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Style Manual

Author–date

The author–date system includes details for author and date in the text with a full citation in a list of references. This system is the default for Australian Government content.

Include author and date in text, and list full details later

The author–date system uses:

  • in-text citations with the author’s name and the date of publication
  • an alphabetical reference list with the full information about the source.

People use the information from an in-text citation to find the corresponding reference in the list.

The author–date system is useful when you have many sources to cite. It’s mostly used in scientific writing and government reports, but you can use it for any type of writing. It’s more accessible than the documentary–note system, as there are no superscript numbers or symbols.

The referencing systems used by Harvard and the American Psychological Association (APA) are examples of the author–date system. It’s also called the name–year system.

Copyright requirements

You must properly attribute copyright material you cite or reference. This includes text, images, video and sounds.

Include all the details required by open access licences (read how to attribute Creative Commons).

Read the government copyright rules in the Australian Government intellectual property manual.

In-text citations

An in-text citation gives the author’s name and the date of publication. You can put the author’s name as part of a sentence, or it can go in parentheses with the date. Always include the date in parentheses. Don’t separate the name and date with a comma.

Example

Jones (2017) reported similar results.

Other results were similar (Jones 2017).

Most in-text citations have only the author’s family name (or authoring organisation’s name) and the year.

Use the shortened form of an organisation’s name in the in-text citation. (In the reference list, you can use the shortened form followed by the spelt-out form in parentheses.)

Example

The ABC (2019) reported ...

Two or more authors

For a work by 2 authors, include both names in the in-text citation.

Example

Black and Jones (2017) reported similar results.

For a work by 3 or more authors, use the first author’s name plus the Latin term ‘et al.’ (meaning ‘and others’). Don’t use italics for ‘et al.’. All authors’ names are included in the reference list.

Example

Holmes et al. (2019) reported many changes.

Write this

Other researchers reported similar results (Watson et al. 2017).

Not this

Other researchers reported similar results (Watson, Black, Jones and Abaza 2017).

Use the word ‘and’ between names outside and inside parentheses. Don’t use the ampersand (‘&’).

Like this

Other researchers reported similar results (Black and Jones 2017).

Not this

Other researchers reported similar results (Black & Jones 2017).

Page numbers

Include page numbers in the in-text citation only when the work has page numbers and you’re including a direct quotation. Use a colon between the date and page numbers.

Example

‘These were identical results’ (White and Jones 2019:23–24).

White and Jones (2019:23–24) claimed that these were ‘identical results’.

Multiple works in one citation

When citing multiple works in the same in-text citation, use semicolons between citations. Enclose all the citations in one set of parentheses.

Example

Other researchers reported similar results (White and Jones 2017; Black 2018; Abaza 2019).

Multiple works by the same author in the same year

When citing multiple works by the same author in the same year, put a letter after the date of each citation. Put an ‘a’ after the date of the first work you cite, then a ‘b’ after the date of the second, and so on.

Example

She has written extensively on Australia – New Zealand relations (Dobell 2018a, 2018b).

Shortened forms and abbreviations of names

Use shortened forms and abbreviations in in-text citations to save space.

Use the same shortened form in the reference list, followed by the spelt-out version. That way the user can easily find the reference but can also see the organisation’s full name.

Write this

Australian trade with India expanded significantly in the second half of the decade (DFAT 2018).

Not this

Australian trade with India expanded significantly in the second half of the decade (Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade 2018).

No date of publication

For works without a date, write ‘n.d.’ (for ‘no date’) instead of the year of publication.

Example

White and Jones (n.d.) reported similar results.

Other researchers reported similar results (White and Jones n.d.).

Reference lists

A reference list includes the full details of every cited work. Use the heading ‘References’.

On a webpage, place the reference list immediately after the content and under the heading ‘References’. In print, place the reference list after any appendices but before an index.

If the content has sections written by different authors or on different subjects, include a reference list at the end of each section. This helps users who are interested in only one section and keeps reference lists manageable.

Include a reference in your list for each source you cite in text. All other sources can go in a list called ‘More reading’ or ‘More information’. This list should appear after the reference list.

Some types of specialised sources, such as works of art, need their own reference list. Others, like legislation, are only included in a reference list if there are references to other types of works as well.

Check each type of specialised source that you’re using to see if you need to include it in a reference list.

