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Archaeology: Citing references

A guide to finding information in archaeology. Includes links to key resources and sources of help.

Whenever you refer to another person's work in your own essay, dissertation or article you must acknowledge them and give full details of your source. You risk being accused of plagiarism if you fail to do so.

The Department of Archaeology uses the Harvard style. For general information on referencing, including how to reference, and an explanation of different citation systems, see our Citing references guide. Further guidance regarding Harvard referencing is in the 'Citation examples and further help' section, below.

For help with citing specific types of publication contact your Academic Liaison Librarian, Charlie Carpenter.

For advice on using references in your work, and how to use them to support your arguments, consult the guidance on the Study Advice website or make an appointment with them.

Citation examples and further help

Archaeology uses the Harvard referencing system, whereby the in-text citation is in brackets in the body of the text. This in-text citation consists of the author's surname, the date of publication and the page number, if referencing a particular page. Full details of the item are listed in the bibliography or reference list at the end. It is an adaptable referencing style and you may see slight differences between the Harvard style used by one University Department, compared with another. The key is to stick with one version and be consistent.

This box contains reference examples of the most common publication types, using the 'Cite them right' version of Harvard. For further help with citing specific types of publication, consult 'Cite them right 'online (see below) or contact your Academic Liaison Librarian. Print and e-book versions are also available via the library catalogue, Enterprise.

Book with a single author

Citation in the text:            Bard (2015) stated….. or “…an important result of this economically complex society was the emergence of elites" (Bard, 2015, p. 95).

Reference in the bibliography:     

Bard, K. A. (2015) An introduction to the archaeology of Ancient Egypt. 2nd edn. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell.

Book chapter

Citation in the text:               “….. (Arnold, 2005, p. 95).”

Reference in the bibliography:    

Arnold, D. (2005) 'Unlearning the images of archaeology', in S. Smiles and S. Moser (eds.) Envisioning the past: archaeology and the image. Malden, MA: Blackwell, pp. 92-114.


Where an e-book looks like a printed book (usually PDFs) with publication information and page numbers, cite it in the same way as a printed book (above). If the e-book is only available online and doesn't have pagination, add the DOI or web address, along with the 'accessed date', to the full reference. Where specific pagination details are not available, use the information you have e.g. %, loc, chapter/page/paragraph.

Please note that the journal issue number within a volume (if needed) is within brackets. For online journal articles, you may cite as a print article, with no need to give the DOI or URL, unless the article is only available online.

Journal article (available in print and online)

Citation in the text:        ... (Ledger and Mitchell, 2022)

Reference in the bibliography:   

Ledger, M. L. and Mitchell, P. D. (2022) 'Tracing zoonotic parasite infections throughout human evolution', International Journal of Osteoarchaeology, 32(3), pp. 553-564.

Journal article (available online only)

If the journal is ONLY available online, you should include the DOI or the URL in the full reference. Articles with a DOI do not need the accessed date recorded, whereas articles with a URL do need the accessed date recorded. Online-only journal articles may not have page numbers or reference numbers, or pagination for each article will begin with '1'. The rules for in-text citations are the same as for print articles.

Article with a DOI:

Shipley, L. (2015) 'Leaping to conclusions: archaeology, gender and digital news media', Antiquity, 89(344), pp. 472-477. Available at:

Article without a DOI:

MacDonald, S. (2005) 'Accessing audiences: visiting visitor books', Museum and Society, 3(3), pp. 119-136. Available at: (Accessed: 17 June 2021).

You should only cite webpages if you are certain of their quality and suitability for inclusion in academic work. See the link at the bottom of the page for more information about evaluating webpages. 

Where citation of a web-based source is necessary, adopt the following format and citation order in the Bibliography:

Author/Organisation [if identifiable] (year) Title of article/webpage [in italics]. Available at: http: // internet address (Accessed: Day Month Year). 

The citation in the text should be by author and date, as with other sources, though problems can occur where there is no obvious author (see below).     

Can't identify the author?

If no person is named as the author, but you can identify the organisation responsible for the website, then use their name as the author e.g. Historic England. If this is not possible, use the page title or an abbreviation thereof.

Citation in the text:    “….. (Historic England, 2023)

Reference in the bibliography:    

Historic England (2023) Historic town centres and high streets. Available at: (Accessed 25 July 2023).

Can't tell what date it was created or updated?

Look for an updated date at the foot of the page. If you can’t find one, you may state (no date) in place of the year of publication/creation.

When citing someone’s work in your assignments you should include the author(s) and year of publication in brackets in the text, e.g.

(Gibson, 2010)

When you quote, paraphrase or draw on a specific idea, argument or point made by someone else, you must include page numbers, e.g.

(Gibson, 2010, p. 15)

The citation must be within the sentence to which it refers, usually either at the beginning or end of the sentence, unless a comparison is being made, in which case the authors concerned must be cited as appropriate within the sentence.

When referring to edited, multi-authored books, just cite the author(s) of that chapter and only include the editor(s) in the full reference in the bibliography.

If two or more sources are cited within a sentence then they should be cited in date priority, e.g. (Williams, 1949; Evans, 1969; Jones, 1999).

If there are two references for the same author in the same year then use a letter postscript, e.g. 2009a, 2009b, etc in your citation and in the reference list/bibliography.

All the items you've read for the assignment, and especially those cited in the text, should be listed at the end in the 'Bibliography'. They should be listed in alphabetical order by author's surname.


EndNote logoWhen you do your dissertation you could consider using EndNote to manage your references. This bibliographic management package can be used to store references, and then insert the citation in your Word document, automatically building the bibliography for you in the correct style.

Find out more on our EndNote webpages:

For information on other options for electronic management of your references see our guide to Managing references:

Get help from your librarian

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Charlie Carpenter
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Please contact me for help finding books, journal articles and other materials for your research, accessing resources, referencing or using EndNote/Mendeley.

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+44 (0) 118 378 3406