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How to write references for your reference list and bibliography

The following examples are in two parts:

  • the information you should collect about each piece of work you use
  • how this information is presented when you write a full reference

If you cannot find the type of work you need to provide a reference for, please contact your librarian for more help.

Click on the type of work you need to provide a reference for. If you cannot find the type of work you need, please contact your librarian for more help.

Example:

Petrie KJ, Mueller JT, Schirmbeck F, Donkin L, Broadbent E, Ellis CJ et al. Effect of providing information about normal test results on patients’ reassurance: randomised controlled trial. British Medical Journal [Online] 2007;334(7589): 352-354. Available from: doi: 10.1136/bmj.39093.464190.55  [Accessed 26th August 2011].

List of items

 

Acts of parliament

  • Country
  • Name of Act: Name of sovereign (this should be in italics)
  • Chapter number (this should be in italics)
  • Place of publication
  • Publisher
  • Year of publication
  • Great Britain. Climate Change Act 2008: Elizabeth II. Chapter 27 . London: The Stationery Office; 2008.

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  • Author or organisation
  • Title (this should be in italics)
  • [Online]
  • Year of publication
  • Available from: URL
  • [Date of access]
  • Chevron Corporation. Annual Report. [Online] 2006. Available from: http://www.chevron.com/documents/pdf/annualreport/Chevron2006AnnualReport_full.pdf [Accessed: May 12th 2012].

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  • Author or organisation
  • Title (this should be in italics)
  • Place of publication (where available)
  • Publisher
  • Year of publication
  • Chevron Corporation. Annual Report. San Ramon, CA: Chevron Corporation, 2006.

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  • Author 
  • Title of blog post (if applicable)
  • Title (this should be in italics)
  • Weblog
  • [Online]
  • Available from: URL
  • [Date of access]
  • Goldacre B. Trivial Disputes. Bad Science. Weblog. [Online] Available from: http://www.badscience.net/2008/02/trivial-disputes-2/ [Accessed 19th June 2008].

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  • Author of the chapter
  • Title of chapter followed by, In:
  • Editor (always put (ed.) after the name)
  • Title (this should be in italics)
  • Series title and number (if part of a series)
  • Edition (if not the first edition)
  • Place of publication (if there is more than one place listed, use the first named)
  • Publisher
  • Year of publication
  • Page numbers (use ‘p.’ before single and multiple page numbers)
  • Partridge H, Hallam G. Evidence-based practice and information literacy. In: Lipu S, Williamson K, Lloyd A. (eds.) Exploring methods in information literacy research. Wagga Wagga, Australia: Centre for Information Studies; 2007. p. 149-170.

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  • Author/Editor (if it is an editor always put (ed.) after the name)
  • Title (this should be in italics)
  • [Title in original language] (this should be in italics)
  • Series title and number (if part of a series)
  • Edition (if not the first edition)
  • Place of publication (if there is more than one place listed, use the first named)
  • Publisher
  • Year of publication
  • García Sánchez JJ. Toponymical atlas of Spain. [Atlas toponímico de España] Madrid: Arco/Libros; 2007.

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Please note that the date of publication of the e-book version may differ from the print publication date. Ensure you use the correct date depending on the version of the book you have read and are citing in your work.

  • Author/editor (if it is an editor always put (ed.) after the name)
  • Title (this should be in italics)
  • [E-reader version]
  • Edition (if not the first edition)
  • Place of publication (where available)
  • Publisher
  • (Year of publication)
  • Powrie W. Soil mechanics: concepts and applications. [Kindle version] 2nd ed. London: Taylor and Francis; 2007.
  • Feynman RP, Davies P. The character of physical law. [Sony Reader eBook version]. ePenguin; 2007.

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  • Author/Editor (if it is an editor always put (ed.) after the name)
  • Title (this should be in italics)
  • Series title and number (if part of series)
  • Edition (if not the first edition)
  • [Online]
  • Place of publication (if there is more than one place listed, use the first named)
  • Publisher
  • Year of publication
  • Available from: URL
  • [Date of access]
  • Simons NE, Menzies B, Matthews M. A Short Course in Soil and Rock Slope Engineering. [Online] London: Thomas Telford Publishing; 2001. Available from: http://www.myilibrary.com?ID=93941 [Accessed 18th June 2008].

