ContentsIntroductionChangesQuick GuideChapter 1Chapter 2Chapter 3Chapter 4Chapter 5Chapter 6Chapter 7Chapter 8Index

Chapter 7: References

This has always been the most frequently consulted chapter of the Style Guide, as it sets out the format for referencing a writer’s sources. ‘MHRA style’ has traditionally been understood to mean citing sources in footnotes or endnotes. Accordingly, the conventions for setting these out are dealt with thoroughly, covering as many likely source genres as is possible in a compact guide. At the same time, the MHRA has for many years also published works that use author–date referencing. Conventions for this system are also explained here and in the following chapter.

The word ‘note’ is used throughout as an umbrella term for footnotes and endnotes, which share the same format regardless of their placement on the page. While the examples in this chapter show the material to be included in a note, they are not set out as notes — with a superscript footnote number and left justification — since notes are created and set out automatically by your writing software.

§7.1. Citation in Notes vs Author–Date Citation

In academic writing, referencing generally takes one of two forms. In the first form, a source is cited in full in a note (either footnote or endnote) when first mentioned in the author’s argument. In books, and occasionally also in journals, this full reference is then also listed in an alphabetical list of cited sources. In the second form of reference, generally known as author–date citation, a minimal reference is incorporated into the main text in a format that can easily be matched to the full reference, which appears in the alphabetical list of cited sources provided at the end of the article, chapter, or book. This style goes by various other names: ‘in-text citation’, ‘parenthetical citation’, or ‘Harvard style’.

The MHRA Style Guide has always been closely associated with the first form of reference, which uses footnotes or endnotes (accompanied, in books, by a bibliography). So strong is this association that online referencing aids will often offer a choice between ‘MHRA or Harvard’, where Harvard is shorthand for author–date referencing.

However, the MHRA has for many years also published work in fields that conventionally use author–date referencing and offers a free choice to its book authors. We therefore present the two forms of reference on an equal footing in this chapter. Because footnote and endnote references contain complete information on the cited source, that section is much longer. The simplicity of in-text references requires little in the way of explanation. Nonetheless, since bibliographies in both systems are substantially based on the information included in a footnote or endnote, those using author–date referencing will find it useful to consult the main body of this chapter when compiling their bibliographies. See §7.13 for more on the author–date system.

§7.2. Choosing Sources

A work of literature should be quoted or referred to in a satisfactory scholarly edition, if one exists. Where there is no scholarly edition, make clear whether you are quoting the first publication of a literary work or a subsequent reprint or revised edition. If an unrevised reprint is used (such as a modern facsimile reprint of an out-of-print work or a paperback reissue of an earlier book), the publication details of the original edition as well as of the reprint should be given.

Details of original publication should also be provided where an article from a journal is reprinted in an anthology of reprinted material (see §7.3 (b)).

§7.3. Citing Books, Chapters, and Literary Works

(a) Citing entire books

Full references should be given as in the following examples of monographs (i–iii), edited volumes (iv–vi), and editions of texts (vii–xi); a commentary follows.

Priyamvada Gopal, Insurgent Empire: Anticolonial Resistance and British Dissent (Verso, 2020), p. 63.
Essaka Joshua, Physical Disability in British Romantic Literature (Cambridge University Press, 2020), p. 123.
Robert E. Peary, The North Pole, intro. by Theodore Roosevelt (Frederick A. Stokes, 1910; facsimile repr. Time Life, 1985).
Readings in the Anthropocene: The Environmental Humanities, German Studies, and Beyond, ed. by Sabine Wilke and Japhet Johnstone (Bloomsbury, 2017), doi:10.5040/9781501307782.
Motherhood in Literature and Culture: Interdisciplinary Perspectives from Europe, ed. by Gill Rye and others (Routledge, 2017).
Becoming Visible: Women in European History, ed. by Renate Bridenthal, Susan Stuard, and Merry E. Wiesner-Hanks, 3rd edn (Houghton Mifflin, 1998).
Simone de Beauvoir: Mémoires, ed. by Jean-Louis Jeannelle and others, 2 vols (Gallimard, 2018), ii, p. 131.
Eleonora Fonseca Pimentel, From Arcadia to Revolution: ‘The Neapolitan Monitor’ and Other Writings, ed. and trans. by Verina R. Jones (Iter Press and Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 2019), p. 54.
Homeri Ilias, ed. by Thomas W. Allen, 3 vols (Oxford University Press, 1931; facsimile repr. 2000).
James Baldwin, Collected Essays, ed. by Toni Morrison (Library of America, 1998).
Heinrich Böll: Werke, ed. by Árpád Bernáth and others, Kölner Ausgabe, 27 vols (Kiepenheuer und Witsch, 2002–10), xx, 1977–79, ed. by Jochen Schubert (2009), pp. 24–25.

The information should be given in the following order:

(1) Author: The author’s name should normally be given as it appears on the title page; forenames should precede surnames and should not be reduced to initials. The names of up to three authors should be given in full; for works by more than three authors the name of only the first should be given, followed by ‘and others’ (see examples v and xi). Do not use ‘et al.’. If the author’s name is included within the title (as, for example, in editions of ‘Works’), or if the book is an edited collection or anthology, the title will appear first (see examples iv–vii, and xi). In a footnote, treat your own name as you would anybody else’s: do not use ‘See my...’ as a shorthand form.

