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Lund University

Sources, citing and referencing at Biology Department, Lund University: How to write correct references

How to write correct references

How to write correct references according to the style used at the Department of Biology, Lund University.

The style used at the Department of Biology, Lund University is a classical Harvard style. There are many good referencing guides for Harvard styles since it is one of the most used, and some are given in the section on recommended books, websites etc. However although all are Harvard styles, they do differ in details.  

NB! Sometimes the publication you have used does not contain all the information needed to write a correct reference. This is particularly common for websites, but sometimes reports and other publications miss some information, and it is my impression that it becomes more and more common. In those cases write the reference as good as you can with the information you have.


References to all different kinds of scholarly articles, i.e. research (primary) articles, review articles, meta-analyses etc.


Arendt, J.D. 1997. Adaptive intrinsic growth rates: an integration across taxa. Q. Rev. Biol. 72: 149-177.

Cronin, P., Ryan, F. and Coughlan, M. 2008. Undertaking a literature review: a step-by-step approach. Br. J. Nurs. 17: 38-43.

Truant, R., Fridell, R.A., Benson, E.R., Herold, A. and Cullen, B.R. 1998. Nucleocytoplasmic shuttling by protein nuclear import factors. Eur. J. Cell Biol. 77: 269-275.

Weetman, D. and Atkinson, D. 2004. Evaluation of alternative hypotheses to explain temperature-induced life history shifts in Daphnia. J. Plant Res. 26: 107-116.

i.e. Last name(s), initial(s) of the author(s) NB! in the same order as on the article. Publication year. Article title. Journal title (abbreviated) Volume: pages.

Some (often recent) articles may not contain all the "traditional" information needed for writing a correct reference. For references to such articles see examples below:

Oxtoby, L. E., Mathis, J. T., Juranek, L. W. and Wooller, M. J. 2015. Estimating stable carbon isotope values of microphytobenthos in the Arctic for application to food web studies. Polar Biol. DOI 10.1007/s00300-015-1800-2.

i.e. Last name(s), initial(s) of the author(s). Year of publication. Article title. Journal title. DOI number. DOI stands for Digital Object Identifier and is a unique ID for the electronic document. Sooner or later DOI will probably be standard information added to the reference.

Carpalia, C.A., Dopko, R., L. & Zelenski, J.M. 2014. The relationship between nature connectedness and happiness: a meta-analysis. Front. Psychol. 5: article 976.

i.e Last name(s), initial(s) of the author(s). Year of publication. Article title. Journal title. Article number

Books, theses and reports


Beletsky, L. 1996. The red-winged blackbird : the biology of a strongly polygenous songbird. Academic press, London. 314 pp.

Corral López, A. 2017.The link between brain size, cognitive ability, mate choice and sexual behaviour in the guppy (Poecillia reticulata). Department of Zoology, Stockholm university, Stockholm. 116 pp.

Dighton, J. 2003. Fungi in ecosystem processes. Marcel Dekker, New York. 432 pp.

Lundqvist, A.-C., Andersson, S. and Lönn, M. 2008. Genetic variation in wild plants and animals in Sweden : a review of case studies from the perspective of conservation genetics. Report 5786. Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, Stockholm. 109 pp. [ ]

Rath, K. 2018. Soil salinity as a driver of microbial community structure and functioning. Centre for environmental science and climate research (CEC), Lund University, Lund. 166 pp. [ ]

i.e. Last name(s), initial(s) of the author(s) NB! in the same order as in the book. Publication year. Book title: subtitle. Publisher, place of publication. Total number of pages (pp).

Chapters from edited books


Bergström, S., Noppa, L., Gylfe, Å. and Östberg, Y. 2002. Molecular and cellular biology of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato. In: Gray, J., Kahl, O., Lane, R.S. and Stanek, G. (eds.). Lyme borreliosis : biology, epidemiology and control. CABI, Wallingford, pp. 47-90.

Koricheva, J. and Gurevitch, J. 2013. Place of meta-analysis among other methods of research synthesis. In: Mengersen, K., Gurevitch, J. and Koricheva, J.(eds.). Handbook of meta-analysis in ecology and evolution. Princeton University Press, Princeton, pp. 3-13.

Partridge, L. and French, V. 1996. Thermal evolution of ectotherm body size: why get big in the cold? In: Johnston, I.A. and Bennett, A.F. (eds.). Animals and temperature: phenotypic and evolutionary adaptation. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 265-292.

