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National College of Ireland


Employee Relations & Industrial Relations Subject Guide: Harvard Referencing

The Harvard referencing style is the most commonly used reference style in the National College of Ireland. It is also known as the ‘author date’ system. The Harvard style records the author surname and publication year within the text of the written work and then provides the full bibliographic details in the list of references at the end, which is titled Bibliography.

See the Harvard section of the NCI Library Referencing and Avoiding Plagiarism LibGuide for further details on how to use the Harvard referencing style.

APA and IEEE may be used by your course - please consult with your lecturer to confirm which style they require you to use.

Getting Started

Harvard referencing consists of two components: 

  1. In-text citations in your paper
  2. The bibliography at the end of your paper

The examples given below are for books with a single author.

In-text citations:

When using the Harvard referencing style, a reference needs to be made at the exact point in your writing where you use or refer to information from another source. This consists of a short, basic reference (Author, Year) inserted every time you use or refer to someone else’s work in-text.


Reidy (2015) suggests that it may be difficult to fill some vacancies as the role may be thought to be low paid or considered to be difficult.

Direct quote

“Some vacancies are difficult to fill due to the nature of the job itself. It may be perceived to be unpleasant, dangerous, badly paid or too stressful” (Reidy, 2015, p. 46).

NB: When a direct quote is used, include the page number(s) the quote was taken from and add it to the in-text citation as show above. If you are paraphrasing, you do not need to include the page number(s) in your in-text citation.

Bibliography reference:

When using the Harvard referencing style, a reference needs to be made in your bibliography at the end of your work. A bibliography provides comprehensive details of the sources used throughout your written work.

Example Reidy, L. (2015) Make that grade: Human resource management. 4th edn. Dublin: Gill and Macmillan.

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Whilst every possible effort has been made to accurately and consistently reflect the APA, Harvard and IEEE styles in the examples provided, small errors may occur. This LibGuide is regularly revised and any errors which are identified will be rectified immediately. Please note, there are also variations within these styles regarding certain details – should your reference vary slightly from an example contained within this LibGuide, it is important that you are consistent with the variation when presenting and formatting your references, as long as it does not follow a contrary style to the one you should be using.

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