(2) Title: The title should be given as it appears on the title page (although very long titles may be suitably abbreviated) and italicized. A colon should normally be used to separate title and subtitle, even where the punctuation on the title page is different or (as often happens) non-existent. For books in English capitalize the initial letter of the first word after the colon and of all principal words throughout the title and subtitle; for titles in other languages, follow the capitalization rules for the language in question (see §3.4). Titles of other works occurring within the title should be enclosed in quotation marks and should not be set in roman type (see example viii). For books (usually older works) with alternative titles, punctuation before and after ‘or’ should be as follows:

  • The Queen; or, The Excellency of her Sex
  • All for Love; or, The World Well Lost

(3) Editor, Translator, etc.: The names of editors etc. should be treated in the same way as those of authors (as set out above) with regard to forenames and number to be given; they should be preceded by the accepted abbreviated forms ‘ed. by’, ‘trans. by’, or ‘rev. by’ (see examples iv–xi). If the book has an introduction or preface, give details of its author only if this information is significant (see iii). For multi-volume works where there is both a general editor and an editor for each individual volume, the information should be conveyed as in example xi. In this example, the twentieth volume of a twenty-seven-volume edition is being cited; this volume has its own editor (Jochen Schubert), and the edition as a whole has a general editorial team (Árpád Bernáth and others).

(4) Series: For a monograph or edited volume that is produced in a numbered series, it is not normally necessary to give the series title and number, except where this is likely to be useful to your reader. This might be the case for a multi-volume edition of an author’s works, where the edition is a byword in your field (see example xi), or if it is likely that a library would file the volume under the series title. If given, series titles should not be italicized or put between quotation marks. The series number should be given in arabic numerals. For instance:

German Text Crimes: Writers Accused, from the 1950s to the 2000s, ed. by Tom Cheesman, German Monitor, 77 (Rodopi, 2013).

(5) Edition: If the edition used is other than the first, this should be stated in the form ‘2nd edn’, ‘5th edn’, ‘rev. edn’ (see example vi). Do not use superscript for the ordinal even if your software automatically does so (‘2nd’ not ‘2nd’).

(6) Number of Volumes: If the work is in more than one volume, the number of volumes should be given in the form ‘2 vols’ (see examples vii, ix, and xi). Foreign equivalents, such as ‘tomes’, ‘Bände’, or ‘tomos’, should usually be rendered as ‘vols’.

(7) Details of Publication: The name of the publisher and the date of publication should be enclosed in parentheses separated by a comma. While MHRA style does not require the place of publication to be given, scholars writing about the early era of printing may wish to include the place of publication of historical texts where this information is of use to readers in their field. Similarly, in some print cultures there is no publisher in the modern sense but it may be useful to give the name of a printer, where this is known. Any detail of publication which is not given in the book itself but can be ascertained (for instance from a colophon in early books) should be enclosed in square brackets, e.g. ‘[Paris]’, ‘[1787]’. For details that are assumed but uncertain, use the form ‘[Paris?]’, ‘[1787?]’. If any detail is unknown and cannot be ascertained, the following abbreviated forms of reference should be used: ‘[n.p.]’ (= no place; needed only if place of publication is being given for analogous texts), ‘[n. pub.]’ (= no publisher), ‘[n.d.]’ (= no date). Do not use square brackets in a reference for any other purpose (for example, when the reference is already in parentheses), otherwise the impression may be conveyed that the information in square brackets is uncertain.

The name of the publishing house should be given without secondary matter such as an initial definite article, ‘& Co.’, ‘Ltd’, ‘S.A.’, or ‘GmbH’. The words ‘Press’, ‘Verlag’, ‘Editorial’, etc. are usually omitted where the name of the house is that of its proprietor or founder. Do not abbreviate ‘University Press’ to ‘UP’. Thus for example:

Éditions de la Femme, Harvester Press, Oxford University Press, Clarendon Press, Blackwell, Mellen, Laterza, Mitteldeutscher Verlag

It is not normally necessary to include forenames or initials of publishers, unless there are two or more with the same surname:

  • Brewer (not D. S. Brewer)
  • Heinemann (not William Heinemann)
  • Peter Lang (to distinguish from Herbert Lang)

A book which has been jointly published by two or more publishers should be referred to as in example viii.

Details of facsimile reprints should be given as in example ix where the original publisher is responsible for the reprint, and as in example iii where different publishers are involved.

A reference to a work in several volumes published over a period of years but now complete should state the number of volumes and give inclusive dates of publication as well as the date of the volume specifically referred to: see example xi. If a work in several volumes is still in the process of publication, the date of the first volume should be stated followed by a dash and a space, and the date of the individual volume being cited should be added in parentheses after the volume number. In some instances (for example, if each volume of a set has a different editor) it may be more appropriate to give publication details only for the volume cited.

(8) Volume Number: In a multi-volume work the number of the volume referred to should be given in small capital roman numerals, followed where necessary by the title and editor of the volume (if any) and by the year of publication in parentheses (see examples vii and xi).

(9) Page Numbers: To cite a particular point in or passage of a book, use ‘p.’ or ‘pp.’ to abbreviate ‘page’ or ‘pages’. If an entry relates to several successive pages, the first and last page numbers of the span should always be stated:

pp. 201–09 not pp. 201 ff.

Where no pagination is present (for instance in early printed books) use whatever information is present, such as signature marks or folio numbers. The abbreviated and superscript forms for ‘recto’ and ‘verso’ are preferred. For example:

Henry Goodcole, The Wonderfull Discoverie of Elizabeth Sawyer a Witch, Late of Edmonton (London: for William Butler, 1621), sig. C2r.

Note that ‘sig.’ and ‘fol.’ are abbreviations, and thus are followed by a full stop, but the plurals ‘sigs’ and ‘fols’ are contractions, and thus are not followed by a full stop.

Referring to a position in an ebook can be difficult. Most academic ebooks are derived from an original publication which has been typeset in the traditional way, with an imprint page (giving information on the publisher and date of publication) and fixed pagination throughout. Cite as if you are citing a printed book, following the guidelines given above. There is no need to give the name of the ebook format or reader through which you accessed the work. Give page numbers or section details only if these are fixed and stable. Some ebook formats have no pagination and others give different pagination in different screen readers or formats (so that, for instance, the pagination might be different if the book is read on a phone versus on a tablet). If that is the case, do not give a page number. Instead, provide as much information as you can to enable your reader to locate the citation on any device. If you quote from the work, this should be sufficient to allow your reader to search for the location. If not quoting, consider including a chapter number or the text of a subheading.

