Skip to content
Home Referencing Referencing FAQs

Referencing FAQs

Is there any software which I can use to create my references for me?

The Library recommends using Zoterobib (this link opens in a new window), which is free and easy to use. All you need to do is copy and paste the source ISBN, DOI, URL etc. into the search box and the reference will be automatically generated for you! Just remember to choose the “Cite Them Right 12th edition – Harvard” style by choosing it from the drop-down menu under the blue Bibliography button.

What do I do if the item I want to reference is not attributed to a person?

Sometimes, a publisher might give a corporate body as the author, or you might want to reference a website run by a corporation. Corporate authors can be things like company names, the name of an organisation, the name of a club or society, or a government department, etc. It is fine to have a corporate author in your bibliography. When a work has a corporate author, simply put the corporate name where you’d normally put an individual author, both within the text and in the bibliography. In the bibliography, list the work alphabetically by (corporate) author just as you would any other material.

For example:
As reported by Oxfam (Oxfam, 2006, p. 2), …
When The Tate informs children about some of the Impressionist artists (Tate, no date), …
Oxfam (2006) Global programme learning report 2006. Oxford: Oxfam GB Publishing.
Tate (no date) Impressionism, Available at: (this link opens in a new window) (Accessed: 12 May 2020).

Should I use the reprint date?

You should always use the publication date rather than the reprint date when referencing. If a publisher publishes a book where the text is different in any way, then they will label it as another edition; in this case, give the date of the edition which you are using.

What do I do if I can’t find a date on the website which I want to reference?

Usually, we scroll to the bottom of a webpage to find a © symbol with a date next to it. However, this can be difficult to find. Do your best to find the date; perhaps send the library the link so we can investigate it together? However, if you really can’t find one, it is fine to put no date in brackets (no date) as a last resort.

How do I reference an online dictionary definition of a word?

The definition of ‘Citation’ (2019) …
‘Citation’ (2019) Available at: (this link opens in a new window) (Accessed: 16 January 2019).

What is secondary referencing?

Secondary referencing is when you want to cite what someone has said, but you can’t access their original words. Instead, you rely on a report of their words by another author. For example:
Harvey (2015, quoted in Lewis, 2018, p.86) provides an excellent survey …
In this example, Lewis’ 2018 book included a quote from Harvey’s 2015 book. In your bibliography, only include the source which you have actually read (Lewis’ book in this example).

Why do I have to use a certain type of punctuation?

In order to prove to your lecturers that you are working at a high academic standard, you want to follow the Norwich University of the Arts Harvard Referencing style exactly. This means using round brackets () around the date and a full stop after the italicised title, etc. This will make it very easy for your lecturers to read your work and to see that you have been referencing correctly. See the referencing guidelines for the exact punctuation to use when referencing.

I’m still confused, how do I get more help?

Have a look at our VLE page, where there is further help available (this link opens in a new window). You can also contact your librarian for a one-to-one tutorial (email to book).