Citing and referencing: Reference list guidelines

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

Reference list guidelines

Important note: Please check with your unit coordinator for any specific referencing or formatting requirements. 
General format
  • 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 AMA Manual of Style, 11th ed. for creating a reference list - see Chapter 3
  • References are listed in numerical order, and in the same order in which they are cited in the text. The reference list appears at the end of your paper, before appendices if included
  • Begin your reference list on a new page and title it 'References'. This title can be centred or justified to the left - you can choose
  • The example reference list below is not indented, but you may choose to indent your references in your own list
  • The reference list should include all and only those references you have cited in the text (However, do not include unpublished items such as personal emails)
  • Abbreviate journal titles as per the NLM (National Library of Medicine) Catalog of journals referenced in the NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology Information) Databases - do not make up your own journal abbreviations
  • Check the reference details against the actual source - you are indicating that you have read a source when you cite it. Avoid Google Books
  • Avoid using really long URLs (Uniform Resource Locator) in references as it can look very cluttered. You can convert really long URLs to tiny URLs for a cleaner look
  • Be consistent with your referencing style across the document
  • If there is no year of publication write date unknown - see Chapter 3.12 for more details about missing elements of the reference 
  • If there is no publisher write Publisher unknown
  • If there is no author, do not replace it with Anonymous, unless Anonymous is actually published as the author in the byline
  • 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. If there are more than 6 authors, list the first 3 et al. as per the example below.

Example: 1.    Zhang Y, Liang S, Feng Y, et al. Automation of literature screening using machine learning in medical evidence synthesis: a diagnostic test accuracy systematic review protocol. Syst Rev. 2022;11. Published online January 15, 2022. doi:10.1186/s13643-021-01881-5


Example reference list:


1.    Tarzia L. “It went to the very heart of who I was as a woman”: the invisible impacts of intimate partner sexual violence. Qual Health Res. 2021;31(2):287-297. doi:10.1177/1049732320967659

2.    Mason S, Merga M. Less ‘prestigious’ journals can contain more diverse research, by citing them we can shape a more just politics of citation. LSE blog. October 15, 2021. Accessed November 9, 2021. -politics-of-citation/

3.    Manchha AV, Walker N, Way KA, et al. Deeply discrediting: a systematic review examining the conceptualizations and consequences of the stigma of working in aged care. Gerontologist. 2021;61(4):e129-e146. doi:10.1093/geront/gnaa166 

4.    Booth A. Systematic Approaches to a Successful Literature Review. 3rd ed. SAGE; 2022.

5.    Zhang N, Parsons RD. Field Experience: Transitioning from Student to Professional. Sage; 2015. Accessed January 12, 2021.

6.    Page MJ, Shamseer L, Altman DG, et al. Epidemiology and reporting characteristics of systematic reviews of biomedical research: a cross-sectional study. PLoS Med. 2016;13(5):e1002028. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1002028 

7..    Groombridge C. Clinician Performance During Resuscitation: Stress, Decision-Making and Life-Saving Interventions. PhD thesis. Monash University; 2022. Accessed October 19, 2022. doi:10.26180/20748748.v1

8.    Martin DS, Moores DF, Luft P. Selection of curriculum: a philosophical position. In: Moores DF, Martin DS, eds. Deaf Learners: Developments in Curriculum and Instruction. Gallaudet University Press; 2006:15-25. Accessed October 19, 2022.

9.    Lacaze P, McNeill J. Data from: ASPREE Genome-wide SNP Genotyping Dataset. Bridges. Deposited October 18, 2022. doi: 10.26180/21097654.v1