(10) DOI: Some recently published books have a DOI. It is good practice to cite this if available (as in example iv).

Citations of online-only editions of authors’ works should follow the rules for print books as far as possible: give as much of the information above as is available and applicable. Unless the edition is hosted at the site of a print publisher such as a university press, it may not be possible to give a publisher. In this case it is not necessary to use [n. pub.] since websites are not considered publishers for referencing purposes. However, if the edition does not specify the date(s) of its production, give [n.d.]. Where an online edition has no DOI, give a URL and access date, as for a website. For instance:

Livingstone Online, ed. by Adrian S. Wisnicki and Megan Ward (2004–21) <> [accessed 11 October 2023]

(11) In citation in notes, all citations are normally given in footnotes or endnotes rather than in the main text. An exception may be made when a large number of quotations and citations refer to a single, key text (nearly always a book). In this case, an initial footnote is used to give the publication details, establishing an abbreviated form of reference to be used thereafter, in parentheses, in the main text. Where relevant, this may include also a published translation of the text. A first footnote would take the following form (with wording adjusted to the case):

Marcel Proust, A la recherche du temps perdu, ed. by Jean-Yves Tadié, 4 vols (Gallimard, 1987–89), ii, p. 67, hereafter ALR. Subsequent references are given in parentheses in the main text.

A reference in the main text would then follow the pattern:

The impression of the fountain when viewed ‘de près’ is of geometry and collage (ALR, iii, p. 56).

An example involving a published translation would look like this:

Uwe Timm, Am Beispiel meines Bruders (Kiepenheuer und Witsch, 2003), hereafter BmB; translated as Uwe Timm, In My Brother’s Shadow, trans. by Anthea Bell (Bloomsbury, 2005), hereafter MBS. Subsequent references are given in parentheses in the main text.

The corresponding reference in the main text would take this form:

The narrator writes that during his childhood his older brother was ‘gegenwärtiger als andere Tote’ (‘more present than other dead people’) (BmB, p. 8; MBS, p. 2).

In a book-length study, the abbreviations may be established in a list or note in the preliminaries rather than in individual footnotes. For abbreviations of book titles see also §2.9. For the format of translated quotations see also §2.12.

(b) Citing chapters in edited collections

Full references should be given as in the following examples:

Sabine Nöllgen, ‘The Darkness of the Anthropocene: Wolfgang Hilbig’s Alte Abdeckerei’, in Readings in the Anthropocene: The Environmental Humanities, German Studies, and Beyond, ed. by Sabine Wilke and Japhet Johnstone, New Directions in German Studies, 18 (Bloomsbury, 2017), pp. 148–66 (p. 155).
Giulia Zava, ‘Translating the Canzoniere into Images: The Petrarca Queriniano Incunable’, in Translating Petrarch’s Poetry: ‘L’Aura del Petrarca’ from the Quattrocento to the 21st Century, ed. by Carole Birkan-Berz, Guillaume Coatelen, and Thomas Vuong (Legenda, 2020), pp. 82–102, doi:10.2307/j.ctv16kkxw0.10.
Ani Kokobobo and Devin McFadden, ‘The Queer Nihilist: Queer Time, Social Refusal, and Heteronormativity in The Precipice’, in Goncharov in the Twenty-First Century, ed. by Ingrid Keespies and Lyudmila Parts (Academic Studies Press, 2021), pp. 132–52 (pp. 146–47), doi:10.2307/j.ctv249sgs4.13.
Montserrat Lunati, ‘Mercè Rodoreda and Maria-Mercè Marçal as “specters granted a hospitable memory” in Mercè Ibarz’s Fiction’, in Catalan Narrative 1875–2015, ed. by Jordi Larios and Montserrat Lunati (Legenda, 2020), pp. 139–60, doi:10.2307/j.ctv1wsgrqq.13.

When a second item from a volume previously mentioned is to be listed, use an abbreviated form of the volume details, as in this example referring to the volume in i above:

Sean Ireton, ‘Adalbert Stifter and the Gentle Anthropocene’, in Readings in the Anthropocene, ed. by Wilke and Johnstone, pp. 195–221.

The bibliographical information for a chapter in a book should be given in the following order:

  1. Author’s name, exactly as it appears in the book
  2. Title of chapter in single quotation marks
  3. The word ‘in’ (preceded by a comma) followed by the collection/volume title, ‘ed. by’ editor’s name, and full publication details of book
  4. First and last page numbers of chapter cited, preceded by ‘pp.’
  5. Page number(s), in parentheses and preceded by ‘p.’ or ‘pp.’, of the particular reference (if necessary)
  6. DOI. Some recently published books have DOIs. It is good practice to cite this if available (as in examples ii–iv)

A colon should be used to separate the title and subtitle of the chapter title. In cases where the author has intentionally used unusual capitalization, follow the author’s preference. Otherwise, always use the following practice. For titles in English and German, capitalize the initial letter of the first word after the colon and all principal words (in German, all nouns) throughout the title (including the subtitle) (see examples); for titles in other languages, follow the capitalization rules for the language in question (see §3.4).

The titles of works of literature occurring within the titles of chapters or articles should be italicized or placed within quotation marks, whichever is appropriate (see examples i, ii, and iii). If quotation marks are used within the chapter title, they should be double (see example iv), since single quotation marks have been used to enclose the title itself.

If a particular page within a chapter is to be indicated, the full page span should be given in the first full citation and a reference to the particular page or pages added in parentheses (see examples i and iii).

