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Business Systems and Operations Subject Guide

An Academic Librarian guide for students

Referencing Systems

Referencing requirements differ between programmes of study at the University of Northampton. All programmes use the UoN Harvard system, with the exception of the following:

  • English and Creative Writing use MLA8 and MLA7 depending on year group
  • Fine Art use Running Notes
  • Psychology use APA
  • Law uses OSCOLA
  • History use History Referencing.

If you are unsure about which referencing format to use, especially if you are a joint honours student, check with your Tutor. You will find guides to all the referencing systems above in the Skills Hub under the Tools for UON Students tab.

Details of sources

Note full details of sources used at the time you use it.

Making notes:

  • Keep notes from each source separate

  • Label notes clearly with the author

  • Note down the details for the reference list first

  • Note the page number as you go

  • Put any direct quotations in quotation marks

  • Distinguish clearly between your own thoughts and notes taken from a source (e.g. by colour)

  • We have also created some useful guides to making notes.

Building a references list

Build your reference list as you research and write.

There are free referencing tools such as Mendeley, Cite This For Me, Zotero etc. which can be used to help you build your reference list. Be aware that these are not supported by UON and there will be differences in their formatting, particularly when using Harvard which may be significantly different to UoN’s Harvard referencing guidelines.

Always check your references against the UON guides for your subject as appropriate, before you submit your work. 


Cite sources within your test as you write.

Images, tables and diagrams

Caption images, tables and diagrams and cite the source. For guidance on using web-based images in your work, we have made this short video.


Proofread your citations and check against your work.


Be consistent! Make sure you apply the same format consistently throughout.

Check you have cited every source you have used.

Make sure you reference every source you use in your work. This includes music, film, audio, data, presentations. This is the case regardless of whether you have paraphrased, summarised or directly quoted their work. This is a key part of good practice in academic writing.

  • Cite your sources and use your own ideas

  • Produce honest work

  • Earn your qualification.

We also have Referencing Guides.

Interactive Version