Most written work for undergraduate courses of all levels of study, whether essays, project papers, or Honours dissertations, will be based in whole or in part on the published research and interpretations of other people.  Where any of this work is directly quoted, or specifically referred to, the source must be properly acknowledged by the inclusion of references in the text, which are expanded in the References listed at the end of the piece of work.

Inadequate referencing will be penalised

For Archaeology coursework and dissertations you are required to use the Harvard referencing system. Footnotes are not acceptable. You can find a detailed and helpful explanation of the Harvard system in the Leeds University guide (note the left-hand menu, particularly the Harvard citations section). It is highly recommended that you look through this guide, and refer to it when you need it.

Note that there are different versions of the Harvard system, of which the Leeds University guide gives one. We strongly recommend you use the format we give below, but the important thing is to be consistent, and to make sure that the necessary information is there.

The library website has an explanation of the general principles of using references. For dissertations and research it may well be worth acquiring bibliographic software (for archaeology we recommend you use Endnote).

Note that correct use of references will also help you to avoid plagiarism. As well as giving credit to whoever published the ideas and information that you are using, allow the marker to check your sources. This is why in-text references should include the specific page number where you found the information.

In-text referencing (citing)

Incorporate your references into the main text within brackets, in the form of author's surname, date of publication and the number(s) of the page(s) to which you are referring: e.g. (Morrison 1996, 42). If the author's name forms part of the sentence, then just include the date and page:

'... as recent study has shown (Richards 1996, 320)’

but: 'As Richards (1996, 320) has shown ...'

What you are doing here is giving the minimum information that is required to locate the full details of the source in your list of references.

The requirement to give page numbers means that when you are reading and taking notes, you should also note the page number.

If a work has two authors, both names are given in the text reference: e.g. ‘(Blake and Knapp 2005)’. If it has three or more, you name the first and add 'et al.' (short for et alii meaning 'and others'): e.g. (Housley et al. 2004).  However, in the list of references you should list all the names of the authors of such publications (see below).

List of references

The main purpose of the List of References is to show, in compact form, what material you have used in preparing your piece of written work. However, you should not pad this out with works that you have not consulted, or works which you have consulted but which turned out to be irrelevant.

All references should be laid out in a single list (don’t subdivide the list by book, journal, website, etc.). The references should be alphabetical by author; where there are several items by the same author those items should be in chronological order.

The following general conventions should be observed:

  • Titles of books and journals are put in italics
  • ‘Editor’ is abbreviated to ‘(ed.)’, ‘editors’ to ‘(eds)’ and ‘edition’ to ‘edn’
  • Paper titles are never put in italics: the underlying rule is that you should be able to find an italicized title in the library catalogue


Author's surname followed by initial(s), date of publication, title of book (in italics), edition if more than one, place of publication, publisher.  If the volume is an edited one, this should be indicated by inserting ‘(ed.)’ or ‘(eds)’ immediately after the name(s) of the editor(s).

Blake, E., and Knapp, A.B. (eds). 2005. The archaeology of Mediterranean prehistory. Oxford, Blackwell.

Morrison, A. 1996. Dunbeath: a cultural landscape. Glasgow, Dunbeath Preservation Trust.

Articles in journals

Author's surname followed by initial(s), date of publication, title of article, name of journal (in italics), volume number, first and last pages of the article.

Housley, R.A., Ammerman, A.J., and McClennen, C.E. 2004. That sinking feeling: wetland investigations of the origins of Venice. Journal of Wetland Archaeology 4, 139-153.

Richards, C. 1996. Henges and water: towards an elemental understanding of monumentality and landscape in Late Neolithic Britain. Journal of Material Culture 1, 313-336.

Papers in edited books 

(i.e. books which contain papers by various different authors)
Author's surname followed by initial(s), date of publication, title of paper, the word 'In:', surname(s) and initials of editor(s), ‘(ed.)’ or ‘(eds)’, title of book (in italics), edition if more than one, place of publication, publisher, first and last pages of paper. Note that you should normally cite the specific paper, not the whole book. Note that it is not necessary to repeat the year of publication for the book, as that date is the same one as for the article.

Knapp, A.B. 2006. Orientalization and prehistoric Cyprus: the social life of oriental goods. In: Riva, C. and Vella, N.C. (eds), Debating orientalization: multidisciplinary approaches to change in the ancient Mediterranean, London, Equinox, 48-65.

TIP: book titles and journal titles go in italics; article titles and chapter titles do not.

Web referencing

Please remember, dealing with web referencing isn't a precise science. The important thing is to be clear and consistent, and to ensure that the reader will be able to identify which sources you're using within your text, locate them easily in your references, and use your reference to find the source for themselves. Use the general guidelines explained above and work from there... Here are some examples to give you some ideas.

Example 1: Horton 2010

Quoting from the website:

Horton argues that "The Severn Estuary is one of the richest, still largely unstudied archaeological resources in the United Kingdom" (Horton 2010)


The Severn Estuary has a considerable archaeological potential, albeit one that is largely unrealised (Horton 2010).