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  • Author/Editor (if it is an editor always put (ed.) after the name)
  • Title (this should be in italics)
  • Series title and number (if part of a series)
  • Edition (if not the first edition)
  • Place of publication (if there is more than one place listed, use the first named)
  • Publisher
  • Year of publication
  • Simons NE, Menzies B, Matthews M. A Short Course in Soil and Rock Slope Engineering. London: Thomas Telford Publishing; 2001.

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  • Author/Editor (if it is an editor always put (ed.) after the name)
  • Title (this should be in italics)
  • Trans followed by the name of the translator
  • Series title and number (if part of a series)
  • Edition (if not the first edition)
  • Place of publication (if there is more than one place listed, use the first named)
  • Publisher
  • Year of publication
  • Aristotle. Physics. Trans Graham DW. Oxford: Clarendon; 1999.

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  • These can often be published by organisations or companies, and may not have individual authors. You can use the corporate author if there is no individual author, and this may also be the publisher’s name.
  • Author/editor (if it is an editor always put (ed.) after the name)
  • Title of brochure/pamphlet (in italics)
  • Series title (if part of a series)
  • Edition (if not the first)
  • Place of publication
  • Publisher
  • Year of publication (if there is no year of publication, use the abbreviation n.d. to indicate no date is available)
  • Imperial College London Library. Citing and referencing guide: Vancouver style. London: Imperial College London; 2010.

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  • Author/Editor (use the corporate author if no individual author or editor is named)
  • CD-ROM

  • CD-ROM title (this should be in italics)
  • [CD-ROM]
  • Place of publication
  • Publisher
  • Year of publication
  • Encyclopaedia Britannica. Britannica 2003. [CD-ROM] Chicago: Encyclopaedia Britannica; 2003.

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  • Government department
  • Title (this should be in italics)
  • Paper number
  • Place of publication
  • Publisher
  • Year of publication
  • Department of Health. Choosing Health: making healthier choices easier. CM6374. London: The Stationery Office; 2004.

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  • Author (use the corporate author or research group if no individual author or editor is named)
  • Title of program (this should be in italics)
  • (Version number)
  • [Format type] (computer program, software or code)
  • Place of publication (if available)
  • Name of publisher/distributor (if available)
  • Available from: URL (if online)
  • Year of publication
  • TechSmith. Snagit. (Version 9.1) [Software] TechSmith Corporation. Available from: http://www.techsmith.com/screen-capture.asp. 2008.

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  • Author
  • Title of conference paper followed by, In:
  • Editor/Organisation (if it is an editor always put (ed.) after the name)
  • Title (this should be in italics)
  • Place of publication
  • Publisher
  • Year of publication
  • Page numbers (use ‘p’ before single and multiple page numbers)
  • Wittke M. Design, construction, supervision and long-term behaviour of tunnels in swelling rock. In: Van Cotthem A., Charlier, R., Thimus, J.-F. and Tshibangu, J.-P. (eds.) Eurock 2006: Multiphysics coupling and long term behaviour in rock mechanics: Proceedings of the International Symposium of the International Society for Rock Mechanics, EUROCK 2006, 9-12 May 2006, Liège, Belgium. London: Taylor & Francis; 2006.p. 211-216.

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  • Editor/Organisation (if it is an editor always put (ed.) after the name)
  • Title (this should be in italics)
  • Place of publication
  • Publisher
  • Year of publication
  • Edge BL. Coastal engineering 2000: conference proceedings, July 16-21, 2000, Sydney Convention & Exhibition Centre, Sydney, Australia. Reston, VA: ASCE; 2001.

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  • Sender
  • Subject of discussion post
  • Title of discussion list or forum (this should be in italics)
  • [Online]
  • Date of discussion post (day month year)
  • Available from: URL of discussion list or forum
  • [Date of access]
  • Kells R. Statistical advice and short courses at Imperial College London. TEACHING-STATISTICS List. [Online] 7th May 2009. Available from: https://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/cgi-bin/webadmin?A0=teaching-statistics [Accessed 19th June 2009].

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When writing a reference for a multi-media item, you would usually use the title of the TV programme or video recording, or title of the film (whether on DVD or video) as the author. If the title is used as the author, this should be written in italics. You should also include the type of format in the reference, such as Video, DVD, CD, CD-ROM and so on.

