The reference list

The bibliography, or references, is printed at the end of an article or at the rear of a book. References are usually given in alphabetical order:

  • Alphabetise by surname of the first author (both for books and journals, including books compiled by an editor).
  • Do this letter by letter, alphabetically, surname followed by first name and initials. Thus, Smit, T. comes before Smith, A.
  • Use M', Mc and Mac as they are written and list them alphabetically. Thus, MacArthur comes before McAllister and MacNeil before M’Carthy.
  • Ignore articles: ‘de Vries’ should be listed as ‘Vries, de’.
  • Use the name of the institute as the author’s name if there is an institute and not an author.
  • Alphabetise multiple authors with the same name according to first names or initials.
  • Arrange multiple publications by the same author by publication year.

How the reference list looks like, depends on the citation style you use. In one style the publication year is put directly after the name of the author, in other styles behind the title of the book. You can find more information in the part Citation styles in this course.

Tip: Use the title page of the book instead of the book cover to make your bibliography. They can differ.

Below are two examples of standard references, to a book and to a journal. Place the cursor on each line for further information.

Reference to a book

Reference to an article