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Write Bibliography Oxford Style Tap

Referencing styles

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, avoiding plagiarism 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
AbbreviationFull Name
ACSAmerican Chemical Society
AGLCAustralian Guide to Legal Citation
AMAAmerican Medical Association
AMJAcademy of Management style
APAAmerican Psychological Association
ChicagoChicago Manual of Style
CSE (CBE)Council of Science Editors/Council of Biology Editors
IEEEInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
MLAModern Language Association of America
Griffith University Referencing Tool

This is an Online Referencing Tool. There is a text-only version for Mobile viewing. The Griffith University Referencing Tool covers 4 major styles. (With permission from Griffith University)

Referencing Guides of UQ Schools and Disciplines

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.

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 guide: effective communication of scientific information, 3rd ed is available in the Library.

Online resources:
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.

Online resources for the Australian Guide to Legal Citation, 3rd ed. referencing style:

AMA (American Medical Association)

This style is numbered footnote style 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.

Online resources:

AMJ (Academy of Management style)

The “Academy of Management style” is an author-date style for citing and referencing information in assignments and publications.

Our AMJ UQ Library Guide is based on the Style Guide for the Academy of Management Journal.

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 an author-date style; one of the many variants of the Harvard style.

Concise rules of APA style, 6th ed is available in the Library.

Online resources for the APA 6th ed. referencing style:

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.

Chicago Manual of Style 17th edition resources:

Chicago Manual of Style 16th edition resources:

The Chicago manual of style, 16th ed is available in the Library.

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.

Online resource:


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 Harvard Style is based on the AGPS/AGIMO style manual. The latest edition of that manual is the 6th edition (2002).

UQ Library guides for the referencing style:

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. The MLA style was updated in 2016 by the Modern Language Association. Works are cited in the text with brief parenthetical citations keyed to the list of works cited.

The MLA Handbook 8th edition supersedes:

  • MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing, 3rd ed.
  • MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 7th ed.

We still hold these superseded editions of the MLA 3rd ed. (Manual) and 7th ed. (Handbook) in the Library for clients who have not yet changed to the updated style:

Please check with your course coordinator, lecturer or tutor regarding which style you are required to use in your assessment.


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.

What is Oxford referencing?

The Oxford referencing style is a note citation system developed by the prestigious University of Oxford. It is also sometimes referred to as the documentary-note style. It consists of two elements; footnote citations and a reference list at the end of the document.

If you’ve been asked to make citations in the Oxford referencing style then make sure you follow the guidelines exactly as it can directly impact on the grades you get. Good referencing is a basis for good marks.

How to Oxford reference

To create the footnotes, you need to indicate a reference by putting a superscript number directly following the source material – this number is called the note identifier. You follow this up with a footnote citation at the bottom of the page. The note identifier – often known as an in-text citation – and the footnote should have the same number, thus ensuring the reader knows which source the note identifier is referring to. The footnotes and note identifiers should be in numerical and chronological order. The same number should be attached to the beginning of the citation and should be listed in chronological order.

For the reference list, you need to include the names of the authors, title and date of publication, the name of the publisher and place of publication. Remember to list all the sources you’ve referenced in the footnotes, as well as any other sources that informed your work which you didn’t necessarily quote or paraphrase.

Alternatively, let Cite This For Me do the whole lot for you simply and accurately using our mobile app or free web tool. Zero hassle, zero mistakes.

Oxford referencing example

In-text example:

The sky is blue.1

Footnote example:

Stella Cottrell, The Study Skills Handbook (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013).

Reference list example:

Cottrell, Stella, The Study Skills Handbook (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013)

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