  • Title (this should be in italics)
  • [DVD]
  • Place of production or origin (if available)
  • Name of production company/maker
  • Year of production
  • Life on Campus. [DVD] London: Imperial College London. 2006.

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  • Personal emails should be referenced as personal communication, unless you have permission from the sender and receiver to include their details in your reference list.
  • Name of sender
  • Email sent to
  • Name of receiver
  • Date, month and year of communication
  • Harrison R. Email sent to Mimi Weiss Johnson. 10th June 2009.

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  • Use the discussion list / forum post layout for emails which are publicly available, that is posted to a discussion list, group or forum.

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You should provide a reference to the work in which you found the equation. Use the examples in this list to identify the appropriate layout depending on the type of work you need to reference. Your in-text citation should include the page number on which the equation appears (unless in an online publication without page numbers).

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  • Author (use the company name if no individual author or editor is named)
  • Title (this should be in italics)
  • Version number
  • Place of publication
  • Publisher
  • Date of publication
  • Hirst Magnetic Instruments Ltd. GM07/GM08 Gaussmeter Operating Manual. Version 2.0. Falmouth: Hirst Magnetic Instruments Ltd; no date.

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  • Title of film (this should be in italics)
  • [Film]
  • Directed by: Director’s name
  • Place of production
  • Name of production company
  • Year of production
  • An Inconvenient Truth. [Film] Directed by: Davis Guggenheim. USA: Lawrence Bender Productions; 2006.

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The example below is for data taken from Datastream for which there is no URL: use Datastream as the URL information. For data taken from online databases for which there is a URL, make sure this is included.

  • Name of publishing organisation
  • Title of extract from database
  • Database title (in italics)
  • [Online]
  • Year of publication or last update
  • Available from: URL
  • [Date of access]
  • Thomson Reuters. British Airways Share Price 01/01/2000 to 30/12/2009. DataStream. [Online] 2010. Available from: DataStream [Accessed: 22nd June 2010].

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  • Name of publishing organisation
  • Title of report or extract from database
  • Database title (in italics)
  • [Online]
  • Year of publication or last update
  • Available from: URL
  • [Date of access]
  • Bureau Van Dijk. British Airways PLC company report. FAME. [Online] 2010. Available from: http://fame.bvdep.com [Accessed: 22nd June 2010].

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You should provide an in-text citation for any images, illustrations, photographs, diagrams, tables or figures that you reproduce in your work, and provide a full reference as with any other type of work.

In-text citation:

  • Table illustrating checklist of information for common sources (Pears and Shields, 2008:p.22).
  • Pears, R. and Shields, G. (2008) Cite them right: the essential referencing guide. 3rd ed. Durham, Pear Tree Books.

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You should provide an in-text citation for any images, illustrations, photographs, diagrams, tables or figures that you reproduce in your work, and provide a full reference as with any other type of work.

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  • Name of person interviewed
  • Interviewed by: Name of interviewer
  • Date of interview
  • Day A. Interviewed by: Jones L. 4th June 2009.

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It is likely you will find articles available online before they have been submitted to the peer review procedure and published in a journal. These articles are preprints and may be placed in an online repository or on a publisher’s website (but not in a specific journal issue).

  • Author/s
  • Title of journal article
  • Submitted to/To be published in (if this information is with the article)
  • Title of journal (in italics)
  • Name of repository (in italics)
  • [Preprint]
  • Year of writing
  • Available from: URL (if available)
  • [Date of access]
  • Silas P, Yates JR, Haynes PD. Density-functional investigation of the rhombohedral to simple cubic phase transition of arsenic. To be published in Physical Review B. Arxiv. [Preprint] 2008. Available from: http://arxiv.org/abs/0810.1692. [Accessed: 23rd July 2010]

Note: there will not be volume, issue or page numbers assigned to preprint articles.

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If a journal article has been submitted to the peer review procedure and accepted for publication, but is not yet published in a specific journal issue, this is a postprint. These articles can be referred to as being ‘In press’. You should be able to work out what type of article you have found using the information provided with the article.

