How To Do Oxford Referencing Bibliography

A bibliography is an alphabetically ordered list of all the sources cited, as well as sources consulted in preparing a paper and other sources thought to be of interest to the reader. There is no need to divide a bibliography into subsections, unless you have been instructed to do so, for example, into Primary and Secondary Sources.

It is important to note that the term 'bibliography' is sometimes used for what would more accurately be called a 'reference list' (which consists only of sources cited in a paper). Check with unit staff to determine what is required in your assignment.

Note that bibliography entries follow the same order of elements, punctuation and capitalisation as footnotes, with the following exceptions:

Arakawa, Y., Zen painting, trans. J. Bester, Kodansha International, Tokyo, 1970.

Arnau, E. et al., 'The extended cognition thesis: its significance for the philosophy of (cognitive) science', Philosophical Psychology, vol. 27, no. 1, Feb. 2014, pp. 1–18, Academic Search Complete [online database], accessed 16 June 2014.

Australian Bureau of Statistics, Industrial disputes, Australia, June 2013, cat. no. 6321.0.55.001, 5 Sep 2013, <>, accessed 8 Oct. 2013.

Crafti, S., 'Winning design moored in Spain', The Age, Business Day, 25 Aug. 2010, p. 16.

Goldthwaite, R.A., 'The Florentine palace as domestic architecture', American Historical Review, vol. 77, no. 4, 1972, pp. 977-1012.

Gombrich, E.H., 'The early Medicis as patrons of art', in ed. E.F. Jacob, Italian Renaissance studies, Faber and Faber, London, 1960, pp. 279–311.

Kleiner, F.S., Mamiya, C.J. & Tansey, R.G., Gardner's art through the ages, 11th edn, Harcourt College Publishers, Fort Worth, 2001.

Lobo, J., 'Latin American construction at a glance', Construction Review, vol. 41, no. 1, 1995, pp. iv–vi, Expanded Academic ASAP [online database], accessed 5 Nov. 2004.

Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works, Proposed common use infrastructure on Christmas Island, Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra, 2002.

Specter, M., 'The dangerous philosopher', The graduate forum NYU [website], 2 April 2001, <>, accessed 3 Feb. 2014.


Giving credit to the authors of the ideas and interpretations you cite not only accords recognition to their labours, but also provides a solid theoretical basis for your own argument. Your ideas will gain credence if they are supported by the work of respected writers.

Transparent source use allows you to situate your work within the debates in your field, and to demonstrate the ways in which your work is original. It also gives your reader the opportunity to pursue a topic further, or to check the validity of your interpretations.

When writing you should consider the ways in which your work depends upon or develops from other research, and then signal this with the appropriate citation. Make clear your reasons for citing a source. When paraphrasing an idea or interpretation you must ensure that your writing is not too closely derived from the original, and you must also acknowledge the original author.


There are numerous different referencing systems in use across the University, but there should be clear instructions about referencing practice in your subject handbook. Your tutor can direct you to an appropriate style guide, while there is also a range of software that you can use to keep track of your sources and automatically format your footnotes and bibliography (e.g. EndNote, Reference Manager, ProCite).

Be meticulous when taking notes: include full citation details for all the sources you consult and remember to record relevant page numbers. Citation practice varies but, depending on the type of text cited (book, conference paper, chapter in an edited volume, journal article, e-print, etc.) the elements of a reference include:

  • author
  • title of the book or article
  • title of the journal or other work
  • name of the conference
  • place of publication
  • date of publication
  • page numbers
  • URL
  • date accessed.

When using e-print archives you should bear in mind that many contain articles which have not yet been submitted for peer review. It is good practice to review the later, published versions for important changes before submitting your own extended essay or dissertation.

It is sensible to get into the habit of referencing all your work so that you learn the techniques from the start. Leaving all the footnotes until the week your dissertation is due is a recipe for disaster. One of the best ways to learn referencing practice is to imitate examples in your subject, and to seek advice from your tutor in cases of difficulty.

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