citation, 3rd ed is available in the Library.
AMA (American Medical Association)
This style is widely used in medicine, especially in journals published by the American Medical Association.
AMA manual of style : a guide for authors and editors, 10th ed is available in the Library.
APA (American Psychological Association)
This is the standard style used in Psychology, but it is also widely used in other disciplines, especially in the Social Sciences. It is one of the many variants of the Harvard style.
Concise rules of APA style, 6th ed is available in the Library.
Chicago Manual of Style
The Chicago Manual of Style is the most widely consulted of all style manuals. It includes provisions for footnote referencing and author-date referencing.
The Chicago Manual's footnote referencing system is widely used in the arts and humanities.
Online resources for 16th ed:
Online resources for 15th ed:
CSE (Council of Science Editors)
The manual of the Council of Science Editors (CSE) is now in its seventh edition. It was first issued in 1960 by the Council of Biology Editors and is still sometimes referred to as the CBE manual. It is widely used in the life sciences, and its provisions are applicable to other scientific disciplines also.
The CSE manual recommends a numbered referencing system, where the reference list is arranged alphabetically by author and numbered accordingly.
Scientific style and format: the CSE manual for authors, editors, and publishers, 7th ed is available in the Library.
Harvard is a generic term for any style which contains author-date references in the text of the document, such as (Smith 1999). There will also be a list of references at the end of the document, arranged by authors' names and year of publication. There is no official manual of the Harvard style: it is just a generic term for the many styles which follow that format.
The UQ Library Harvard Style is based on the AGPS/AGIMO style manual. The latest edition of that manual is the 6th edition (2002).
IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers)
The IEEE is the major professional body and publisher in the fields of electrical engineering and computer science. Their style manual is widely used in those disciplines. It uses a numbered reference list.
The IEEE Computer Society has its own style manual, which is based on the IEEE manual but differs in some respects.
MLA (Modern Language Association of America)
The MLA style is widely used in the fields of modern literature and linguistics.
MLA referencing uses Harvard-style references in the text of the document, but without the year of publication.
The MLA style is published in two different publications: MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing and MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. These two publications contain identical guidelines for referencing.
MLA style manual and guide to scholarly publishing, 3rd ed and MLA Handbook for writers of research papers, 7th ed are available in the Library.
Vancouver is a generic term for a style of referencing widely used in the health sciences, using a numbered reference list.
There is no official manual of the Vancouver style, but the US National Library of Medicine's style guide is now considered the most authoritative manual on this type of referencing.