Reference to an article in a book which has previously been published in a journal should take one of the following forms:

Vicente L. Rafael, ‘Translation, American English, and the National Insecurities of Empire’, Social Text, 27.4 (2009), pp. 1–23 (repr. in The Translation Studies Reader, ed. by Lawrence Venuti, 4th edn (Routledge, 2021), pp. 451–68).
Lucy O’Meara, ‘Barthes and Antonioni in China: The Muffling of Criticism’, in Deliberations: The Journals of Roland Barthes, ed. by Neil Badmington (Routledge, 2017), pp. 63–82 (first publ. in Textual Practice, 30.2 (2016), pp. 267–86).

When citing a single-author book, it is not generally necessary to give the title of the chapter from which you are citing. This might, however, be useful where individual chapters cover different topics and only one is relevant, provided that this information is also of use to your reader. Thus, an analysis of Annie Ernaux’s prose (but not a more general analysis of autobiographical writing), might usefully give:

Alice Blackhurst, ‘Annie Ernaux: l’écriture, un luxe’, in Blackhurst, Luxury, Sensation and the Moving Image (Legenda, 2021), pp. 55–80.

The author’s surname is repeated before the book title to clarify that they are the author of both the chapter and the book.

A single poem in an anthology is cited in the same way as a chapter in a book:

Benjamin Zephaniah, ‘Dis Poetry’, in Zephaniah, City Psalms (Bloodaxe Books, 1992), pp. 12–13.

Where a longer work such as a book-length poem or play is cited within an anthology, its title should still be italicized even though it is now part of a larger book. For example:

Troilus and Criseyde, in The Riverside Chaucer, ed. by Larry D. Benson, 3rd edn (Oxford University Press, 2008), pp. 472–585.
Marqués de Santillana, Infierno de los enamorados, in Poesías completas, ed. by Miguel Ángel Pérez Priego, 2 vols (Alhambra, 1975–77), i (1975), pp. 225–58.
Livingstone’s ‘Missionary Travels’ Manuscript, ed. by Justin D. Livingstone and Adrian S. Wisnicki, rev. edn (2020), in Livingstone Online, ed. by Adrian S. Wisnicki and Megan Ward (2004–21), <> [accessed 10 October 2023]

(c) Citing plays and longer poems

The first full reference to a play or other long, subdivided work (e.g. a poem in cantos) should indicate the edition used. Small capital roman numerals should be used for the numbers of acts of plays, and for the numbers of ‘books’, cantos, and other major subdivisions. Smaller subdivisions (scenes, chapters, etc.) and line numbers are usually indicated by arabic numerals. Later references and the identification of quotations should be given in the form: Macbeth, iii. 4. 99–107, Samson Agonistes, i. 819. Note that figures in references should be separated by full stops (not commas) and spaces, e.g.:

  • The Merchant of Venice, ii. 3. 10
  • The Faerie Queene, iii. 8. 26
  • Paradise Lost, ix. 342–50
  • Aeneid, vi. 215–18
  • Gerusalemme liberata, iii. 9
  • City of God, xix. 2

(d) Citing the Bible

References should be in the following form:

  • Isaiah 22. 17
  • ii Corinthians 5. 13–15

Books of the Bible are not italicized. Small capital roman numerals are used for the numbers of books before the book title. Arabic numerals, separated by a full stop and a space, are used for chapters and verses.

§7.4. Citing Journal Articles

The first reference should be given in full in a form similar to that in the following examples:

Doriane Zerka, ‘Constructing Poetic Identity: Iberia as a Heterotopia in Oswald von Wolkenstein’s Songs’, MLR, 114.2 (2019), pp. 274–93 (p. 279), doi:10.5699/modelangrevi.114.2.0274.
Michael Rothberg, ‘Decolonizing Trauma Studies: A Response’, Studies in the Novel, 40.1–2 (2008), pp. 224–34 (p. 227), doi:10.1353/sdn.0.0005.
Helena Taylor, ‘Ancients, Moderns, Gender: Marie-Jeanne L’Héritier’s “Le Parnasse reconnoissant, ou, Le triomphe de Madame Des-Houlières”’, French Studies, 71.1 (2017), pp. 15–30, doi:10.1093/fs/knw261.
Roya Biggie, ‘The Botany of Colonization in John Fletcher’s The Island Princess’, Renaissance Drama, 50.2 (2022), pp. 159–87 (pp. 166–67), doi:10.1086/722938.
Russell West-Pavlov, ‘Modernism and Modernities in Achebe’s Things Fall Apart’, English Studies in Africa, 65.1 (2022), pp. 72–86, doi:10.1080/00138398.2022.205586.
Eduardo Urbina, ‘Don Quijote, puer–senex: un tópico y su transformación paródica en el Quijote’, Journal of Hispanic Philology, 12 (1987–88), pp. 127–38.
Christine Acham, ‘Black-ish: Kenya Barris on Representing Blackness in the Age of Black Lives Matter’, Film Quarterly, 71.3 (2018), pp. 48–57, doi:10.1525/fq.2018.71.3.48.
Judith Pollmann, ‘Of Living Legends and Authentic Tales: How to Get Remembered in Early Modern Europe’, Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, 6th ser., 23 (2013), pp. 103–25, doi:10.1017/S0080440113000054.
Jacob Wirshba, review of Naama Harel, Kafka’s Zoopoetics: Beyond the Human-Animal Barrier (2020), MLR, 117.1 (2022), pp. 140–41, doi: 10.1353/mlr.2022.0032.
[Anon.], review of Shane Weller, The Idea of Europe: A Critical History (2021), Forum for Modern Language Studies, 58 (2022), pp. 134–35, doi:10.1093/fmls/cqac019.
Gavriel D. Rosenfeld, ‘The Rise of Illiberal Memory’, Memory Studies, published online 15 February 2021, doi:10.1177/1750698020988771.

The information should be given in the following order:

  1. Author’s name, exactly as it appears in the article (for multiple authors see §7.3 (a)).
  2. Title of article, in single quotation marks.
  3. Title of journal, italicized.
  4. An indication of the series in cases where the journal has had more than one series, e.g. ‘n.s.’ for ‘new series’.
  5. Volume number, in arabic numerals.
  6. Full point and part number, in arabic numerals, if the volume has multiple parts. If two part numbers have been published together, this should be cited as in example ii. It is not necessary to give the season or month of publication, e.g. (Spring 2020).
  7. Year(s) of publication, in parentheses. Omit parentheses if there is no volume number.
  8. First and last page numbers of article cited, preceded by ‘pp.’.
  9. Page number(s), in parentheses and preceded by ‘p.’ or ‘pp.’, of the particular reference (if necessary).
  10. DOI, if one is available, preceded by ‘doi:’. There is no space between the colon and the number. Almost all scholarly articles now have DOIs, even if published before the digital age, but there are exceptions. With a DOI, it is not necessary to give an access date. A URL should only be given where there is no DOI. Do not give the name of the database through which you accessed the article, e.g. JSTOR or EBSCO.

The use of the colon to separate the title and subtitle in an article, the norms for capitalization within the title and subtitle, the treatment of the titles of works of literature occurring within the titles of articles, and references to particular pages within an article are, as the examples illustrate, treated in the same way as for chapters in edited collections (see §7.3 (b)).

Journals follow their own capitalization rules for the titles of articles, which can vary widely; disregard these in favour of the rules presented here, in order that your references are consistent. For example, an article printed in the journal Science as ‘Mortality risk from United States coal electricity generation’ would be cited in MHRA style as ‘Mortality Risk from United States Coal Electricity Generation’.

Only the main title of a journal should be given. Any subtitle and the place of publication should be omitted unless they serve to distinguish between two journals of the same name. An initial definite or indefinite article should be omitted except when the title consists of the article and one other word, e.g. La Linguistique. The titles of journals should be abbreviated only when the abbreviation is likely to be more familiar to readers than the full title (e.g. PMLA), otherwise the title should be given in full. If the journal title is abbreviated to initials, full stops should not be used (see example i; for rules on stops in abbreviations, see §2.10). For the proceedings of learned societies, etc., the name of the organization should be italicized as part of the title (e.g. Proceedings of the British Academy).

The volume number should be given in arabic numerals, no matter what the style preferred by the journal (e.g. Medium Ævum, 58, not lviii). The number should not be preceded by ‘vol.’.

If the journal describes itself as covering an academic year rather than a calendar year, this should be indicated as in example vi.

An article that has been published online by a journal but not yet assigned to a volume should be cited as in example xi. Do not give the volume number as 0 or 00.0 even if the publisher or journal host presents the citation data in this format.

To cite a complete issue of a journal (for instance, a special issue on an author or topic), give the title and editors as you would for a book, followed by ‘special issue of’ and the journal data. For example:

Modern Portuguese Poetry, ed. by Paulo de Medeiros and Rosa Maria Martelo, special issue of Portuguese Studies, 36.2 (2020).

§7.5. Citing Websites and Social Media

This section covers the procedures for citing websites and social media which do not have DOIs. To cite journal articles, which have DOIs, see §7.4; for general information about the role of DOIs and URLs, see §6.1; on formatting URLs, see §6.3. Follow these examples:

Amel Mukhtar, ‘How Failure Freed Coco Jones, R&B’s Soulful New Star’, British Vogue, 28 March 2023 <> [accessed 4 April 2023].
‘Welcome to the MHRA Style Guide Online’, MHRA, n.d. <> [accessed 1 December 2023].
LEGO Ideas, ‘Hungry? 🌭’, Facebook, 20 April 2023 <> [accessed 21 April 2023].
Virago Press (@ViragoBooks), ‘💙 Some readers have told us they always shed a tear at the ending of Carrie’s War’, Twitter, 10 April 2023 <> [accessed 27 April 2023].
‘What’s On At Tate’, Tate, n.d. <> [accessed 6 October 2023].
PurpleFerret9146, ‘What do you think about Normal People by Sally Rooney?’, Reddit, 17 April 2023 <> [accessed 27 April 2023].
‘The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories’, goodreads, n.d. <> [accessed 1 January 2023].
‘Visualization’, 15cBooktrade, 18 June 2016 <> [accessed 20 November 2023]

In general, give as much of the following information as is available and applicable:

(1) Author name, followed by username, where relevant, in parenthesis; if only a username is present, this can be given in place of the author name (with no parenthesis). Follow the capitalization employed by the user.

(2) Title of page or article, in single quotation marks. For shorter posts such as those on social media, the post itself can be given as the title; starting at the first word, cite the shortest portion that makes sense. Spelling, punctuation, capitalization, and italicization should follow that used in the original. Include emojis, #hashtags, and @usernames where present.

(3) Platform or publisher. This can be either the platform that hosts the text or the website on which the page is located. Names of services or platforms such as YouTube, Snapchat, or TikTok should be given in roman type. Names of websites are generally given in roman (e.g. British Museum, Deutscher Bundestag) but may be given in italics if the website is the equivalent of a print publication (e.g. FiveThirtyEight, art21 magazine). If a social media platform changes its name, give the name that was current at the time the original post was made.

(4) Date. Give as much information as is present. If the page is undated, give ‘n.d.’. Including the time of day (e.g. for a social media post) is not usually necessary.

(5) URL, in angle brackets (see §6.3).

(6) Date of access, in square brackets. The most recent date on which you accessed the page or post.

