Journals Higher Education
Important OUP's Response to COVID-19 Learn more

06 Reference Styles

A system of citing sources is a key component of most types of scholarly publishing. Readers will appreciate references that are clear, complete, and consistently formatted.

When a text is published in digital form, complete and consistent references become particularly important. Accurately styled bibliographical material can be hyperlinked to allow readers instant access to relevant sources or additional information. The use of a standard style facilitates this process. Reference styles vary greatly across disciplines. The following guide summarizes the main reference styles supported by OUP and provides examples that you can follow. If you are in doubt, your OUP Editor will be able to advise you on the best citation system for your text.

As a general guide, humanities texts typically use numbered notes or author–date citations. Social science and some science and medical texts often use author–date citations. Some science and medical texts follow the numbered reference system. Legal texts use a more specialized system of citations—more details on how to cite legal texts are given here.