Journal publishers now assign DOIs to articles before they are published in a specific journal issue, so you can use the DOI provided for postprint / in press articles. This will ensure that the correct link for the article remains when it is moved to a specific journal issue.

If you read a print journal article not yet published in a journal issue, follow the layout below, ignoring the online information required.

  • Author/s
  • Title of journal article
  • Title of journal (this should be in italics)
  • [Postprint/In press: Online]
  • Year of writing
  • Available from: URL or DOI
  • [Date of access]
  • Akyol Z, Ice P, Garrison R, Mitchell R. The relationship
  • between course socio-epistemological orientations and student perceptions of community of inquiry. The Internet and Higher Education. [In press: Online] 2009. Available from: doi:10.1016/j.iheduc.2009.12.002 [Accessed:  4th January 2010]

Note: there will not be volume, issue or page numbers assigned to postprint / in press articles. 

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If an electronic journal article has a DOI (digital object identifier), you can use this instead of the URL. The DOI is a permanent identifier provided by publishers so that the article can always be found online. Your tutor or lecturer may ask you to include the DOI, not a direct URL, in your written references.

To find the DOI, when you read an article online, check the article details as you will usually find the DOI at the start of the article. For more help, contact your liaison librarian.

If you read the article in a full-text database service, such as Factiva or EBSCO, and do not have a DOI or direct URL to the article you should use the database URL.

  • Author
  • Title of journal article
  • Title of journal (this should be in italics)
  • [Online]
  • Year of publication
  • Volume number
  • (Issue number)
  • Page numbers of the article
  • Available from: URL or DOI
  • [Date of access]
  • Arrami M and Garner H. A tale of two citations. Nature [Online] 2008;451(7177): 397-399. Available from: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v451/n7177/full/451397a.html [Accessed 20th January 2008].
    or
    Wang F, Maidment G, Missenden J and Tozer R. The novel use of phase change materials in refrigeration plant. Part 1: Experimental investigation. Applied Thermal Engineering. [Online] 2007;27(17-18): 2893-2901. Available from: doi:10.1016/j.applthermaleng.2005.06.011 [Accessed 14th July 2008].
    or
    Read B. Anti-cheating crusader vexes some professors. Chronicle of Higher Education. [Online] 2008; 54(25). Available from: http://global.factiva.com/ [Accessed 18th June 2009].

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  • Author
  • Title of journal article
  • Title of journal (this should be in italics)
  • Year of publication
  • Volume number
  • (Issue number)
  • Page numbers of the article
  • Chhibber PK, Majumdar SK. Foreign ownership and profitability: Property rights, control, and the performance of firms in Indian industry. Journal of Law & Economics 1999;42(1): 209-238.

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  • Name of lecturer/presenter
  • Title of lecture/presentation (this should be in italics)
  • [Lecture/Presentation]
  • Title of module/degree course (if appropriate)
  • Name of institution or location
  • Date of lecture/presentation
  • Wagner G. Structural and functional studies of protein interactions in gene expression. [Lecture] Imperial College London.12th December 2006.

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Online maps may originate from an online map service, such as Google Maps, or from Digimap, the online Ordnance survey mapping tool.

  • Map author or originator (online maps may not have an author, but you can use the map publisher’s name as a corporate author)
  • Title of map
  • Sheet number, or tile (if available)
  • Scale (if available)
  • Title of online source (in italics)
  • [Online]
  • Available from: URL
  • [Date of access]
  • Streetmap.Imperial College London and surrounding area. Streetmap. [Online] Available from: http://www.streetmap.co.uk/newmap.srf?x=526500&y=179400&z=0&sv=526500,179400&st=OSGrid&lu=N&tl=~&ar=y&bi=~&mapp=newmap.srf&searchp=newsearch.srf [Accessed: 23rd July 2010].
    or
    Tele Atlas. Imperial College London and surrounding area. Google Maps. [Online] Available from: http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=south+kensington&sll=53.800651,-4.064941&sspn=18.304449,39.506836&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=South+Kensington,+Greater+London,+United+Kingdom&ll=51.494423,-0.177155&spn=0.009392,0.01929&z=16 [Accessed: 23rd July 2010].

Note: Google Maps use data produced by Tele Atlas. If you reproduce any map in your work, you must label and cite it as you would with any other type of image [link to image].

