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MHS Library | How to cite and reference your sources (Monash University)

In-text citing: General notes

  • Insert an in-text citation:
    • when your work has been influenced by someone else's work, for example:
      • when you directly quote someone else's work
      • when you paraphrase someone else's work
  • The in-text citation consists of:
    • author surname(s) (in the order that they appear on the actual publication), followed by the year of publication of the source that you are citing.
    • include page or paragraph numbers for direct quotes, and for paraphrasing where appropriate
  • The in-text citation is placed immediately after the text which refers to the source being cited
  • If quoting or citing a source which is cited within another, secondary reference, mention the source with the secondary reference details: e.g. Smith (as cited in Jones, 2010). Only the secondary reference should be included in the reference list.

Placement of citations can be important depending on the emphasis you wish to apply. 

If you wish to quote or paraphrase an author and want to emphasise the author,  then your citation becomes 'author prominent'. The citation will look something like this:

  • Jones (2012) has concluded that...

If you wish to emphasise the information you have paraphrased or quoted from an author, then your citation becomes 'information prominent'.  The citation will look something like this:

  • ... as evidenced from a recent Australian study (Jones, 2012).

Examples of in text citations

One author

Rule Surname of author, no initials or suffixes such as Jr. The year of publication is also included
Citation examples

..This was seen in an Australian study (Conger, 1979).
Conger (1979) has argued that...
In 1979, Conger conducted a study which showed that...

Two authors

Rule Cite both names every time the reference occurs in the text

Citation examples

...(Davidson & Harrington, 2002)
Davidson and Harrington (2002)...

Three to five authors

Cite all names and publication year the first time, thereafter only the first name followed by et al.
Citation examples 
The first time cited: ...(Brown, Soo, & Jones, 1990).
Brown, Soo, and Jones (1990)...
...(Brown et al., 1990).
Brown et al. (1990)...

Six or more authors

Cite only the surname of the first author followed by et al. and the year from the first citation. Provide all six author names (followed by et al. if more authors) in the reference list.
Citation examples
.... (Girad-Perregaux et al., 2003).
Girad-Perregaux et al. (2003)...

Different authors : same surname

Rule Add initials to the authors names to distinguish them

Citation examples

P.R. Smith (1923) to distinguish from S. Smith (1945) ...
(S.A. Brown & Jones, 1961) to distinguish from (W.O. Brown & Smith, 1985).

Multiple authors: ambiguous citations

Rule If a multiple (3+) author citation abbreviated with et al. looks the same as another in text citation similarly shortened, add enough surnames to make a distinction.
Citation examples
...(Brown, Shimamura, et al., 1998) to distinguish from (Brown, Taylor, et al., 1998).

Multiple works: by same author

Rule When cited together give the author's surname once followed by the years of each publication, which are separated by a comma.
Citation examples
... (Stairs, 1992, 1993).
Stairs (1992, 1993)...

Multiple works: by same author AND same year

Rule If there is more than one reference by an author in the same year,suffixes (a, b, c, etc.) are added to the year. Allocation of the suffixes is determined by the order of the references in the reference list. Suffixes are also included in the reference list, and these references are listed alphabetically by title. If cited together, list by suffix as shown below.
Citation examples
Stairs (1992b)... later in the text ... (Stairs, 1992a).
...(Stairs, 1992a, 1992b).

If author name is given as 'anonymous'

Rule Use Anonymous as the author's name.
Citation examples
... (Anonymous, 1997)

Unknown author

Rule Give the first few words of the title. If the title is from an article or a chapter use double quotation marks. If the title is from a periodical, book brochure or report then use italics.
Citation examples
...the worst election loss in the party's history ("This is the end," 1968).

Corporate or group of authors

Rule If organization is recognized by abbreviation, cite the first time as follows:
Citation examples ... (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare [AIHW], 2005)
... (AIHW, 2005).
If abbreviation not widely known, give the name in full every time:
... (Australian Research Council, 1996)

Multiple references

List the citations in alphabetical order and separate with semicolons
Citation examples ... (Burst, 1995; Turner & Hooch, 1982; Nguyen, 1976).

Citing specific parts of a source

Rule For a direct quote the page number(s) must be given. Indicate page, chapter, figure, table, etc. as specifically as possible. Use accepted abbreviations, i.e. p. for page, para. for paragraph..
Citation examples
As one writer put it "the darkest days were still ahead" (Weston, 1988, p. 45).
Weston (1988) argued that "the darkest days were still ahead" (p. 45).
This theory was put forward by Smith (2005, chap.7)

Quote from an electronic source

Rule Where page numbers are not provided use paragraph numbers.
Citation examples  
...(Chang, 2001, para. 2)

Personal communication: for email and other 'unrecoverable' data

Rule Personal communications are not included in the reference list.
Citation examples ... (R. Smith, personal communication, January 28, 2002).
R. Smith (personal communication, January 28, 2002)...

Citation of a secondary source: (i.e a source referred to in another publication)

Rule In the reference list you ONLY include the details of the source you actually read - not the original source. In the example below, the original source would be Farrow (1968), which you saw cited in a paper by Ward and Decan (1988).
Citation  examples
... (Farrow, 1968, as cited in Ward & Decan, 1988).
Farrow (1968, as cited in Ward & Decan, 1988) ...
Ward and Decan (1988) cited Farrow (1968) as finding...