Order the elements of each item in a reference list

References in the list will have different elements depending on the type of source. For example, when citing a book, include the name of the publisher and publishing location. When citing a website, include the date you accessed it.

The general order is:

  1. author or authoring organisation’s name
  2. publishing date
  3. title (and series or issue details)
  4. publisher details
  5. accessed date (for digital content).

Some elements have shortened forms used in referencing. Use the shortened form when appropriate.

Follow the examples of author–date citations.

Personal author names

Write the family name of the authors, editors or translators before writing their initials. Use the original spelling for all author names.

Don’t separate the family name from the initials with a comma. Don’t separate initials with full stops.

Like this

Smith AB

Not this

Smith, AB

Smith A.B.

Works by 2 or more authors

Unlike for in-text citations, include all of the authors’ names in a reference list.

Write this

Jackson D, Li X and Chandran P (2018) ‘Safety and equity’, Psychological Science Australia, 2(4):223–240.

Not this

Jackson D et al. (2018) ‘Safety and equity’, Psychological Science Australia, 2(4):223–240.

Government names that have changed

Organisations change names over time. Use the name that appears on the source.

For example, the Services Australia annual report for 2016–17 has the author as the Department of Human Services. That was the name of the agency at the time, so use Department of Human Services as the author when you cite the report.

Shortened forms and abbreviations of organisations’ names

If you have used the shortened form of an organisation’s name in your content, use it in your references. Use the shortened form followed by the spelt-out version in parentheses.

Use the shortened form in subsequent references.

Example

DFAT (Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade) (2018) Fact sheets for countries and regions – India [online document], DFAT, accessed 29 January 2020.

Only use a shortened form of an agency’s name if the agency uses it regularly.

For example, the Australian Public Service Commission regularly uses the initialism ‘APSC’, so use it after the first mention and in the references.

When citing webpages, the author and the name of the website are often both the organisation’s name. To avoid repetition of long names, use the shortened form for the name of the website after the title. Do this even if you have not introduced the shortened form before.

Like this

Australian and New Zealand Spatial Information Council (n.d.) Place names, ANZLIC website, accessed 5 December 2019.

Not this

Australian and New Zealand Spatial Information Council (n.d.) Place names, Australian and New Zealand Spatial Information Council website, accessed 5 December 2019.

Works without a date

For works without a date, write ‘n.d.’ instead of the date of publication.

Example

Lists should be clear (McMurrey n.d.) … [In-text citation]

McMurrey DA (n.d.) Online technical writing: lists, Chemnitz University of Technology, accessed 13 October 2019. [Reference list item]

Works that need the full date of publication

For works like newspaper articles and social media posts, include the full date – not just the year – in the reference list. It makes it easier for users to find this detail.

Write this

Richardson A (24 May 2018) ‘Australia imports almost all of its oil, and there are pitfalls all over the globe’, The Conversation, accessed 29 January 2020.

Not this

Richardson A (2018) ‘Australia imports almost all of its oil, and there are pitfalls all over the globe’, The Conversation, accessed 29 January 2020.

Style and spell titles consistently

Use capitals, punctuation and italics consistently in all references.

Follow the rules in the examples of author–date citations, but generally:

  • Capitalise all proper nouns, the names of periodicals and the first word of titles.
  • Use lower case for all other words.
  • Use commas to separate elements after the title.
  • Use a full stop at the end of the reference.

Use italics for the formal title of a complete published work.

Don't use italics if the reference is:

  • a book chapter
  • an article
  • a poem
  • an episode
  • a page that is part of a series or a similar division.

If it’s part of a publication, use single quotation marks around the title and use italics for the name of the series, book or periodical.

Example

McKenzie J (2011) The editor’s companion, 2nd edn, Cambridge University Press, Melbourne. [The italicised title is for a complete published work.]

Yik J (1 June 2017) ‘Changing Australian medicine names’, Australian Prescriber, accessed 5 December 2019. [The reference is to a title for part of a publication (a periodical).]

Use the original spelling for all titles and periodical names. This includes retaining misspellings and American spelling variations.

Example

Bishop S and Back F (2020) ‘Organizational issues and color-coding’, Journal of Pediatric Science, 4(2):22–25. [‘Organizational’ is an American spelling.]

Hyperlink titles and include access dates for online works

Unless the source is behind a paywall, hyperlink the title of works available online.

You don’t need to include the URL in references in digital content.

