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Referencing and Reference Management: Referencing

Guide to referencing using different styles and reference management software including information on how to use RefWorks.


Plagiarism is defined by the University Student Regulations as 'the significant use by a student of other people's work and the submission of it as though it were is or her own'. You can avoid plagiarism with correct referencing.

Referencing Guide

This is the De Montfort University Library Harvard Referencing Guide that shows you the correct way to reference.

Referencing Tutorial

This is the De Montfort University referencing tutorial to help you develop your skills in referencing.

How to reference your resources


When writing a piece of work you should provide references to the sources used. A reference is the detailed bibliographic description of the item you used to gain information e.g. author, title, date and place of publication, publisher. References are briefly cited within the text, and then given in full at the end of your work in a Reference List.

References are used to:

  • Enable the reader to locate the sources you have used;
  • Help support your arguments and provide your work with credibility;
  • Show the scope and breadth of your research;
  • Acknowledge the source of an argument or idea. Failure to do so could result in a charge of plagiarism.

Help with referencing from databases

Some databases like the Ebsco and ProQuest databases can help you with referencing by providing a 'Cite' button for the articles you find. However, you will need to make some amendments to the citation suggested to comply with the referencing style in use by your department. Pay particular attention to punctuation and capitalization. 

For ProQuest databases, the style nearer to DMU Library Harvard is Harvard-British Standard but you need to put the year in bracket.

For Ebsco databases, the style nearer to DMU Library Harvard is APA but you will need to capitalize the author's name and in some cases 'uncapitalize' the article title.

DMU Harvard Referencing

Bibliographic Tools


RefWorks is a reference management software package supported by the university.  It enables you to:

  • Create a database of references imported from online resources such as databases and websites
  • Insert references directly into a Word document
  • Automatically create a reference list in a range of different referencing styles, including DMU Harvard.

Note: it is very important that you do not rely solely on online tools to produce your references. Always check your student handbook for advice from your Department about referencing. 

Other reference management tools

A number of bibliographic tools are freely available on the Internet. However, they may not include DMU Harvard as a referencing style

Here is a small selection: