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The reference list

The reference list should include all (published) material used in the thesis. Therefore, background material or further reading material which is not referred to in the running text should not be included.

The references are presented in alphabetical order and each reference usually contains author, publication year, title and publishing information.

Authors and editors

  • If  an article has up to seven authors, they are all spelled out in the reference list. If an article has more than seven authors, the first six authors are spelled out, followed by ... and then the final author.
  • Note the surname (last name) and first name initials.
  • Use a comma to separate each author, and the surname from the first name initials. Before the last author, use the &-symbol, if there are fewer than seven authors. Please note that the last author is also preceded by a comma. State the full name form of organizations, public authorities etc.
  • Editors are noted in the same position as authors, but with the addition of (Ed.) or (Eds.) within parentheses directly after the name.

Publishing year

  • Books, journals and audiovisual material are noted with publishing year (if this information is not available, the year when the work was produced is stated).
  • Articles accepted for publishing but not yet published are noted as "in press".


  • The title is noted in italics.
  • The first word in the title and (if any) sub-title is noted with an initial capital letter.
  • Additional information, such as edition, report number and volume number, is noted within parentheses directly after the title. This should not be in italics.

Journal and newspaper titles and publishing

  • The journal name is noted in its full form in italics.
  • Volume numbers are also in italics (note that "vol." is not spelled out).
  • If a journal does not have running page numbering, the issue number is also stated.
  • If a journal does not use volume numbers, use month, season or something similar together with the year (2006, March).
  • Newspaper page numbering is noted by p./pp. before the page numbers.

Electronic sources

Electronic sources are databases, electronic journals, web sites and, news forums, discussion forums and electronic news letters. A reference to an electronic source should always contain a document title, a date (publishing date, the date when an update was made or the date when the material was used), and an address (URL). If possible, you should also note the author of the document. If the information is taken from a web site, the Internet address of that site should be stated. If the information is taken from a database, the name of that database is stated with no URL.

Author, A. A. (Year). Title. Retrieved month day, year, from source.

Several works by the same author and the same year

In order to separate works that have been published the same year by the same author(s) you add a letter after the year. Write a, b, and c etc. in the order the references are placed in the reference list. In the reference list you alphabetize works by the same author(s) and same year by title. Example (made-up):

Smith, J. (2014a). The use of letters in language. London: Routledge.

Smith, J. (2014b). Introduction tio the alphabet. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

In the text you write the letters in accordance with the reference list:

  • (Smith, 2014a, 2014b)
  • Smith (2014b) states that... The same kind of reasoning is also found in Smith (2014a).

If you are using n.d. (no date), a hyphen entered in the following way:

  • (Jones, n.d.-a, n.d.-b)
  • Jones (n.d.-b) states that... The same kind of reasoning is also found in Jones (n.d.-a).

Content updated 2015-07-02

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