For entries in major reference works with a search function, give the search term and the URL of the main website only:

Entry ‘style’, Oxford English Dictionary, n.d. <> [accessed 11 September 2023].

Comments on online material can be cited via the username of the comment author, then ‘comment on’, followed by the full reference to the original post as above. The date remains the date of the original post, rather than of the comment:

Topaz_hunter, comment on Jeremy Gray, ‘The Winners of the GDT Nature Photographer of the Year 2023’, PetaPixel, 21 April 2023 <> [accessed 27 April 2023].

§7.6. Citing Newspaper Articles

References to articles in newspapers or magazines (periodical publications other than scholarly journals organized by volume and/or part) follow the same general rules as journal articles (see §7.4), but normally require only the date of issue (day, month, and year).

Ian Thomson, ‘Italo Calvino: A Celebration of the Fairy King’, Daily Telegraph, 19 September 2015 <> [accessed 2 February 2023].
Olivier Ubertalli, ‘Entre Antoine Gallimard et Vincent Bolloré, la guerre du livre’, Le Point, 25 February 2023 <> [accessed 6 March 2023].
Hannah Clugston, ‘“If Not Now, When?” Review: A Timely Tour through Feminist Sculpture’, Guardian, 3 April 2023 <> [accessed 3 April 2023].
Egbert Tholl, ‘Schauspielhaus Zürich. Beim Geld hört die Wokeness auf’, Süddeutsche Zeitung, 6 March 2023 <> [accessed 17 June 2023].

Initial ‘The’ or ‘A’ is normally omitted when citing English-language newspapers and magazines, with the exception of The Times.

The date of issue (with the month always in English) should be given between commas, not parentheses.

Page numbers are normally only necessary for older or archival material.

When citing articles in literary magazines, treat them as you would journal articles (with ‘p.’ or ‘pp.’ before the page number(s)), but use the system used by the magazine itself for identifying issues.

Fatima Bhutto, ‘The Hour of the Wolf’, Granta, 158 (2022), pp. 9–25.
José Luis Pardo, ‘Filosofía y clausura de la modernidad’, Revista de Occidente, 66 (1986), pp. 35–47.
E. Iukina, ‘Dostoinstvo cheloveka’, Novyi mir, 1984, no. 12, pp. 245–48.

§7.7. Citing Manuscripts

Names of manuscript repositories and collections should be given in full in the first instance and an abbreviated form should be used for subsequent references. The degree of abbreviation which may be acceptable will depend upon the frequency with which a particular repository, collection, or manuscript is referred to and upon any possible ambiguities. The names of manuscript collections should be given in roman type without quotation marks and the citation of manuscripts within collections should be according to the system of classification of the repository.

The following examples show a suggested method of citation for first references and possible models for later references. Note that, because of the danger of ambiguity, ‘fol.’ and ‘fols’ are preferred to ‘f.’ and ‘ff.’. The abbreviated and superscript forms for ‘recto’ and ‘verso’ are also preferred:

fol. 3r, fol. 127v, fols 17v–22r, fols 17r–v

First reference Later references
London, British Library, Cotton MS Caligula D III, fol. 15 Cotton MS Caligula D III, fols 17v–19r
Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Bodley 277 MS Bodley 277
Sheffield Central Library (CL), MS Fitzwilliam E.209 Sheffield CL, MS Fitzwilliam E.209
Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF), MS fonds français 1124 BnF, MS f. fr. 1124
Florence, Biblioteca Riccardiana (BRF), MS 2306 BRF, MS 2306, fol. 10r
Paris, Archives nationales de France (AN), H.486 bis. 172 AN, H.486 bis. 172

§7.8. Citing Music, Film, Television, and Software

References to specific recordings of music or speech should incorporate the following items, as applicable: composer, author, or performing artist; title of song, in roman and single quotation marks; title of piece, compilation, album, etc., in italics (preceded by ‘from’ if an individual song or section is being cited as well); orchestra, conductor, etc., separated by commas; recording company and date in parentheses.

Ludwig van Beethoven, Piano Concerto no. 5, Mitsuko Uchida, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, cond. by Kurt Sanderling (Phillips, 1998).
Dylan Thomas, Under Milk Wood, read by Anthony Hopkins and Jonathan Pryce (Listening for Pleasure, 1992).
The Beatles, Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields Forever (EMI, 1967).
Black Sabbath, ‘Into the Void’, from Master of Reality (Vertigo, 1971).
Kate Bush, ‘Strange Phenomena’, from The Kick Inside (EMI, 1978).
John Cale, ‘Hallelujah’, from Fragments of a Rainy Season (Hannibal Records, 1992).

With modern music which originates as recordings by an artist or group, give the artist name first, then the title of the track in single quotes, and then details of the album on which it was first released, as in examples iv–vi. In the case of a single not drawn from an album, give the title of the single, as in iii. It is not normally useful to cite the song’s composer, since commercial music services are searchable primarily by the song or artist name, not by the songwriter’s. In example vi, Cale’s cover version of Leonard Cohen’s much-covered standard ‘Hallelujah’ thus appears under Cale’s name, not Cohen’s. If relevant, the original composer/songwriter may be given after the song title, as in the following example:

Sinéad O’Connor, ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’, by Prince, from I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got (Chrysalis Records, 1990).

For films, the reference should include, as a minimum, title, director, country, and date. If relevant to your discussion, you may add information such as details of a subsequent release or extra material on a DVD. For example:

The Grapes of Wrath, dir. by John Ford (USA, 1940).
Der geteilte Himmel, dir. by Konrad Wolf (East Germany, 1964).
Blade Runner, dir. by Ridley Scott (USA, 1982; Director’s Cut, 1992).

Only cite a DVD or Blu-Ray release if you are quoting from material specific to that release, e.g. a director’s commentary.

