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Referencing: Harvard

Comprehensive guide to the Harvard Referencing Style

Images and graphs are often referred to as figures when included as part of a text. If you use images, graphs or tables from other sources, you need to provide information about the source. This is usually done in a caption below the figure. If you create your own image, graph or table, you also need to include a caption.

Refer to figures within the body of your text, using a locator (e.g. Figure 1). Use the same locator at the start of the caption for the figure. Place the image close to where you mention it in the text. If you include graphs and tables, use the body text to comment on or interpret the content of the graphs, rather than just repeating the data.


Office for National Statistics. 2013. Age structure of United Kingdom for 2013 [Online]. Available:

[2013, June 17].

Figure 1: Age structure of United Kingdom for 2013 (Source: Office for National Statistics, 2013)

Begin your caption with the same locator you used in the body of your text, to link the text to the figure. Include some brief explanatory information for the figure, and include creator and date details if your figure is from another creator (e.g. a graph from another source, an artwork or photograph). Include copyright and permission information for artworks if possible. If you have created a graph using published data, include the details of the data source in your caption. Some example captions are:


For a figure that you have created yourself, e.g. a graph of your own data, include a brief description.

Rule: Figure number: Brief explanation.

Example: Figure 1: Changes in workplace productivity due to COVID-19.













Data sets

To include a data set in your reference list, use the following guidelines.

For online data sets, include the accessed date and the URL. If you’re citing a PDF or spreadsheet, avoid linking directly to the document. Instead link to the webpage that hosts the document. 

Rule: Author A or Name of Agency (Year) Title of data set [data set], Name of Website, accessed DD Month YYYY. URL

Example: National Native Title Tribunal (2014) Native Title determination outcomes [data set], accessed 4 January 2020,

Example: RBA (Reserve Bank of South Africa) (n.d.) Exchange rates: monthly: July 1969 to December 2009 [data set], accessed 4 December 2019.




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