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Cite Them Right 12th edition

by Alison Taylor on 2022-07-20T16:34:00+01:00 | Comments

Changes to journal article references


The University Assessment Policy states that the primary focus of teaching and marking with regard to referencing for undergraduates should be on two key principles: ensuring academic references are consistent and traceable. Marking citations and references should align with these key principles. The majority of undergraduate courses at the University use Cite Them Right Harvard. Exceptions are listed on the Library Services Referencing page.

The 12th edition of Cite Them Right has just been published, with mostly minor changes which will have minimal impact of student referencing. However, the advice for referencing a journal article in Harvard style now states:

"Ensure you provide enough bibliographic information for the article to be located by the reader. Note that because the DOI is the permanent identifier for the source, it is not necessary to include an accessed date."

For journal articles, the best option is to provide a doi (or digital object identifier) if there is one available. This is especially useful if an article has not yet been published in a specific volume/issue of a journal - it might not have a volume/issue/page range yet, but it may still have a doi.

A journal article reference with a doi would look like this example:

Bebchuk, L.A. et al. (2020) 'Dancing with activists', Journal of Financial Economics, 137(1), pp. 1-41. Available at:


If adding a URL would facilitate quick and direct access to an online article - or there is missing bibliographic information - and there is no doi available, then a URL might be useful. In many cases, if an article has all bibliographic elements except the doi (author, year, article title, journal title, volume, issue, page range) we would suggest that you do not need to add a URL and date of access, especially if that URL is not stable (the reader requires a log in to access it).

As mentioned above, the key is consistency. Does the reference have enough information so that a reader can find the item? If so, then the student has met the requirements of the assessment policy.


The following example has no doi, however it is published in an Open Access journal, so the reader would not require a log in to access it using the URL. In this example, the URL is useful to the reader.  

Kuperman, A., Aladjem, R. and Dagan, O. (2022) 'From 3D to 2D: drawing documentation and reflection processes by young children', Design and Technology Education: an International Journal, 27(2), pp. 6-23. Available at: (Accessed: 19 July 2022). 


It is recommended that students use the 12th edition of Cite Them Right, but if returning students use the 11th edition then, as long as their references are consistent and traceable then they have met the requirements of the assessment policy.

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