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Style Manual

Documentary–note

The documentary-note system uses a symbol or number in the text to mark detailed references in footnotes or endnotes. Choose this system only if it best suits the mode of publishing content and user needs.

Place a reference marker in text, link it to details in a note

The documentary–note system uses:

  • superscript reference markers – numbers or symbols – in the text
  • footnotes or endnotes with the full information about the source.

Each note has the corresponding superscript reference marker before it. Users find the note by matching the number or symbol. In digital content, the reference markers can be hyperlinked to help users access the note.

Example

Other researchers reported similar results.1 [In-text citation]

1 AB Smith, ‘Abbreviations in scientific content’, Scientific Communication Studies, 2019, 23(4):1–12. [The corresponding note]

Accessibility requirements

Reference markers and footnotes can be inaccessible to:

  • people who have low vision
  • people who use screen readers to access content
  • users of mobile phones.

If using reference markers and footnotes, ensure they:

  • are sized for easier readability
  • will display correctly on mobile phones or other small screen devices
  • can be made larger by users without loss of content or functionality
  • can be read by screen readers.

Seek specialist advice to ensure you achieve this functionality.

You can also increase accessibility by using the author–date system, which places references within the main text and uses fewer symbols.

Use notes for the sources you cite in the text. All other sources can be listed in a section called ‘More reading’ or ‘More information’. This list should appear at the end of a page of digital content, or at the end of a section in print.

Copyright requirements

You must attribute copyright material you 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.

Footnotes and endnotes

Footnotes are at the end of a page. Endnotes are at the end of a section, chapter or document.

Use the heading ‘Notes’ for footnotes in digital content and for endnotes. Don’t use a heading for footnotes in print-only publications.

Footnotes

Footnotes are preferable for digital content, which has no set page length. The user can find the source information on the page they’re accessing.

In print, footnotes work well if you only have a few citations. If you have many citations, the footnote section at the bottom of the page can become quite long. This leaves you with little space on the page for content.

Endnotes

Endnotes work better for print, which has a set page length, because they don’t take up space on a page.

In print, if you have sections written by different authors or on different subjects, include a list of endnotes at the end of each section. This helps users who are only interested in one section and keeps lists of notes manageable.

Use numbers for reference markers in most content

Use reference numbers instead of symbols in most content. Numbers are easier for users to match and they’re in an intuitive sequence.

In content that uses a lot of citations, restart numbering on each page of digital content or in each section of a document.

Symbols

Reference symbols are best for content with many numbers, such as content with mathematical equations.

Use symbols if there’s a risk that users will confuse superscript numbers for exponents.

Like this

2x2 − 2x + 12 = 16*

Not this

2x2 − 2x + 12 = 161

Reference symbols can be especially difficult for screen readers to read or link to.

Symbols can affect readability unless a user changes default settings (verbosity settings). By default, screen readers won’t necessarily read the symbols by their names – for example, ‘asterisk’ can be announced as ‘star’. This can affect people’s ability to quickly understand the reference markers.

If this will be an issue for your users, especially in digital content, use the author–date system instead.

Footnotes and symbols

If you use symbols, use footnotes instead of endnotes. It’s easier for users to match symbols if they’re closer together.

Order of reference symbols

Use the symbols in this order:

  • * (asterisk)
  • † (dagger)
  • ‡ (double dagger)
  • § (section sign)
  • # (hash sign).

Restart the symbols on each page. If you have more than five notes on a page, double the symbols (**, ††).

Put reference markers in the right place

Putting reference markers in the right place helps users find references without interrupting their reading.

In digital content, hyperlink the reference marker to help users access the note.

Reference markers for in-text citations

Place reference markers immediately after quoted material, or after phrases, clauses or sentences. Don’t interrupt a phrase or clause with a reference marker.

Like this

Other researchers reported similar results.1

Not this

Other researchers1 reported similar results.

Place reference markers after commas and other sentence punctuation.

Like this

Other researchers reported similar results.1

Not this

Other researchers reported similar results1.

Reference markers for endnotes and footnotes

Place reference markers before the footnote or endnote. Add a single space between the reference marker and the beginning of the reference.

Example

4 AB Smith, CD Jones and EF Baker, ‘The new science of widgetry’, Theoretical Studies, 2019, 23(4):121–132.

More than one reference marker

Don’t use more than one reference marker in the same place, such as when citing 2 works. Instead cite both works in one footnote or endnote, separating the entries in the note with a semicolon.

Like this

Other researchers reported similar results.1 [In-text citation]

1 AB Smith, CD Jones and EF Baker, ‘The new science of widgetry’, Theoretical Studies, 2019, 23(4):121–132; D Jackson, X Li and P Chandran, ‘Safety and equity’, Psychological Science Australia, 2018, 2(3):223–240.

[The note runs 2 citations together using same reference marker.]

Not this

Other researchers reported similar results.1,2

Order the elements of each reference in a note

Format all notes consistently to help users find the source.

Elements in a note

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

The general order is:

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

If you cite the same work more than once, give it its own reference marker. In the notes, use a shortened form of the citation after the first mention, instead of citing the full source again.