Hermann, mein Vater, dir. by Helma Sanders-Brahms (West Germany, 1987), documentary included on the Blu-Ray release of Deutschland, bleiche Mutter, dir. by Helma Sanders-Brahms (West Germany, 1980; BFI, 2015).

For television series and programmes, cite as follows:

Battlestar Galactica, David Eick Productions (British Sky Broadcasting, 2004–09).
‘Guy Walks into an Advertising Agency’, Mad Men (Lionsgate Television, 2007–15), season 3, episode 6 (2009).

Give the date of a broadcast only if this is relevant, which might be the case with a current affairs or news programme, or a historically significant broadcast. For example:

Brian Hanrahan, ‘East Germany Opens the Gates’, BBC News, BBC 1, 9 November 1989.
Newsnight, BBC 2, 24 February 2022.

For music and video on general release, do not cite the website of the streaming service you used to access it.

References to software should provide the author or designer (if identifiable), the title in italics, the studio (if other than the author), the date, and the platform, e.g.:

Emily Short, Galatea (2000), Z-machine.
Id Software, Doom (1993), MS-DOS and subsequently other platforms.
Stuart Gillespie-Cook and others, Untitled Goose Game (House House, 2019), macOS, Windows, Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.

§7.9. Citing Works of Art

References to works of art should include at least the name of the artist (if known), the title of the work in italics (see §3.8), its date (if known), and the medium of composition. Titles should normally be given in their most customary English-language form, where there is one. Depending on the medium, the dimensions (in cm), and a current physical location or source may also be given. When giving dimensions, note the use of a multiplication sign, not a lower case ‘x’, and the spaces around it. For example:

Piero della Francesca, The Flagellation, c. 1455, oil and tempera on panel, 59 × 82 cm, Galleria Nazionale delle Marche, Urbino.
Cornelia Parker, Island, 2022, mixed media, Tate Britain.
Ansel Adams, Monolith, the Face of Half Dome, 1927, silver gelatin print, 14.6 × 19.7 cm.
Alphonse Mucha, Bières de la Meuse, 1897, colour lithograph, 154.5 × 104.5 cm.

See §1.3 (b) for the wording of captions to illustrations, which follow a different format.

Reference an exhibition catalogue as you would any other book, e.g.:

Luke Syson, with Larry Keith and others, Leonardo da Vinci: Painter at the Court of Milan (National Gallery Company, 2011).

§7.10. Citing Theses and Other Unpublished Scholarship

The titles of unpublished theses and dissertations should be in roman type within single quotation marks; capitalization should follow the conventions of the language in question (see §3.4). The degree level (where known), university, and date should be in parentheses. A URL should be given if available:

Qian Shen, ‘Hombres en un mundo de mujeres: estereotipos e identidades masculinas en el cine de Pedro Almodóvar’ (unpublished doctoral thesis, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, 2018) <> [accessed 10 November 2023].
Philip Sulter, ‘Beyond the Post-9/11 Novel: Representations of State Violence and Imperialism in Fictions of the War on Terror’ (unpublished doctoral thesis, University of Manchester, 2021), pp. 145–68 <> [accessed 1 June 2023].
Nil Melissa Von Baibus, ‘In Pursuit of Collective Laughter: Bergson, Bakhtin, and Contemporary Conceptions of the Comic’ (unpublished master’s thesis, University of Bristol, 2022), p. 238 <> [accessed 5 October 2023].

American universities distinguish between a master’s ‘thesis’ and a doctoral ‘dissertation’:

Corley E. Humphrey, ‘“You Never Get it Out of Your Bones”: The Christ-Haunted Security of Jean Louise “Scout” Finch in Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird and Go Set a Watchman’ (unpublished master’s thesis, Liberty University, 2021), pp. 43–51 <> [accessed 15 June 2023].
John Park, ‘Prosaic Times: Time as Subject in Wordsworth, Richardson, Flaubert, and Melville’ (unpublished doctoral dissertation, Princeton University, 2020), p. 289 <> [accessed 2 January 2023].

Generally, it is preferable to cite scholarship that has been peer reviewed and published. Scholarship available in preprint open-access repositories may be cited using the conventions for citing online material. If citing a conference paper that you have attended, endeavour to find or secure a written copy. This can then be cited as for online material (see §7.5) or personal correspondence (see §7.11). If it is not possible to secure a written copy, the material can be cited as follows:

Derek Connon, ‘A Two-Headed Eagle: Cocteau’s Play and Film’, unpublished paper delivered at the conference ‘Adaptation: Intertextual Transformations across Different Media’ (Swansea University, July 2015).

§7.11. Citing Interviews and Correspondence

An interview previously published can be cited as normal, for instance as a journal article, newspaper article, or online video. Follow the source in assigning authorship to the interviewer, the interviewee, or both. If it is unclear, treat the interviewer as the author. If the title of the interview does not make clear who is being interviewed, add ‘interview with X’ after the title. For example:

Robbie Collin, ‘The Future of Cinema: An Interview with Sir Steve McQueen CBE’, The Telegraph, 23 April 2021 <> [27 June 2023].
Jenise Hudson and Janeen Price, ‘Interview with Claudia Rankine’, CLA Journal, 60.1 (2016), pp. 10–14.
Julian Petley, Danièle Huillet, and Jean-Marie Straub, ‘Interview with Danièle Huillet and Jean-Marie Straub apropos The Death of Empedocles and Black Sin, 9 April 1990, Goethe-Institut London’, in The Cinema of Danièle Huillet and Jean-Marie Straub, ed. by Martin Brady and Helen Hughes (Legenda, 2023), pp. 196–209.
Deborah Solomon, ‘A Gloom of Her Own’, interview with Elfriede Jelinek, New York Times, 21 November 2004 <> [accessed 27 June 2023].