If you have used Digimap, or another mapping tool, to generate a map, and then add/subtract data layers, you must still provide information about where the original map data is from.

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  • Author (usually the organisation responsible for publishing the map)
  • Title (this should be in italics)
  • Scale
  • Place of publication
  • Publisher
  • Year of publication
  • British Geological Survey. South London, 270. 1: 50 000. London: BGS; 1998.

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  • Author (use the corporate author or research group if no individual author or editor is named)
  • Report title (this should be in italics)
  • [Online]
  • Edition (if not the first edition)
  • Place of publication
  • Publisher
  • Available from: URL
  • [Date of access]
  • Year of publication (include month if available and if not part of the title)
  • Mintel. Small Green Cars and Alternative Fuels - UK - December 2009. [Online] Available from: http://oxygen.mintel.com/ [Accessed 5th January 2010]. 2009.
  • Datamonitor. Energy Industry Profile: Global. [Online] Available from: http://web.ebscohost.com/ [Accessed: 5th January 2010]. March 2009.

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  • Author (use the corporate author or research group if no individual author or editor is named)
  • Report title (this should be in italics)
  • Edition (if not the first edition)
  • Place of publication
  • Publisher
  • Year of publication (include month if available and if not part of the title)
  • Mintel. Home Utility Suppliers - UK - September 2009. London: Mintel International Group; 2009.

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  • Author (if the article has no author, use the name of the newspaper)
  • Title of article
  • Title of newspaper (this should be in italics)
  • [Online]
  • Day, month and year of publication
  • Page numbers of the article (if available, use ‘p.’ before a single and multiple page numbers)
  • Available from: URL
  • [Date of access]
  • Pagnamenta R. Energy adviser puts forward powerful case for hydrogen. The Times. [Online] May 24 2008. Available from: http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/natural_resources/article3994594.ece [Accessed 2nd July 2008].

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  • Author (if the article has no author, use the name of the newspaper)
  • Title of article
  • Title of newspaper (this should be in italics)
  • Day, month and year of publication
  • Page numbers of the article (use ‘p’ before single and multiple page numbers)
  • Macalister T. Green energy is the modern gold rush. The Guardian. Wednesday July 2 2008:p.27.

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If you cannot find a suitable example in this list for a work published online in PDF, Word, HTML or an equivalent format, you can use the following layout. You may find the book or report layouts will be suitable.

  • Author/Editor (if it is an editor always put (ed.) after the name; use the corporate author if no individual author or editor is named)
  • Title of publication (this should be in italics)
  • [Online]
  • Place of publication (if provided on the publication)
  • Publisher (if provided on the publication)
  • Year of publication
  • Available from: URL
  • [Date of access]
  • Conway G. Grantham Institute for Climate Change, Discussion paper no 1: The science of climate change in Africa: impacts and adaptation. [Online] London: Imperial College London; 2009. Available from: http://workspace.imperial.ac.uk/climatechange/public/pdfs/discussion_papers/Grantham_Institue_-_The_science_of_climate_change_in_Africa.pdf [Accessed: 14th June 2010].
  • It is also acceptable to indicate the document’s original format, particularly as this will help your reader to locate the correct document on a web page.
  • DEFRA. Municipal waste statistics 2008-09: Excel tables showing summary estimates. [Online: Excel spreadsheet] 2009. Available from: http://www.defra.gov.uk/evidence/statistics/environment/wastats/bulletin09.htm [Accessed: 10th May 2010].

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  • Author
  • Title (this should be in italics)
  • Patent number
  • (Patent)
  • Year of publication
  • Landini, L. & Chielini, E. Water soluble and biodegradable self airproof tight closing bag. CN101045489 (Patent) 2007.

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  • Name of practitioner
  • Occupation
  • Personal communication
  • Date when the information was provided
  • Law J. Engineering consultant. Personal communication. 26th March 2004.

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You should provide an in-text citation for any images, illustrations, photographs, diagrams, tables or figures that you reproduce in your work, and provide a full reference as with any other type of work.

  • Name of photographer
  • Title of photograph (in italics)
  • [Online]
  • Year of publication
  • Available from: URL
  • [Date of access]
  • Leverton N. King’s Cross station. [Online] 2000. Available from: http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/3776 [Accessed: 15th June 2010].