Full reference:

Horton, M. 2010. A barrage too far? Green energy will cost too much. Rescue - the British Archaeological Trust ( Last viewed 23/02/2010.

(We're assuming here that the copyright notice at the foot of the page is the year of publication. If it isn't clear, then use 'n.d.' for 'No Date' in place of the year. The title of the piece we've treated as an article title, and there's no clear journal/newsletter etc. identified, so we've used the name of the organisation.)

Example 2: Crowther and Dickson 2008

Quoting from the PDF:

The archaeology of the Severn estuary "is potentially threatened by a combination of factors: coastal erosion, the second highest tidal range in the world, strong tidal currents, marine aggregates extraction, managed coastal retreat and the construction of sea defences, and potential major infrastructure projects" (Crowther and Dickson 2008, 7).


The archaeology of the Severn estuary is potentially at risk from a variety of different natural and human agencies, including proposed major infrastructure projects (for example, Crowther and Dickson 2008, 7).

Full reference:

Crowther, S. and Dickson, A. 2008. Severn Estuary rapid coastal zone survey (National Mapping Programme, English Heritage HEEP Project no 3885) ( Last viewed: 23/02/2010.

(The author and date are clearly identified on the title page; because it's a report we've put the title in italics as you would a book title, and we've used the project identification details by way of publisher information. You could simply use 'English Heritage' instead, but this gives more precise detail).

Example 3: using a blog, such as Save Our Severn

Quoting from the blog:

"Tidal power systems must be assessed on the grounds of technical efficiency, financial cost, and environmental impact" (Ballard 2009)


Environmental impact, amongst other factors, must be a key criterion in the evaluation of the Severn Barrage (e.g. Ballard 2009).

Full Reference:

Ballard, S. 2009. The Severn: we don't have to dam it. Save Our Severn ( Last viewed: 23/02/2010

(Again, we've used the title of the blog post as if it were an article title - note that the web address takes you straight to the posting itself. We've not used the address because, although it currently takes you to the same posting, when (if?) other posts are made this will disappear down into the archives).

Example 4: using a news items with a quote from someone else...

Quoting from the news item:

According to Helen Phillips, Chief Executive of Natural England, "We cannot sacrifice an environment as sensitive as the Severn estuary without resolving, once and for all, whether there are better alternatives" (BBC 2009)


Helen Phillips (Chief Executive of Natural England) has argued that we must not sacrifice the Severn estuary environment unless we are sure there are no better alternatives (BBC 2009)

Full reference:

BBC 2009. Barrage 'fixation' claims group. BBC News 26/01/2009 ( Last viewed 23/02/2010

(Note that Helen Phillips, though name-checked in the text, isn't referenced directly since she's quoted in the news item. An alternative here would be to use the form '(quoted in BBC 2009)' in the text. If you had several BBC news items from 2009, then you would reference them as BBC 2009a, BBC 2009b etc., as you would for any publications which had the same 'author' and date ...)

Example 5: using a resource with no clear author

But NB, first establish it's a legitimate source!. This example is a PDF from the Department of Energy and Climate Change.

Quoting from the PDF:

"As the Severn Estuary has a history of producing significant new finds, detailed research and field investigations of those elements of the historic environment of the Severn Estuary subject to impact should be undertaken in order to identify previously unknown sites and finds" (DECC 2008,76)


Since the Severn Estuary has always produced important new finds, it is all the more important to ensure that proper research and fieldwork is undertaken prior to any development (DECC 2008, 76).

Full reference:

DECC 2008. Severn tidal power scoping topic paper: historic environment. Department of Energy and Climate Change ( we do\UK energy supply\Energy mix\Renewable energy\Severn Tidal Power feasibility study\1_20090710144119_e_@@_SevernTidalPowerscopingTopicPaperHistoricEnvironment.pdf&filetype=4). Last viewed: 23/02/2010.

(Here we've used the name of the organisation as the author, since none is identified. The pdf is a report, so we've used that as if it were a book title, hence the italics. The web address links directly to the pdf file, rather than to the page it's linked from).

As you can see, there is room for some flexibility depending on your interpretation, but the important thing is to be clear, consistent and ensure that you are providing the necessary information to enable someone to track back to the original source.

Example 6: using a news item which identifies the journalist's name

Quoting from the article:

According to Simon Haslett, the construction of a barrage "will have the effect of submerging all the archaeological sites that occur in the low part of the tidal window" (Rutherford 2009).


The richness of the archaeology of the Severn estuary will be significantly affected by the construction of the barrage scheme, submerging sites or covering them in mud, either of which will make future discovery and excavation very difficult (Haslett, in Rutherford 2009).

Full reference:

Rutherford, A. 2009. History could be wiped out by Severn barrage - warning. South Wales Argus (28/03/2009). ( Last viewed: 24/03/2010.

(Here, as is common in a newspaper - online or otherwise - the author of the article is identified, so referencing is easy. The title of the article goes in quotes, and the name of the newspaper in italics as it is the equivalent of a journal that the article or paper appears in. You'll see that in the paraphrased example we've made it clear that the argument is Haslett's, not Rutherford's.)