In the case of a published letter, give the writer as the author and if possible the addressee. For example:

Philip Larkin, letter to C. Day Lewis, 22 September 1971, in Selected Letters of Philip Larkin 1940–1985, ed. by Anthony Thwaite (Faber, 1992), pp. 446–47.
Jacques Henri Bernardin de Saint-Pierre, letter to Joseph Jérôme Lefrançois de Lalande, 23 February 1791, ed. by Malcolm Cook (2013), in Digital Correspondence of Bernardin de Saint-Pierre, ed. by Malcolm Cook and others (Electronic Enlightenment, 2008–22), doi:10.13051/ee:mss/sainjaVF0030816a1c.
Elizabeth Montagu, letter to James Beattie, 4 July 1791, ed. by Caroline Franklin, Michael Franklin, and Nicole Pohl, in Elizabeth Montagu Correspondence Online, ed. by Nicole Pohl and others <> [accessed 10 October 2023].

If you have access to unpublished interviews or correspondence (for example, if an author has written to you directly or you have recorded a conversation with a director or artist), cite it as follows:

  • Derek Walcott, email to the author, 23 March 2012.
  • Maggie O’Farrell, interview with the author, 14 November 2020.
  • Alison Bechdel, letter to the author, 20 August 2021.

Note that copyright in a letter or email resides with the writer, even if the letter was written to you, so that you cannot reproduce it in print without the permission of the author. The same normally applies to interviews, conversations, etc., even if you were personally involved.

§7.12. Abbreviated References to Works Already Cited

In all references to the same source after the first, the shortest unambiguous form should be used. A shortened reference signals that a full reference has already been given and your reader must be able to match the shortened form to the earlier full form.

In a monograph or thesis, treat each chapter independently for this purpose. That is, give a full reference for a source at its first mention in the chapter, and shortened references later in that chapter. If it occurs again in a later chapter, give the full reference again at its first mention there.

The abbreviated reference will normally be the author’s name followed by the title (abbreviated where appropriate, for example by dropping any subtitle), volume number (if applicable), and page reference:

  • Kokobobo and McFadden, ‘The Queer Nihilist’, p. 125.
  • Pimentel, From Arcadia to Revolution, p. 56.
  • Ireton, ‘Adalbert Stifter’, p. 220.
  • Wirshba, review of Naama Harel, p. 140.
  • Zerka, ‘Constructing Poetic Identity’, p. 279.

Sometimes, particularly in the case of editions of an author’s works or collections of essays, a short-title form of reference may be more appropriate:

  • Simone de Beauvoir: Mémoires, ii, p. 35.
  • Chaucer, Langland, Arthur, pp. 212–44 (p. 229).
  • Homeri Ilias, ii, pp. 78–79.

Where you have already cited in full a collected volume of essays and now wish to cite a second essay from the same volume, you may shorten the title and editors’ names, and omit the publication details of the volume:

Sabine Nöllgen, ‘The Darkness of the Anthropocene: Wolfgang Hilbig’s Alte Abdeckerei’, in Readings in the Anthropocene, ed. by Wilke and Johnstone, pp. 148–66.

A second reference to the same essay would then appear as:

  • Nöllgen, ‘The Darkness of the Anthropocene’, p. 155.

The expressions ‘loc. cit.’ and ‘op. cit.’ are too vague and should not be used. The term ‘ibid.’ should be used very sparingly and limited to those situations where there is no possibility of confusion, such as after a second reference which is separated from its predecessor by no more than four lines of typescript. Do not use ‘ibid.’ to abbreviate only part of a reference: use ‘Ibid., pp. 45–71’ not ‘Jones, ibid., pp. 45–71’. Use the capitalized form ‘Ibid.’ at the start of a note. Do not use ‘id.’ or ‘eadem’.

For repeated references to medieval manuscripts, a more formal system of abbreviations can be used: see §7.7.

§7.13. The Author–Date System

The author–date system uses short in-text references that can be readily matched to a corresponding bibliography item containing the publication details in full. The bibliographical references are placed at the end of the book, article, or thesis.

References in the text should give, in parentheses, the surname(s) of the author(s) (adding initials if needed to distinguish authors with the same surname), the publication date of the work, and, where necessary, a page reference, which should be preceded by a colon. If two or more works by the same author have the same publication date they should be distinguished by adding letters after the dates (‘2017a’, ‘2017b’, etc.). For example:

While the word ‘disability’ was certainly part of a Romantic-era vocabulary, its use in that period does not match its use today, which means that care must be taken when applying the word retrospectively (Joshua 2020: 1–2).

There is ample evidence that ‘early moderns relied on human–plant similarities to think through the perceived risks and benefits of transplantation’ (Biggie 2022: 174).

Recent studies of literary motherhood (notably Rye and others 2017) stress the role played by literary texts in exploring maternal ambivalence.

Rosi Braidotti’s thinking on posthumanism has been widely applied to literary texts, for instance to Bowen’s ‘The Demon Lover’ (P. Mukherjee 2021).

Áine O’Healy identifies a new wave of Italian film in which ‘immigration is envisioned neither as a novelty nor a pressing emergency but rather as part of everyday urban life’ (2019a: 178).

When the author’s name is given in the text, it need not be repeated in a reference given in the same sentence: e.g., do not write ‘Smith (Smith 2021) argues that...’. In such cases, the reference either follows the name or, if this seems stylistically preferable, may come at some other point in the same sentence:

  • Smith (2022: 66) argues that [...]
  • Smith, who was known for his contentious views, replied (2022: 75) that [...]
  • Smith regards this interpretation as ‘wholly unacceptable’ (2022: 81).

The Bibliography in a book takes slightly different forms according to whether the citation with notes system or the author–date system has been used in the main text: see §8.3 and §8.4 respectively.

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