Example

DFAT (Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade) (2018) Fact sheets for countries and regions – India [online document], DFAT, accessed 29 January 2020.

Content publishers should make sure the CSS print style sheet automatically displays the URLs from the hyperlinks when the content is printed. This might be a default style in your document’s template.

If the document is print only, include a URL after the reference. Put the URL after the final full stop.

Example

DFAT (Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade) (2018) Fact sheets for countries and regions – India [online document], DFAT, accessed 29 January 2020. https://dfat.gov.au/trade/resources/Pages/trade-and-economic-fact-sheets-for-countries-economies-and-regions.aspx

[A print-only reference: the full hyperlink comes after the full stop, as the title cannot be hyperlinked.]

Include the date you accessed the work. This is important because online sources can change. The information you’re linking to could be different to what users will find in the future.

PDFs

If you’re citing a PDF, avoid linking directly to the PDF. Instead link to the landing page where the PDF is hosted.

Landing pages tend to be a more stable place to link to. PDFs are often renamed or moved around a site. Linking to a PDF also requires the user to download content.

Example

Thomson Reuters Australia (2017) ‘Legislation and commentary table of abbreviations’ Westlaw AU Guides, Thomson Reuters Australia, accessed 6 April 2020.

[The link targets a landing page, not a PDF.]

If the PDF doesn’t have a landing page, link to the PDF and include ‘PDF’ in square brackets after the title. Follow ‘PDF’ with the file size in kilobytes (KB) or megabytes (MB). Include both of these additional details in the linked text.

Cite the PDF with the details you can find in the document. Sometimes details like publication dates will be missing.

Example

Thomson Reuters Australia (n.d.) Table of abbreviations [PDF 94.35KB], Thomson Reuters Australia, accessed 20 January 2020.

Digital object identifiers (DOIs)

A DOI is a series of numbers and punctuation that identifies a document. Unlike a URL, a DOI always stays the same. DOIs are also internationally standardised.

Works that have DOIs include most journal articles, some e-books and some PDFs.

If the document has a DOI, include it in the citation in the reference list. Put it at the end of the citation and include the shortened form ‘doi’ in lower case before it.

Example

Kelleher T (2009) ‘Conversational voice’, Journal of Communication, 59(1):172–188, doi:10.1111/j.1460-2466.2008.01410.x.

Detail page, volume and issue numbers

If a citation has a volume number, an issue number and page numbers, follow the format: volume(issue):page–page.

Example

Jackson D, Li X and Chandran P (2018) ‘Safety and equity’, Psychological Science Australia, 2(4):223–240.

In this example, the work is from volume 2, issue 4, and it’s on pages 223 to 240.

Alphabetise the reference items in the list

Order the reference list in alphabetical order, according to the family name and given name of the lead author.

Example

Jackson D, Li X and Chandran P (2018) ‘Safety and equity’, Psychological Science Australia, 2(4):223–240.

Richardson A (24 May 2018) ‘Australia imports almost all of its oil, and there are pitfalls all over the globe’, The Conversation, accessed 29 January 2020.

Multiple works by the same author

If you have multiple works by the same writer, list them in date order.

Example

Schade S (1 February 2015) ‘The fold manifesto: why the page fold still matters’, Nielsen Norman Group, accessed 12 November 2019.

Schade S (11 February 2018) ‘Inverted pyramid: writing for comprehension’, Nielsen Norman Group, accessed 12 November 2019.

In very long reference lists, such as in reports and theses, the same author may be cited many times.

To avoid repetition, you can use 2 unspaced em dashes for works by the same author cited immediately afterwards.

Example

Australian Bureau of Statistics (2014a) Arts and culture in Australia: a statistical overview, catalogue number 4172.0, accessed 20 July 2019.

——(2014b) Australian social trends, catalogue number 4102.0, accessed 20 July 2019.

——(2014c) General social survey: summary results, Australia, catalogue number 4159.0, accessed 20 July 2019.

Multiple works by the same author in the same year

When citing multiple works by the same author in the same year, put a letter after the date of each citation. Put an ‘a’ after the date of the first work you cite and a ‘b’ after the date of the second one, and so on.

Include both works in the reference list.

Example

Dobell G (30 April 2018a) ‘Big chill between China and Australia’, The Strategist, accessed 23 February 2020.

