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Library Guide for Nursing, Psychotherapy & Community Health

Citing & Referencing - Harvard Style

This page will help introduce you to Citing & Referencing, quickly outline what Plagiarism is and how to avoid it. 
Once you have understood how to cite and reference properly, there is an introduction to using Zotero reference management software for larger research projects.
Harvard style is a common referencing style within the School of Nursing, Psychotherapy & Community Health, so this is highlighted below, but our Cite Them Right subscription covers a number of styles.

Why cite and reference your sources?

As you write your essays, it's important that you acknowledge the books, journal articles, and any other sources you consult in the course of your research. You do this to show your lecturers what you've read, and most importantly to respectfully nod to the work and ideas of other people; this is a matter of academic integrity.
Failure to acknowledge your sources implies a) that you haven't done any background reading or research, and b) that all of the ideas you put forward are your own.
It is also important to back up and complement your own ideas and input with references to other sources. You will have consulted and read different materials to help you form your own thoughts and ideas, so citing and referencing them shows the depth of your research as well as providing a stronger backbone to your work.

If you consult sources and draw on the ideas of other people but don't acknowledge them, it's plagiarism.
Always, always cite and reference your sources.

Visit our Citing & Referencing page on the main Library site for more information.

Check out our LETScite modules on How to cite and reference and Paraphrasing as well

The style guide DCU Library recommends for Harvard is Cite Them Right Online

Cite Them Right can be accessed on and off campus via our A-Z Databases link also. Please sign in using your DCU email and password.

Providing the most up to date and accurate information, Cite Them Right is a really important resource for all your referencing needs. You can:

  1. create a reference for a wide range of source types
  2. build your reference on screen to make sure it is correct
  3. cut and paste the created reference into your assignment

There are also helpful video guides, useful small articles on using Harvard, as well as a Tutorial on referencing and plagiarism.

You can also find a condensed, sample Harvard style guide reference list on Cite Them Right here.

Harvard is just one of the styles of citing and referencing recommended for the School of Nursing, Psychotherapy & Community Health in DCU. Always check with your lecturer what style you should use.


There are a lot of different reasons and factors why people plagiarise. This can be intentional, such as thinking they will get away with it or that their own work is not good enough.
Or it can be unintentional, due to not fully understanding what plagiarism is or not knowing how to cite and reference correctly.
No matter the case, as per DCU's Student Support & Development: "Plagiarism is a very serious offence and allegations of plagiarism may be referred to the Disciplinary Committee of the University."

So regardless of the circumstances, avoiding plagiarism is essential!


Check out our LETScite module on What is plagiarism? And how to avoid it to learn more.
And quickly view our video on 'Cite & reference to avoid plagiarism' below

Keep an eye on our Library Classes & Workshops page for Citing & Referencing sessions, or contact the Subject Librarian if you have any queries or concerns around plagiarism


As you progress in your studies, and you start reading and using a lot more resources and materials, keeping track of your references can get difficult. When moving to larger scale research projects, using Reference Management software can save you a lot of time and make your citing and referencing more manageable and easier.
Once you have understood how to cite and reference properly, we recommend using Zotero as your Reference Management software to help manage larger amounts of references and resources.

Check out our LETScite module on Reference Management Tools for a quick introduction.

Zotero is "a free easy-to-use tool that helps you collect, organize, cite, and share research articles".
See our Getting Started with Zotero video guide below, and then check out our Zotero Libguide for further information.


Want to quickly create a small bibliography? Try ZoteroBib

If you are doing a small essay or one-off project, once you have handled all your references and citations in the body of your work, you can use ZoteroBib to quickly generate your end Bibliography for you. Simply search by URL, ISBN, DOI, PMID, or Title. Or you can also Manually Enter your reference source.

Each time you enter a reference source, it will add it to your list. Choose your Referencing style and ZoteroBib will generate a Bibliography for you which you can then easily export.

ZoteroBib is only for making a Bibliography once you have finished your writing. It will not handle any Citing & Referencing for you.