Now, the big question is:

How to cite a book in Harvard referencing?

We recommend you to start with general format and then move to the specific book type you need to cite.

Just copy or download your citation, insert necessary information (like author’s name, title) — and you are all set.

General Book Format:

Last Name, Initials Publication Date, Title of book, Publisher, City.

In our citation examples we use the following color coding:

  • Red – Author
  • Blue – Title of book/article/charter/webpage
  • Pink – Date
  • Orange – Website/Publisher
  • Turquoise – Place of publication
  • Violet – Editor/Translator
  • Black – Volume/Issue
  • Sienna – Pages
  • Gray – URL/database/website where the source is retrieved
  • Gold – Book, a part/chapter of which is being cited

Single author

Sebold, A 2002, The lovely bones, Hachette, London.

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Two or three authors

Lankshear, C & Knobel, M 2006, New literacies: everyday practices and classroom learning, Open University Press, Maidenhead.

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Four or more authors

Evans, J, Grimshaw, P, Philips, D & Swain, S 2003, Equal subjects, unequal rights: indigenous peoples in British settler societies. Manchester University Press, Manchester.

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No author

The Oxford dictionary of abbreviations 1998, Oxford University Press, Oxford.

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Multiple works by the same author

Please note that on the Reference List works by the same author are arranged by year of publication with the earliest work put first.

King, S 2008, The shining, Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, New York, NY.

King, S 2010, Insomnia, Hachette, London.

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Multiple works published in the same year by the same author

See those a and b?

Wondering why are they used?

Different letters (in alphabetical order) are used to distinguish between works that have been written by the same author and published in one year.

It’s useful for your in-text citation so that everyone will understand what exact book you are referring to.

King, S 2008a, The shining, Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, New York, NY.

King, S 2008b, The stand, Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, New York, NY.

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Different editions

Note that when using any edition of the book other than the first, use the publication date of that particular edition and make sure to add the edition number to the entry on the Reference List.

Feldman, R 2011, Understanding psychology, 10th edn, McGraw-Hill, New York, NY.

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Encyclopedia or dictionary


  • when using more than one volume of an encyclopedia, note the volumes used on the Reference List entry.
  • fill in the rest of the information as you would for an edited book.

Mizrahi, T & Davis, L (eds) 2008, The encyclopedia of social work, vols. 1-2, Oxford University Press, New York, NY.

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Chapter in an edited book


  • different formats are used for the name of authors and editors. The author of the chapter is stated at the beginning of the entry in a regular book format (last name followed by initials). However, the name of the editor is listed after the name of the chapter, with initials first, followed by last name.
  • in (ed.) and (eds), only use punctuation if there is one editor, skip the period if there are two or more editors in the entry.
  • remember to include page numbers at the end of the entry.

Johnson, JL & Repta, R 2012, ‘Sex and gender: beyond the binaries’, in JL Oliffe & LJ Greaves (eds), Designing and conducting gender, sex, and health research, SAGE Publishing, Los Angeles, CA, pp. 17-37.

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Chapter in an edited book (no author)

Not sure how to reference a chapter in a book with no author?

Nothing can be easier.

Just omit the name of the author.

‘Economic policies in higher education’ 1993, in S Marginson (ed.), Education and public policy in Australia, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 122-142.

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Pamphlet (no author)

Freedom to choose – sexual and reproductive health and rights in Finland’s development policy 2010, Erweko Painotuote Oy, Oulu.

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EBook (from a database of subscribed eBooks)


  • for eBooks accessed online, make sure to include date last viewed.
  • there is no need to include the location of publication of the print version, but do include the name of the original publisher.

Manion, L 2014, Narrating the Crusades: loss and recovery in medieval and early modern english literature, Cambridge University Press, viewed 26 January 2017, via Dawsonera.

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Thesis (online)


  • when using a thesis, it is important to distinguish it from other types of academic works. Specify the education level for the thesis (MA, MSc or PhD) and the educational institution to which the thesis was submitted.
  • if the thesis is available online, provide a current link and fill in the date that you last accessed the document.

Deines, T 2007, Global warming coverage in the media: trends in a Mexico City newspaper, MSc Thesis, Kansas State University, viewed 26 January 2017, <>.

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Paper from a published conference proceedings

Tran, CK, Tseng, CD & Lee TF 2016, ‘Improving the face recognition accuracy under varying illumination conditions for local binary patterns and local ternary patterns based on Weber-Face and singular value decomposition’, 3rd International Conference on Green Technology and Sustainable Development (GTSD), Kaohsiung, Taiwan, pp. 5-9.

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Further study