Citing and referencing: In-Text Citations

A guide to the styles recommended by Monash schools and departments for students and researchers

In-text citing: General notes

The in-text citation consists of:

  • author surname(s)* (in the order they appear on the publication), followed by the year of publication of the source.
    (*Surname = Family name)

Placement of in text citations can be important depending on the emphasis you wish to apply.

If you wish to paraphrase an author and want to emphasise the author,  then your citation becomes 'author prominent'. The citation will look something like this:
      Jones (2012) demonstrated in a recent study ...

If you wish to emphasise the information you have paraphrased from an author, then your citation becomes 'information prominent'.  The citation will look something like this:
     ... as evidenced from a recent Australian study (Jones 2012).

  • Page numbers are not normally included when paraphrasing.
  • The in-text citation is placed immediately after the information being cited.
  • If citing a source which has been cited within another document, mention the original source together with the secondary reference details, for example:  (Smith 2008, as cited in Jones 2010). Only the secondary reference (i.e. Jones 2010) should be included in the reference list. Note: First year biology units require that both the original and secondary reference should be included in reference list.
  • In-text citations are usually included in the word count of your document.
  • If your citation is at the end of a sentence, place the full stop after the reference.
    • ... as evidenced from a recent Australian study (Jones 2012).

Examples of in-text citations

One author

Rule Surname of author, no initials or suffixes such as Jr. The year of publication is also included. Do not put a comma between surname and year.
Citation examples

..This was seen in an Australian study (Conger 1997).
Conger (1997) has argued that...


Two authors

Rule Cite both surnames every time the reference occurs in the text

Citation examples

... (Davidson and Harrington 2002)
Davidson and Harrington (2002)...


Three or more authors

Rule Cite the surname of the first author followed by et al. (in italics) and the year of publication. Include all authors in the reference list.
Citation examples 

... (Gupta et al. 2011).

Gupta et al. (2011) ...


Multiple works: by same author

Rule When cited together give the author's surname once followed by the years of each publication, which are separated by a comma.
Citation examples

... (Stairs 1992, 1993).

Stairs (1992, 1993)...


Multiple works: by same author AND same year

Rule If there is more than one reference by an author in the same year, suffixes (a, b, c, etc.) are added to the year. Suffixes are also included in the reference list, and these references are listed alphabetically by the next element (usually the title).
Citation examples shown in later years (Matthews 2010a; 2010b).

Matthews (2010a; 2010b) showed...


Organisation as author

Rule If organisation is recognised by abbreviation, cite as follows:
Citation examples

.... (AIHW 2005)

AIHW (2005) ....
If abbreviation not widely known, give the name in full every time:
... (Australian Research Council 1996)

Australian Research Council (1996) ...


Multiple references

Rule List the citations in alphabetical order and separate with semicolons
Citation examples

... (Burst 1995; Nguyen 1976; Turner and Hooch 1982).

Burst (1995), Nguyen (1976) and Turner and Hooch (1982) ...


Citation of a secondary source: (i.e a source referred to in another publication)



  • In the reference list ONLY include the details of the source you actually read - not the original source. In the example below, the original source would be Farrow (1968), which you saw cited in a paper by Ward and Decan (1988).

NOTE: First year biology units require that both the original and secondary reference should be included in reference list.

Citation  examples

... (Farrow 1968, as cited in Ward and Decan 1988).

Farrow (1968, as cited in Ward and Decan 1988) ...


Ward and Decan (1988) cited Farrow (1968) as finding...