Short forms include only the author’s family name (or authoring organisation name) and the title of the source.

If you’re using endnotes at the end of each section, use the long form of the reference note the first time you cite the work in that section.

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

Don’t use the Latin abbreviations ‘ibid.’, ‘op cit.’ or ‘loc cit.’ for repeated citations.

Follow the examples of documentary–note citations.

Personal author names

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

Don’t separate initials with full stops.

Write this

AB Smith

Not this

Smith, AB

A.B. Smith

Short citations include only the author’s name and the title. Don’t include initials in short citations.

Example

D Eades, Aboriginal ways of using English, Aboriginal Studies Press, Canberra, 2013. [Full citation]

Eades, Aboriginal ways of using English. [Short citation]

More than 2 authors

Shortened forms include up to 2 author family names. When you have more than 2 authors, use the Latin term ‘et al.’ (meaning ‘and others’) in short citations. Don’t use italics for ‘et al.’.

Example

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

Kelleher et al., ‘Conversational voice’. [Short citation]

Organisation as author

If the author is an organisation, short citations use the shortened form of the organisation’s name.

The first note to cite the organisation as author gives the name in full, and introduces the shortened form.

Example

Oxford University Press (OUP), New Oxford style manual, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2016. [Full citation]

OUP, New Oxford style manual. [Short citation]

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), Fact sheets for countries and regions – India [online document], DFAT, 2018, 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, Place names, ANZLIC website, n.d., accessed 5 December 2019.

Not this

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

Style and spell titles consistently

Use capitals, italics and punctuation consistently in all cited titles.

Follow the rules in the examples of documentary–note citations:

  • Capitalise all proper nouns, the names of periodicals and the first word of the title or type of work.
  • Use lower case for all other words.
  • Use commas to separate elements.
  • 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

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

J Yik, ‘Changing Australian medicine names’, Australian Prescriber, 1 June 2017, 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 using any American spelling variations.

Example

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

Short citations in subsequent references

Use the shortened form of a title when you refer to the same work more than once.

If the title is in italics or quotation marks in the full citation, use italics or quotation marks in the short citation.

Example

S Laurence, ‘Number and natural language’, in P Carruthers, S Laurence and S Stitch (eds), The innate mind: structure and contents, Oxford University Press, New York, 2005. [Full citation]

Laurence, ‘Number and natural language’. [Short citation]

Don’t hyperlink titles in short citations. The hyperlink in the full citation is enough.

Short citations don’t include any subtitles.

Example

P Lynch and S Horton, Web style guide: foundations of user experience design, 4th edn, Yale University Press, London, 2016. [Full citation]

Lynch and Horton, Web style guide. [Short citation]

Works without a date

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

Example

DA McMurrey, Online technical writing: lists, Chemnitz University of Technology, n.d., accessed 13 October 2019.

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. This makes it easier for a user to find.

Write this

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

Not this

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

Hyperlink titles and include access dates for online works

Unless the source is behind a paywall, hyperlink the title of works available online. Do this when you use the full title of the source (the first time you include it in a note).

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

Example

A Richardson, ‘Australia imports almost all of its oil, and there are pitfalls all over the globe’, The Conversation, 24 May 2018, accessed 31 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

A Richardson, ‘Australia imports almost all of its oil, and there are pitfalls all over the globe’, The Conversation, 24 May 2018, accessed 31 January 2020. https://theconversation.com/australia-imports-almost-all-of-its-oil-and-there-are-pitfalls-all-over-the-globe-97070

[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 the user 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, ‘Legislation and commentary table of abbreviations’, Westlaw AU Guides, Thomson Reuters Australia, 2017, 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, Table of abbreviations [PDF 94.35KB], Thomson Reuters Australia, n.d., 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 stays the same always. 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. Put it at the end of the citation and include the shortened form ‘doi’ in lower case before it.

Example

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

Detail page, volume and issue numbers

To cite a specific page or page range in a work, add:

  • the letter ‘p’ and the page number to cite one page
  • the letters ‘pp’ and the page number range to cite a range of pages.
Example

J McKenzie, The editors companion, 2nd edn, Cambridge University Press, Melbourne, 2011, p 5.

J McKenzie, The editors companion, 2nd edn, Cambridge University Press, Melbourne, 2011, pp 5–11.

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

Example

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

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

To cite a specific page of this work, add the page number at the end.

Example

D Jackson, X Li and P Chandran, ‘Safety and equity’, Psychological Science Australia, 2018, 2(4):223–240, p 225.

Cite government sources and reports

Media releases

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

Media releases with authors listed

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

Example

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

Media release with no authors listed

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

Example

ACT Government, ACT has highest student participation and employment [media release], ACT Government, 4 February 2020, 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: A Author or Agency Name (Abbreviation), Title of report: subtitle of report, Agency Name or Abbreviation, Name of Government, Year, accessed Day Month Year.

Example

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

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

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

Unpublished report by an Australian Government agency

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

Example

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

Report that is part of a series

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

Example

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

Report to an Australian Government agency

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

Example

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

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

Published internal report

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

Example

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

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, Title of document: subtitle of document, Parl Paper X, Name of Government, Year.