Dobell G (30 April 2018b) ‘Cold winds of the fifth China–Oz icy age’, The Strategist, accessed 24 February 2020.

If a writer has been the sole author for some references and the lead author for others, list the works in order of:

  • the alphabetical order of the secondary authors
  • the date of publication.
Example

Adams A (n.d.)

Adams A (2019a) …

Adams A (2019b) …

Adams A, Brown B and Zinger Z (2009) …

Adams B (2017) …

Adams B and Black B (2011) …

Adams B and Zinger Z (2010) …

Adams W, Zinger Z, Black B and Brown B (2013a) …

Adams W, Zinger Z, Black B and Brown B (2013b) …

Specify details for government sources and reports

Media releases

Hyperlink the title of media releases and include an accessed date if the media release is published online.

Media release with authors listed

Rule: Author A (Day Month Year) Title of media release: subtitle of media release [media release], Organisation Name, accessed Day Month Year.

Example

Black F and Jacobsen N (4 February 2020) ACT has highest student participation and employment [media release], ACT Government, accessed 5 February 2020.

Media release with no authors listed

Rule: Organisation Name or Abbreviation (Day Month Year) Title of media release: subtitle of media release [media release], Organisation Name or Abbreviation, accessed Day Month Year.

Example

ACT Government (4 February 2020) ACT has highest student participation and employment [media release], ACT Government, accessed 5 February 2020.

Reports

For reports published online, hyperlink the title of the report and include an accessed date. If you’re citing a PDF, avoid linking directly to the PDF. Instead link to the page that hosts the PDF.

Sources with title pages will detail the author and publisher. Follow the authoring details on the title page of the document.

Report by an Australian Government agency

Rule: Author A or Agency Name (Year) Title of report: subtitle of report, Name of Agency, Name of Government, accessed Day Month Year.

Example

Baslum S (2000) Payments to Vietnam veterans: a summary, Department of Veterans’ Affairs, Australian Government.

DHAC (Department of Health and Aged Care) (1999) Hepatitis C: a review of Australia’s response, report prepared by D Lowe and R Cotton, DHAC, Australian Government.

Department of Conservation (2000) Hydrogen-powered cars: progress to date, Sustainable Energy Branch, Department of Conservation, Northern Territory Government.

Unpublished report by an Australian Government agency

Rule: Author A or Agency Name (unpublished) Title of report: subtitle of report, Name of Agency, Name of Government, accessed Day Month Year.

Example

White N and Jackson D (unpublished) Testing for EPO, Australian Sports Drug Agency, Australian Government, accessed 3 March 2020.

For unpublished reports include the word ‘unpublished’ instead of the year in in-text citations.

Example

In their report, White and Jackson (unpublished) …

Report that is part of a series

Rule: Author A or Agency Name (Year) ‘Title of report: subtitle of report’, Name of Series, catalogue number, Name of Agency, Name of Government, accessed Day Month Year.

Example

AIHW (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare) (2019) ‘Australia’s welfare 2019 data insights’, Australia’s Welfare Series 14, catalogue number AUS 226, AIHW, Australian Government, accessed 5 February 2020.

Report to an Australian Government agency

Rule: Author A or Agency Name (Year) Title of report: subtitle of report, report to Agency Name, Organisation Name or Abbreviation.

Example

White N and Green J (2020) Hydrogen-powered cars: progress to date, report to the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, SLR Consulting.

MJA (Marsden Jacob Associates) (2020) Hydrogen-powered cars: progress to date, report to the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, MJA.

Published internal report

Rule: Author A or Organisation Name or Abbreviation (Year) Title of report: subtitle of report, Organisation Name or Abbreviation.

Example

TerraCycle (2018) Report on recycling in Canberra offices, TerraCycle.

Report known by a short title

Sometimes a report is better known by a short title or unofficial title. If you’re citing a source like this, use the short title in text.

In the reference list, use the short title followed by a spaced en dash and the full source information. List the source where the first word of the short title would be alphabetically.

Example

The Gonski report (2011) suggests that ... [In-text citation]

Gonski report Gonski D, Boston K, Greiner K, Lawrence, C, Scales B and Tannock P (2011) Review of funding for schooling: final report, Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, Australian Government, accessed 11 February 2020. [Reference list entry]

Parliamentary sources

Parliamentary papers, such as budget papers, white papers and annual reports, are published:

  • as individual documents
  • as bound volumes of all documents tabled in a parliamentary sitting.