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  • Title (this should be in italics)
  • Podcast
  • [Online]
  • Available from: URL
  • [Date of access]
  • Nature Podcast. Podcast. [Online] Available from: http://www.nature.com/nature/podcast/index.html [Accessed 17th July 2008].

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  • Title of programme/broadcast (this should be in italics)
  • Title of episode (if part of a series)
  • Name of broadcaster
  • Date of broadcast
  • Today. BBC Radio 4. 5th January 2010.
    Or
    In Our Time. Genetics. BBC Radio 4. 13th December 2001.

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  • Author/Editor (if it is an editor always put (ed.) after the name)
  • Title (this should be in italics)
  • Organisation
  • Report number: (this should be followed by the actula number in figures)
  • Year of publication
  • Leatherwood S. Whales, dolphins, and porpoises of the western North
  • Atlantic. U.S. Dept. of Commerce. Report number: 63, 2001.

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  • Name of Standard Body/Institution
  • Standard number
  • Title (this should be in italics)
  • Place of publication
  • Publisher
  • Year of publication
  • British Standards Institution. BS 5950-8:2003. Structural use of steelwork in building: code of practice for fire resistant design. London: BSI; 2003.

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  • Title (this should be in italics)
  • SI followed by the number of the Statutory Instrument
  • Place of publication
  • Publisher
  • Year of publication
  • The Public Contract Regulations 2006. SI 2006/5. London: The Stationery Office; 2006.

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  • Title of programme/broadcast (this should be in italics)
  • Title of episode (if part of a series)
  • Name of broadcaster
  • Date of broadcast
  • Question Time. BBC One. 26th November 2009.
    or
    Doctor Who. Blink. BBC One. 9th June 2007.

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  • Title of episode
  • Title of programme/broadcast (this should be in italics)
  • Name of broadcaster
  • Date of broadcast 
  • Blink. Doctor Who. BBC One. 9th June 2007.

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Television programmes can now be viewed on a number of media players provided by broadcasting companies such as BBC iPlayer, ITVplayer, Channel 4 On Demand and so on.

Episodes can also be posted elsewhere online such as on YouTube. If you have viewed a television programme online, make sure you use the correct attribution, that is, the corporate author or name of broadcaster, wherever possible. Copyright, including distribution rights, and authorship will belong, in the majority of cases, to the programme maker, not the person posting the video online.

  • Title of episode (if title of episode is not known, use the title of the programme series)
  • Title of programme/broadcast (this should be in italics)
  • Name of broadcaster
  • [Online]
  • Day, month and year of broadcast
  • Available from: URL
  • [Date of access]
  • Deep Earth. How Earth made us. BBC Two. [Online] Tuesday 19th January 2010. Available from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00qbvyc/How_Earth_Made_Us_Deep_Earth/ [Accessed: 9th November 2010].

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  • Author
  • Title (this should be in italics)
  • Type of thesis
  • Academic institution
  • Year of publication
  • Leckenby RJ. Dynamic characterisation and fluid flow modelling of fractured reservoirs. PhD thesis. Imperial College London; 2005.

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When writing a reference for a multi-media item, you would usually use the title of the TV programme or video recording, or title of the film (whether on DVD or video) as the author. If the title is used as the author, this should be written in italics. You should also include the type of format in the reference, such as Video, DVD, CD, CD-ROM and so on.

  • Title (this should be in italics)
  • [Video]
  • Place of production
  • Name of production company
  • Year of production
  • The blue planet, vol. 3. [Video] London: BBC; 2001

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  • Name of person who uploaded the video (this could be a YouTube username, not a full name)
  • Title of video (in italics)
  • [Video]
  • Year the video was uploaded
  • Available from: URL
  • [Date of access]
  • Speakfirst. Presentation skills: How to improve your presentations. [Video] 2009. Available from: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bt8YFCveNpY&feature=related [Accessed 5th November 2010].

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  • Author/Editor (use the corporate author if no individual author or editor is named)
  • Title (this should be in italics)
  • [Online]
  • Available from: URL
  • [Date of access]
  • European Space Agency. ESA: Missions, Earth Observation: ENVISAT. [Online]. Available from: http://envisat.esa.int/ [Accessed 3rd July 2008].

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