Example

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

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, Debates, Year, volume:page–page.

Example

Australian Senate, Debates, 2000, S25:65.

Australian House of Representatives, Debates, 2000, 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 of parentheses.

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

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

Example

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

Australian House of Representatives, Votes and Proceedings, 2000–01, 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: A Author, Title of data set [data set], Name of Website website, Year, accessed Day Month Year.

Example

National Native Title Tribunal, Native Title determination outcomes [data set], data.gov.au, 2014, 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 notes.

Example

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

Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), Australian social trends, catalogue number 4102.0, 2014, accessed 20 July 2020. [Documentary–note 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. [Documentary–note format]

Reference all 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: A Author, Title of webpage, Name of Website website, Year, accessed Day Month Year.

Example

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

Webpage written by an organisation

Rule: Organisation Name, Title of webpage, Name of Website website, Year, accessed Day Month Year.

Example

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

Webpage as part of a larger publication or series

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

Example

W3C (World Wide Web Consortium), ‘Audio content and video content’, Making audio and video content accessible, W3C website, 2019, 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: C Creator or Owner of Video, ‘Title of video’ [video], Name of Channel or Owning Organisation, Name of Website website, Day Month Year, accessed Day Month Year.

Example

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

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

ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation, ‘The Australian writer who could be the next Nobel Prize winner’ [video], ABC News (Australia), YouTube, 10 May 2018, 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: A Author, Title of document, Owning Organisation or Name of Website, Year, accessed Day Month Year.

Example

Western Australian Government, Island guide, Rottnest Island, n.d., 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 image (also called a ‘figure’). Include permission or copyright information if necessary. Don’t include this information or a reference marker in the caption or title to the table or figure.

Rule: Source: Adapted from Source.

Example

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

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 uses data from ...1

Use the usual form of the reference in the footnote or endnote.

Example

1 Murray–Darling Basin Authority (MDBA), Annual report 2018–19, MDBA, Australian Government, 2019, 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, Title or description of work [medium], Name of Website website, Exhibition or Gallery, Location of Gallery, Year, © Creator, courtesy: Creator or Gallery, accessed Date Month Year.

Example

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

If you’re writing about a work of art but not using it in your work, use a reference marker as usual. Include the full source information in the footnote or endnote.

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

Example

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

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

Post or article with no authors 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, ‘Title of article: subtitle of article’, Name of Newspaper or Magazine, Day Month Year, accessed Day Month Year.

Example

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

Facebook for Business, ‘Capturing attention in feed: the science behind effective video creative’, Facebook for Business, 12 April 2019, accessed 18 November 2019.

Comment on a blog post

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

Example

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

Make sure you let the user know you’re citing a social media post before you insert a reference marker.

Example

In a recent Facebook post, Services Australia wrote about mobile servicing arrangements.1

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

Example

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

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

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

Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), ‘A brain transplant for one of Australias top telescopes[online forum post], Reddit, 31 January 2020, accessed 4 February 2020.

Use the poster’s name and the first 10 words of the content followed by an ellipsis in the short citation where the title would normally be.

Emails and personal communication

For emails and personal communication, mention them in the text but don’t include a note.

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.

The interviewer’s name always comes first in the reference. If you're quoting the interviewee, make it clear in the text.

Example

Milne responded about the resignation.1

Transcript of an interview

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

Example

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

Audio or video file of an interview

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

Example

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

Use the name of the interviewer in short citations.

Journal articles

For journal articles, include the DOI if possible.

Published journal article

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

Example

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

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

Journal article accepted for publishing, but not yet published

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

Example

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

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

Example

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

Unpublished conference paper

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

Example

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

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

Example

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

Unpublished thesis

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

Example

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

Specify details 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: A Author, B Author and C Author, Title of book: subtitle of book, Name of Publisher, Place of Publication, Year.

Example

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

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

Book with organisation as author

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

Example

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

If the organisation name has an abbreviation, use that in the short citation.

Example

OUP, New Oxford style manual.

Book with DOI

Rule: Rule: A Author, B Author and C Author, Title of book: subtitle of book, Name of Publisher, Year, doi:number.

Example

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

Edition of a book

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

Example

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

Book compiled by editors

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

Example

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

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

Chapter in an edited book

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

Example

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

Book with author and editor listed

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

Example

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

Translation of a book

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

Example

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

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

In the short citation for translated works, use the original author’s name and the English title of the work.

Example

Backman, A man called Ove.

Dictionaries and encyclopaedias

For dictionaries and encyclopaedias, mention them in the text but don’t include a note.

Example

The Australian concise Oxford Dictionary (ACOD) 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: A Author (Year) Title of document: subtitle of document [unpublished type of document], Organisation Name, Writing Location, Year.

Example

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

Other printed publications

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

Example

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

Release notes

The digital edition has revised guidance on the documentary-note system for referencing.

It does not refer to the Vancouver system.

It recommends using footnotes for digital content and endnotes for print; it suggests notes be placed at the end of a page of digital content rather than as interactive notes; it puts footnote markers after any sentence punctuation – the sixth edition recommended markers be before any punctuation marks; 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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