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Referencing style guides

Referencing styles at UQ

A referencing style is a set of rules on how to acknowledge the thoughts, ideas and works of others in a particular way. Referencing is a crucial part of successful academic writing, avoiding plagiarism and maintaining academic integrity in your assignments and research. Watch an Introduction to referencing (YouTube, 3m43s).

Which referencing style should I use?

  • Check your course profile or ask your lecturer what style you should use
  • Some schools or disciplines use a standard style but it is still possible your lecturer may require a different style
  • There is no standard style used across UQ
  • Researchers submitting a paper for publication in a journal should check the journal's Instructions for Authors, which will normally be available on the journal's website

The guides include examples of reference lists and how to cite different formats.

Guides and information Full name About the style
ACS American Chemical Society Widely used in chemistry and related disciplines.
AGLC (4th edition) Australian Guide to Legal Citation The standard Australian guide for referencing in law.

APA (7th edition)


American Psychological Association The standard style used in psychology, but it is also widely used in other disciplines, especially in the social sciences.

Chicago (17th edition) notes and bibliography

Chicago (17th edition) Author-Date

Chicago Manual of Style The Chicago Manual's footnote referencing system is widely used in the arts and humanities.
CSE Council of Science Editors Widely used in the life sciences, and its provisions are also applicable to other scientific disciplines.
IEEE Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Widely used in the fields of electrical engineering and computer science.

MLA (9th edition)


Modern Language Association of America Widely used in the fields of modern literature and linguistics.
UQ Harvard   Note: The UQ Harvard referencing style is no longer available. Please check with your lecturer for which style you should use.
Vancouver   Vancouver is a generic term for a style of referencing widely used in the health sciences.

Style and essay guides for particular schools and disciplines

The following schools have their own official referencing guides or preferred styles.

Note: You should still check which referencing style your lecturer prefers.

Other referencing styles

These styles do not have a UQ Library referencing style guide but we have included links to key resources:

ACS (American Chemical Society)

Guide with examples

ACS Style guide from Murdoch University Library - based on the 3rd ed (2006)

Books available via the Library
About the style

The style manual of the American Chemical Society (ACS) is in its third edition. It is widely used in chemistry and related disciplines. The ACS manual gives instructions for numbered referencing and also for in-text (Harvard style) referencing.

CSE (Council of Science Editors)

Book and PDF available via the Library
About the style

The manual of the Council of Science Editors (CSE) is in its eighth edition. It was first issued in 1960 by the Council of Biology Editors and is still sometimes referred to as the CBE manual. It is widely used in the life sciences, and its provisions are applicable to other scientific disciplines also. The CSE manual recommends a numbered referencing system, where the reference list is arranged alphabetically by author and numbered accordingly.

IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers)

Guides with examples
About the style

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) is the major professional body and publisher in the fields of electrical engineering and computer science. Their style manual is widely used in those disciplines. It uses a numbered reference list.

Additional referencing information

Referencing specific formats

Suggestions for citing these formats, if there is not an existing rule in your referencing style:

Referencing software

EndNote referencing software is available for UQ students and staff to help automate your referencing. We have:

  • a guide on how to use EndNote
  • information on other referencing software.

EndNote has output styles for a variety of referencing styles used at UQ.

Other guides for your assignments and research

 Subject - our librarians have selected key books, journals and databases to find articles and specialised resources for your subject.

 How to find - techniques and resources to find specific information formats, including peer reviewed journals articles, theses and standards.

 Research techniques - how to find, analyse and visualise research information and data.

 Systems and tools for researchers - how to access and use particular systems and tools, including UQ eSpace and UQ Research Data Manager.