Citing and referencing: Reference list guidelines

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

Reference list guidelines

Reference list - overview

When you’ve cited another author’s words or ideas, you include a reference list entry at the end of your document, recording the full details of the cited source. This is an overview of the rules given in the Style Manual for creating a reference list:

  • Start your reference list on a new page
  • Arrange entries in the reference list in alphabetical order by the author's surname, the organisation's name, or the title of the source if the author is unknown. Make sure the author used for the reference matches the author used in the in-text citation so that your readers can match the citation with the reference
  • For sources with multiple authors, don't change the order of the authors within the reference entry, instead use the first author listed to determine where that reference is placed in the list
  • In a reference list, as a general rule, only include sources that you have cited within the text, and make sure that all sources cited within your text have a corresponding reference list entry 
  • Use parentheses around the year of publication
  • If there is no year of publication, use the term n.d. instead (which means no date)
  • Include initials for all of the given names for each author, without spaces or punctuation between the initials.  For example, the author John Thomas Halloran would be listed in the reference list as Halloran JT

 

Please note: It is not possible to include examples in this guide for all of the varieties of sources that exist. The most commonly-used sources have been included, however, if you find a source that doesn't match the examples in this guide, we recommend the following:

  • Try to match the source to its closest example in the guide
  • Use the general reference rules below to create the reference list entry

 

References: general rules for authors

One author:

For sources written by one author, list their surname followed by the initial/s of their given name/s. There is no full stop or space between the author’s initials.

Rule: Author A

Example: Alexander JC (2015) ‘Measuring, counting, interpreting: our debate on methods continues’, American Journal of Cultural Sociology, 3(3):309–10, doi:10.1057/ajcs.2015.13

 
Two or more authors:

For sources written by multiple authors, list all of their names in the reference list entry in the same order as they appear in the source. Use commas to separate names and an 'and' before the final author’s name. For example:

Rule: Author A and Author B; Author A, Author B and Author C

Example: Nankervis AR, Baird M, Coffey J and Shields J (2017) Human resource management: strategy and practice, 9th edn, Cengage Learning, South Melbourne

 

Organisation as the author:

In the case where an organisation is listed as the author, use the name of the organisation in the place of a person. The Style Manual states to use the abbreviation for the organisation's name in all in-text citations. The reference list starts with the abbreviation, followed by the full name of the organisation.

Rule: Abbreviation of organisation (full name of organisation)

Example: DFAT (Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade) (2016) Australia in brief, booklet, DFAT, accessed 29 November 2019. https://dfat.gov.au/about-us/publications/Documents/australia-in-brief.pdf

 
Anonymous/unknown author:

Make sure that your in-text citation and reference list entry match. If you have used the name of a blog, website, newspaper, or magazine in your in-text citation in place of the author, use the same name in your reference list.  If you have used the title of the work in place of the author in your in-text citation, use the title in place of the author in your reference list.

 

Multiple works by the same author:

If there are multiple sources by the same author, arrange them in chronological order by publication year. For more than one entry by the same author published in the same year, add a lower-case letter to the end of the year in both the citation and the reference list entry (2014a, 2014b, etc.).

 

Multiple works by different authors with the same surname:

Arrange these in alphabetical order using the first author's initials.

 

Editors and translators:

If the main creator of the source is an editor reference the source under their name and include the abbreviation ed., or eds. for more than one. For translated works, use the original author’s name in the in-text citation.

 

References: general rules for titles

Reference titles using the same words that appear in the source. The titles are formatted differently depending on whether the source is a part of a publication or a complete publication.

Parts of a publication include journal articles, newspaper articles, and chapters in edited books. Present titles of parts of publications in single quotation marks and roman typeface (without italics).

Complete publications include journal issues/volumes, newspapers, and books. Present their titles in italics. For the reference list entry order the parts of publications first and complete publications second. 

 

Sentence case and title case

While publications may present titles using capital letters or variations of capitals and lowercase letters, the Style Manual states to present titles of publications in sentence case as a general rule. Sentence case has capital letters only at the beginning of the first word and for proper nouns, and lower case letters for all other words. Proper nouns include people’s names, organisation names, and place names. 

 

References: Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) and URLs 

Many sources published online, including journal articlesgovernment and industry publications, ebooks, and reports, have a Digital Object Identifier (DOI). Include DOIs in your reference list if they exist as they are more stable than URLs. DOIs sometimes have the form of a URL. If so, you don’t need to include the HTTP, etc., start at doi:10.xxx (etc). If there is no DOI, include the database or the URL instead, preceded by a full stop.

Examples:

With a DOI

Tharoor S (1990) ‘The universality of human rights and their relevance to developing countries’, Nordic Journal of International Law 59(1) 139—152, doi:10.1163/157181090X00288 

 

Without a DOI:

Tharoor S (1990) ‘The universality of human rights and their relevance to developing countries’, Nordic Journal of International Law 59(1) 139—152, (HeinOnline).

OR

Tharoor S (1990) ‘The universality of human rights and their relevance to developing countries’, Nordic Journal of International Law 59(1) 139—152, accessed 17 December 2020. https://brill.com/view/journals/nord/59/1/article-p139_15.xml

 

Example reference list:

References

Alexander JC (2015) ‘Measuring, counting, interpreting: our debate on methods continues’, American Journal of Cultural Sociology, 3(3):309–10, doi:10.1057/ajcs.2015.13

Baran SJ (2010) Introduction to mass communication: media literacy and culture, 6th edn, McGraw-Hill Higher Education, New York

DFAT (Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade) (2016) Australia in brief, booklet, DFAT, accessed 29 November 2019. https://dfat.gov.au/about-us/publications/Documents/australia-in-brief.pdf

Halloran JT (2018) Population dynamics in the child welfare system, University of Chicago, accessed 01 February 2021, Proquest Dissertations Publishing

Nankervis AR, Baird M, Coffey J and Shields J (2017) Human resource management: strategy and practice, 9th edn, Cengage Learning, South Melbourne

Tsetsura K and Valentini C (2016) 'The “holy” triad in media ethics: a conceptual model for understanding global media ethics', Public Relations Review, 42(4): 573–581, doi:10.1016/j.pubrev.2016.03.013