For individual documents, cite them as you would any document of that type. For example, if you access an annual report on a departmental website, cite it as a government report.

Bound parliamentary papers

For documents you access as part of a bound volume from a parliamentary sitting:

  • use the name of the parliament as the author
  • include the paper number.

Rule: Name of Parliament (Year) Title of document: subtitle of document, Parl Paper X, Name of Government.

Example

Parliament of Australia (2000) Department of Finance and Administration annual report 1999–2000, Parl Paper 32, Australian Government.

Parliamentary debates and proceedings

To cite a record of what was said in parliament verbatim, as recorded in Hansard, use the volume and page number. Volume numbers are before the colon, page numbers are after.

Rule: Name of Parliamentary Committee or House (Year) Debates, volume:page–page.

Example

Australian Senate (2000) Debates, S25:65.

Australian House of Representatives (2000) Debates, HR103:2–9.

To cite the official records of proceedings in each house of parliament, include the volume or issue number and the page number. Issue numbers are in parentheses. Volume numbers are outside parentheses.

Official Australian Parliament records may be from the Journals of the Senate or the Votes and Proceedings of the House of Representatives.

Rule: Name of Parliamentary House (Year) Journals or Votes and Proceedings, (issue) or volume:page–page.

Example

Australian Senate (2000–01) Journals, (123):718.

Australian House of Representatives (2000–01) Votes and Proceedings, 1:631.

Data sets

For online data sets, hyperlink the title and include the accessed date. If you’re citing a PDF or spreadsheet, avoid linking directly to the document. Instead link to the webpage that hosts the document.

Rule: Author A (Year) Title of data set [data set], Name of Website website, accessed Day Month Year.

Example

National Native Title Tribunal (2014) Native Title determination outcomes [data set], data.gov.au, accessed 4 January 2020.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has a guide to referencing ABS material. Follow this advice for information to include, but adjust capitalisation and punctuation to be in line with the rest of the reference list.

Example

Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2014, Australian Social Trends, cat. no. 4102.0, viewed 20 July 2014, <insert the URL here> [ABS format]

ABS (Australian Bureau of Statistics) (2014) Australian social trends, catalogue number 4102.0, accessed 20 July 2019. [Author–date format]

Records from the National Archives of Australia

The National Archives of Australia (NAA) has a guide to referencing records it holds. Follow this advice exactly, but add a full stop at the end of the citation.

Example

National Archives of Australia: Prime Minister’s Department; A461, Correspondence files, multiple number series (third system), 1934–50; AX314/1/1, Aeronautical Research in the British Empire, 1945–49 [NAA format]

National Archives of Australia: Prime Minister’s Department; A461, Correspondence files, multiple number series (third system), 1934–50; AX314/1/1, Aeronautical Research in the British Empire, 1945–49. [Author–date format]

Sequence the elements of online sources

Webpages and webpage content

Hyperlink the title of the webpage. Don’t link to PDFs or other downloadable documents. Instead link to the page that hosts the document.

Always include the date you accessed the site at the end of the reference.

Use the same capitalisation as the organisation uses for the name of a website.

Include the word ‘website’ after the name of the website, unless the name of the website is a URL, for example WA.gov.au.

Webpage with authors listed

Rule: Author A (Year) Title of webpage, Name of Website website, accessed Day Month Year.

Example

Clement J (2020) Device usage of Facebook users worldwide as of July 2020, Statista website, accessed 16 September 2020.

Webpage written by an organisation

Rule: Organisation Name or Abbreviation (Year) Title of webpage, Name of Website website, accessed Day Month Year.

Example

Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (n.d.) Australian National Anthem, PM&C website, accessed 20 January 2020.

Webpage as part of a larger publication or series

Rule: Author A (Year) ‘Title of webpage’, Name of series, Name of Website website, accessed Day Month Year.

Example

W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) (2019) ‘Audio content and video content’, Making audio and video content accessible, W3C website, accessed 25 August 2020.

Online videos

For videos published online, hyperlink the title of the video and include the date you accessed it at the end of the reference.

Rule: Creator C or Owner of Video (Day Month Year) ‘Title of video’ [video], Name of Channel or Owning Organisation, Name of Website website, accessed Day Month Year.