Von Bertalanffy, L. 1960. Principles and theory of growth. In: Norwinski W.W. (ed.) Fundamental aspects of normal and malignant growth. Elsevier, New York, pp. 137- 259.

Wellington, E.M.H, Marsh, P. Toth, I., Cresswell, L., Huddleston, L. and Schilhabel, M.B. 1993. The selective effects of antibiotics in soils. In: Guerrero, R. and Pedrós-Alió, C. (eds.). Trends in microbial ecology: proceedings of the sixth International symposium on microbial ecology, Barcelona, 6-11 September, 1992. Spanish Society for Microbiology, Barcelona, pp. 331-336.

i.e. Last name(s), initial(s) of the chapter author(s) NB! in the same order as in the chapter. Publication year. Chapter title. In: editor name(s) (ed(s). Book title : subtitle. Publisher, place of publication, chapter pages.

Web page or web site


Little, J.W. and Parker, R. 2010. How to read a scientific paper. []. Accessed August 24, 2011.

Swedish Environmental Protection Agency. 2007. Emissions 1990-2006. []. Accessed 26 August 2008.

Karolinska institutet. 2015. Evaluating information. []. Accessed March 16 2016.

i.e. Last name(s), initial(s) of the author(s) NB! in the same order as on the webpage/site*. Publication or last updated date. Title. [URL-address]. Accession date.

*note that the "author" of a website often is an organization, a government or a university! 

Sometimes the link is very long and then you may shorten the URL (see tools below), but think of that you lose useful information included in the original link i.e. the name of governmental body or university responsible for the document.

Personal communication or interview

When you have got your information by interviewing or talking with a person you should address this as personal communication. Personal communication is denoted pers. comm. after the person's name ie ..... (B. Daly, pers. comm.) in the text. Before using personal communication ensure you have permission from your contact person with whom you have communicated.

In the reference list add the name of the person and telephone number or and/or e-mail address to make it possible for other persons to contact your source.


Daly, B. Länsstyrelsen, Skåne, 040-XXXXXX.

Images, illustrations, maps etc.

Images, maps and pictures

Pictures, images and maps must be cited like all other sources. When you use an image or a picture you did not create yourself, you must provide a citation and most often you have to get permission from the copyright holder to use the image. Images should be cited in all cases, even if the image is very small, or in the public domain. The citation should be accessible in the context of the image's use (within a Powerpoint presentation, on a web page, in a paper, etc.).

To get permission to use an illustration from a published scientific article requires that you contact the copyright owner, which most often is the journal/publisher where the article was published. Rightslink is a common service used by many publishers to facilitate the permission procedure. Usually there are no problems to get permission if you are going to use a published image/illustration for non-commercial purposes (i.e. project reports, bachelor/master/PhD theses, research articles), and the permission procedure via Rightslink works fast. 

There are some resources for finding illustrations that are "rightsfree", which means that you can use them without asking for permission, see below for links to some of them. You must, however, always give a correct citation (creator and source) to the images.
Flickr "Many Flickr users have chosen to offer their work under a Creative Commons license, and you can browse or search through content under each type of license."
Britannica ImageQuest  a database including millions of images from top international collection, rights-cleared for educational and scientific use. NB! Britannica Image Quest is not a free resource but Lund University has bought access to it. 




Beaton,C. 1956. Marilyn Monroe. [photograph] (Marilyn Monroe's own private collection).

For images found on the internet the required elements for a reference are: Author. Year (image created). Title of work. [type of medium]. Available at:web site address/URL  [Accession date].

Pepsi. 2009. Pepsi can designs. [image online] Available at: [URL adress] [Accessed 19 June 2009].

Van Vechten, C. 1934. Man Ray. [photograph] Available at: [URL adress] [Accessed 04 October 2009].

An in-text reference for the above examples would read:

(Beaton, 1956), (Pepsi, 2009) and  (Van Vechten, 1934) respectively.
British geological survey. 2006. Chester and North Wales. Landranger series, Sheet 106, 1:50000, London.

Maps from Google Earth: Google Earth version (if applicable). Year data released. Image details - location, co-ordinates, elevation.Data set (if applicable) [online] Available at: [URL adress]. [Accessed date].

Google Earth 6.0. 2008. Hylands House and Estates 51°42'39.17"N, 0°26'11.30"W, elevation 60M. 3D Buildings data layer. Available at[] [Accessed 31 August 2011].