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Referencing: Harvard

Comprehensive guide to the Harvard Referencing Style

How to reference a journal article


In academia, scholarly journal articles are usually a source of reliable knowledge based on research and evidence. Peer-reviewed or refereed articles have been through a process of scrutiny by other experts in the field.


Journal articles - author rules

The rules for journal articles with one author and two or more authors are the same as the general rules for presenting authors in the reference list.

This guidance can be used for articles from both print and online journals. 

To be made up of:

  • Author (surname followed by initials).
  • Year of publication (in round brackets).
  • Title of article (in single quotation marks).
  • Title of journal (in italics - capitalise the first letter of each word in the title, except for linking words such as and, of, the, for).
  • Issue information, that is, volume (unbracketed) and, where applicable, part number, month, or season (all in round brackets).
  • Page reference.
  • Digital Object Identifier (DOI) if available.


Gibson, D. (2018) Rethinking medicinal plants and plant medicines. Anthropology Southern Africa. [Online] 41 (1), 1–14. 4, DOI: 10.1080/23323256.2017.1415154

Smith, J. & Arendse, A. (2019) The role of Parliament in promoting active citizenship in relation to the Grade 11 Life Orientation in the South African curriculum. TD : The Journal for Transdisciplinary Research in Southern Africa. [Online] 15 (1), 1–9.

Articles with multiple authors

In both your in-text citations and reference list, list up to three authors in full.

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

Use the first author's name followed by 'et al. ' when there are four or more


Wells, V. A. et al. (2022) Towards a critical music information literacy praxis. Notes (Music Library Association). 78 (3), 319–339.

Journal articles: More than 20 authors

Some journal articles, for example, systematic reviews, can have a very large number of authors.  While the Style Manual states to list all authors in the reference list, for articles with more than 20 authors, another option that we suggest to shorten the reference is to list the first nineteen authors followed by an omission(...) and then the last author.

Example: Schuetz P, Wirz Y, Sager R, Christ-Crain M, Stolz D, Tamm M, Bouadma L, Luyt CE, Wolff M, Chastre J, Tubach F, Kristoffersen KB, Burkhardt O, Welte T, Schroeder S, Nobre V, Wei L, Bucher HCC, Bhatnagar N, . . . Mueller B (2017) 'Procalcitonin to initiate or discontinue antibiotics in acute respiratory tract infections', Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, (10), Article CD007498, doi: 10.1002/14651858.cd007498.pub3


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