Example

Farah Z and wāni (4 October 2019) ‘2019 Australian Poetry Slam: Victorian winner & runner-up’ [video], State Library Victoria, State Library Victoria website, accessed 10 January 2020.

Australian Government Department of Health (28 February 2020) ‘Get the facts – immunisation facts in 90 seconds’ [video], Australian Government Department of Health, YouTube, accessed 6 March 2020.

ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) (10 May 2018) ‘The Australian writer who could be the next Nobel Prize winner’ [video], ABC News (Australia), YouTube, accessed 29 May 2019.

Online document

When citing a document hosted on a webpage, but not the webpage itself, don’t include the word website in the citation.

Rule: Author A (Year) Title of document, Organisation Name or Name of Website, accessed Day Month Year.

Example

Western Australian Government (n.d.) Island guide, Rottnest Island, accessed 31 December 2019.

Tables and images

For tables and images (such as graphs) you’re using in the content, attribute the source in the notes below the table or figure. Include permission or copyright information if necessary. Don’t include this information in the caption or title to the table or image.

Rule: Source: Adapted from Source (Year).

Example

Source: Adapted from MDBA (2019).

For in-text references, refer to a published table or figure as you would any other published source.

Example

Figure 5 in the annual report (MDBA 2019) uses data from ...

In both cases, cite the usual form of the reference in the reference list.

Example

MDBA (Murray–Darling Basin Authority) (2019) Annual report 2018–19, MDBA, Australian Government, accessed 3 February 2020.

Photographs, illustrations and other works of art

Attribute works of art (such as photographs) using an extended caption that includes:

  • the full details of the work of art
  • copyright and permission information if necessary.

Rule: Creator Full Name (Year) Title or description of work [medium], Webpage, Name of Website website, Exhibition or Gallery, Location of Gallery, © Creator, courtesy: Creator or Gallery, accessed Date Month Year.

Example

Western Australian Government (n.d.) Close up of a quokka [photograph], Unique wildlife encounters, Rottnest Island website, accessed 6 February 2020.

If you’re writing about a work of art but not using it in your work, cite it in the text using the creator and date.

Example

In the photograph (Western Australian Government n.d.) ...

Cite the artworks in a separate list after the reference list with its own title, such as ‘Works of art’.

Blog posts and newspaper and magazine articles

For blog posts and online newspaper and magazine articles, hyperlink the title. Include the date you accessed the article or post at the end of the reference.

Post or article with authors listed

Rule: Author A (Day Month Year) ‘Title of article: subtitle of article’, Name of Blog, Newspaper or Magazine, accessed Day Month Year.

Example

Doman M, Palmer A and Scott N (31 January 2020) ‘Cracking the code to Steve Smith's batting success’, ABC, accessed 5 February 2020.

Peascod S (19 December 2019) ‘The future of work is learning’, Digital Transformation Agency blog, accessed 4 January 2020.

Post or article with no author listed

If a post or article doesn’t list an author, use the name of the blog, newspaper or magazine.

Rule: Name of Blog, Newspaper or Magazine (Day Month Year) ‘Title of article: subtitle of article’, Name of Blog, Newspaper or Magazine, accessed Day Month Year.

Example

ABC (31 January 2020) ‘Cracking the code to Steve Smith's batting success’, ABC, accessed 5 February 2020.

Facebook for Business (21 April 2019) ‘Capturing attention in feed: the science behind effective video creative’, Facebook for Business, accessed 18 November 2019.

Comment on a blog post

Rule: Author A (Day Month Year) ‘Re: Title of post: subtitle of post’ [blog comment], Name of Blog, accessed Day Month Year.

Example

Mullins P (1 January 2020) ‘Re: Capturing attention in feed: the science behind effective video creative’ [blog comment], Facebook for Business, accessed 4 February 2020.

Social media and forum posts

For social media posts, include the first 10 words of the content followed by an ellipsis if there’s no title. Hyperlink the content or title to the original post and include the date you accessed the post.

Rule: Name of Page or Poster (Day Month Year) ‘Title or first 10 words of content of post ...’ [type of post], Page of Post, accessed Day Month Year.

Example

Services Australia (31 January 2020) ‘Our mobile servicing arrangements will continue in NSW, VIC ...[Facebook status], Services Australia, accessed 1 February 2020.

Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (3 February 2020) ‘Celebrate World Wetlands Day[Tweet], Australian Government Agriculture and Water, accessed 4 February 2020.

Microsoft (3 February 2020) ‘Thanks for paving the way for others Katie Sowers, as ...[Instagram post], Microsoft, accessed 4 February 2020.

CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation) (21 January 2020) ‘A brain transplant for one of Australia's top telescopes[online forum post], Reddit, accessed 4 February 2020.

To cite social media and forum posts in text, use the poster’s name and the year as you would for other references. However, make sure the user knows it’s a social media post.

Example

In a recent Facebook post, Services Australia (2020) ...

Emails and personal communication

For emails and personal communication, only include an in-text citation. Don’t include a citation in the reference list.

Example

Susannah Bishop (personal communication, 5 February 2020) wrote ...

Interviews

If the interview is published online, hyperlink the title and include the date you accessed it. If you’re citing a PDF, avoid linking directly to the PDF. Instead link to the page that hosts the PDF.

Always use the interviewer’s name in the in-text reference. If you’re quoting the interviewee, make it clear in the text.

Example

Milne responded about the resignation (Sales 2018).

Transcript of an interview

Rule: Interviewer I (Day Month Year) Interviewer Full Name interviews Interviewee Full Name: Title of interview [interview transcript], Name of Publisher, accessed Day Month Year.

Example

Sales L (28 September 2018) Leigh Sales interviews Justin Milne: Justin Milne resigns as ABC chairman [interview transcript], ABC, accessed 4 February 2020.

Audio or video file of an interview

Rule: Interviewer I (Day Month Year) Interviewer Full Name interviews Interviewee Full Name: Title of interview [interview audio or video file], Name of Publisher, accessed Day Month Year.

Example

Sales L (20 December 2019) Leigh Sale interviews Dudley Harrington: Dudley Harrington on the Queensland floods [interview video file], ABC, accessed 4 March 2020.

Journal articles

For journal articles, include the DOI if possible.

Published journal article

Rule: Author A (Year) ‘Title of article: subtitle of article’, Name of Journal, volume(issue):page–page, doi:number.

Example

Kelleher T (2009) ‘Conversational voice’, Journal of Communication, 59(1):172–188, doi:10.1111/j.1460-2466.2008.01410.x.

Kelleher T and Edmunds M (2009) ‘Conversational voice’, Journal of Communication, 59(1):172–188, doi:10.1111/j.1460-2466.2008.01410.x.

Journal article accepted for publishing but not yet published

Rule: Author A (in press) ‘Title of article: subtitle of article’, Name of Journal.

Example

Kelleher T (in press) ‘Conversational voice’, Journal of Communication.

For journal articles not yet published, use ‘in press’ instead of the year in the in-text citation.

Example

Jackson et al. (in press) reported similar results.

Conference papers

For conference papers published online, hyperlink the title. If you’re citing a PDF, avoid linking directly to the PDF. Instead link to the page that hosts the PDF.

Published conference paper and presentations

Rule: Author A (Day Month Year) ‘Title of paper: subtitle of paper’ [conference presentation], Name of Conference, Place of Conference, accessed Day Month Year.

Example

Blunden J (9–12 May 2007) ‘Plain or just dull? Collateral damage from the Plain English movement’ [conference presentation], 3rd IPEd Conference, Tasmania, accessed 3 May 2019.

Unpublished conference paper

Rule: Author A (Day Month Year) ‘Title of paper: subtitle of paper’ [unpublished conference presentation], Name of Conference, Place of Conference.

Example

Blunden J (9–12 May 2007) ‘Plain or just dull? Collateral damage from the Plain English movement’ [unpublished conference presentation], 3rd IPEd Conference, Tasmania.

Theses

If the thesis is online, hyperlink the title and include an accessed date. If you’re citing a PDF, avoid linking directly to the PDF. Instead link to the page that hosts the PDF.

Published thesis

Rule: Author A (Year) Title of thesis: subtitle of thesis [type of thesis], Name of University, accessed Day Month Year.

Example

Rahman M (2013) Using authentic materials in the writing classes: tertiary level scenario [master’s thesis], BRAC University, accessed 5 May 2017.

Unpublished thesis

Rule: Author A (Year) Title of thesis: subtitle of thesis [unpublished type of thesis], Name of University, accessed Day Month Year.

Example

Rahman M (2013) Using authentic materials in the writing classes: tertiary level scenario [unpublished master’s thesis], BRAC University, accessed 5 May 2017.

