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Harvard Journal Citation

First used in Harvard by a professor of zoology in the 1880s, the Harvard citation style follows elementary author-year rules. Fast forward to today, the Harvard style is used across all disciplines in academia.

The main reason for its wide use is the straightforward citation that doesn’t contain footnotes or details that only confuse the readers. Instead, all citations are simple and economical, thus creating an easy-to-follow text with clear citations.

Formatting reference lists in Harvard style

Although Harvard citation is known to be simple and easy, it still comes with some rules writers have to follow throughout their work. For instance, different types of sources mentioned in the work might require different citation formats. Here’s how to cite journals in Harvard style.

The general format for journals is:

Author or authors (the surname is followed by first initials) Year of article publication, Article title (in single inverted commas), Journal title (in italics), The volume of the journal, Issue number of the journal, Page range of the article.

Here are some examples:

  • One author

Gray, L 2018, ‘Exploring how and why young people use social networking sites’, Educational Psychology in Practice, vol. 34, no. 2, pp. 175-194. 

  • Two authors

Blocker, D & Wahl-Alexander, Z 2018, ‘Using sport education in a university physical activity course’, JOPERD: The Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance, vol. 89, no. 2, pp. 56-61.

  • Three authors

Wilmott, C, Fraser, E & Lammes, S 2018, ‘I am he. I am he. Siri rules: work and play with the Apple Watch’, European Journal of Cultural Studies, vol. 21, no. 1, pp. 78-95.

  • Four or more authors

Battisti, C, Fanelli, G, Bertolino, S, Luiselli, L, Amori, G & Gippoliti, S 2018, ‘Non-native invasive species as paradoxical ecosystem services in urban conservation education’, Web Ecology, vol. 18, no. 1, pp. 37-40.

  • Journal article found online

Celume MP, Besançon M & Zenasni F 2019, ‘Fostering children and adolescents’ creative thinking in education: theoretical model of drama pedagogy training’, Frontiers in Psychology, vol. 9, viewed 28 January 2022, <>. 

Parenthetical references in Harvard style

Parenthetical references, or in-text citations can be displayed with two variants within an article. Remember to add a page number in case you need to include a direct quote. Below are some examples.

  • One author

According to Gray (2018, p. 175)… OR (Gray 2018).

  • Two authors

Blocker and Wahl-Alexander (2018) have found… OR (Blocker & Wahl-Alexander 2018).

  • Three authors

Wilmott, Fraser, and Lammes (2018) mentioned… OR (Wilmott, Fraser & Lammes 2018).

  • Four or more authors

Battisti et al. (2018) said… OR (Battisti et al. 2018).

  • Journal article found online

Celume, Besançon and Zenasni (2019) noted… OR (Celume, Besançon & Zenasni 2019, Introduction section).

How Citation Generator can help you

Even if Harvard citation rules are easy to understand, it can be time-consuming trying to create all citations manually. That’s where a tool such as a Citation Generator comes into play.

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