Give particulars for books, formal publications and printed documents

Books

If you read the book online, hyperlink the title. As books are published in editions, you don’t need to include an accessed date.

Include a DOI if the book has one. If you include a DOI, you don’t need to include a publishing location.

Book with authors listed

Rule: Author A (Year) Title of book: subtitle of book, Name of Publisher, Place of Publication.

Example

Eades D (2013) Aboriginal ways of using English, Aboriginal Studies Press, Canberra.

Strunk W and White EB (2000) The elements of style, 4th edn, Longman, New York.

Book with organisation as author

Rule: Organisation Name or Abbreviation (Year) Title of book: subtitle of book, Name of Publisher, Place of Publication.

Example

Oxford University Press (2016) New Oxford style manual, Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Book with DOI

Rule: Author A (Year) Title of book: subtitle of book, Name of Publisher, doi:number.

Example

Maddison S (2013) Australian public policy: theory and practice, 2nd edn, Cambridge University Press, doi:10.1017/CBO9781107255920.

Edition of a book

Rule: Author A (Year) Title of book: subtitle of book, Xth edn, Name of Publisher, Place of Publication.

Example

Whitbread D (2009) Design manual, 2nd edn, UNSW Press, Sydney.

Book compiled by editors

Rule: Editor E (ed) (Year) Title of book: subtitle of book, Name of Publisher, Place of Publication.

Example

Carruthers P (ed) (2005) The innate mind: structure and contents, Oxford University Press, New York.

Carruthers P, Laurence S, Stich S and Templeton G (eds) (2005) The innate mind: structure and contents, Oxford University Press, New York.

Chapter in an edited book

Rule: Author A (Year) ‘Title of chapter: subtitle of chapter’, in Editor E and Editor F (eds) Title of book: subtitle of book, Name of Publisher, Place of Publication.

Example

Laurence S and Margolis E (2005) ‘Number and natural language’, in Carruthers P, Laurence S and Stich S (eds) The innate mind: structure and contents, Oxford University Press, New York.

Book with author and editor listed

Rule: Author A (Year) Title of book: subtitle of book (Editor E ed), Name of Publisher, Place of Publication.

Example

Shakespeare W (1600/1967) The merchant of Venice (Moelwyn W ed), Penguin Books Ltd, Harmondsworth.

Translation of a book

Rule: Author A (Year) English title of book: subtitle of book (Translator T trans), Name of Publisher, Place of Publication.

Example

Backman F (2015) A man called Ove: a novel (Koch H trans), Washington Square Press, New York.

Backman F and Hall F (2015) A man called Ove: a novel (Koch H and Zimmer K trans), Washington Square Press, New York.

For translated works, use the original author’s name in the in-text citation.

Dictionaries and encyclopedias

For dictionaries and encyclopedias, only include an in-text citation. Don’t include a citation in the reference list.

Example

The Australian concise Oxford Dictionary (ACOD) (2017) defines it as ...

Unpublished works

For unpublished works such as internal documents, include the year the work was written where you would usually have the year the work was published.

Rule: Author A (Year) Title of document: subtitle of document [unpublished type of document], Organisation Name, Writing Location.

Example

Ethos CRS (2018) Business writing: letters and emails [unpublished training materials], Ethos CRS, Canberra.

Other printed publications

Rule: Author A (Year) Title of publication: subtitle of publication [printed type of publication], Name of Publisher or Owning Organisation, Place of Publication or Print.

Example

Department of Industry, Innovation and Science (2017) Business [printed brochure], Australian Government, Canberra.

Release notes

The digital edition introduces changes to using the author-date system for referencing.

The digital edition uses ‘et al.’ for more than 2 authors; it uses ‘and’ instead of the ampersand for names inside and outside parentheses; it uses a colon instead of a comma between the year and page numbers; it doesn’t use a comma between the surname and initials in the reference list; it hyperlinks the title but doesn’t include the URL in digital references.

The Content Guide did not cover this topic.

About this page

References

American Psychological Association (2020) Publication manual of the American Psychological Association, 7th edn, American Psychological Association, Washington DC.

Oxford University Press (2016) New Oxford style manual, Oxford University Press, Oxford.

University of Chicago (2017) Chicago manual of style, 17th edn, University of Chicago Press, Chicago.

This page was updated Monday 21 September 2020.

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