What are Citation Styles?

Citation styles are the format in which a citation should be written. They're usually part of a larger style standard formalizing the formatting of written works.

What styles are commonly used at Harvard?

These include APA | MLAChicago | Blue Book (Legal Citations)

Often, citation styles are common to a given field of study. For instance, the discipline of History tends to use the Chicago Style.

  • If you are a student, your department or instructor will tell you what style to use.
  • Publishing? Your publisher will have a given style they prefer.

For further assistance with citation styles or locating these materials at Harvard Library, Harvard affiliates can contact our Ask a Librarian. (Please include the citation style and your Harvard school/department in your request for the most expedient assistance.)

A note about the "Harvard" Style

We're often asked about this style, also called the Harvard Referencing System or "Author-date Referencing"
Harvard Library doesn't provide support for it. If you're looking for authoritative guidance, there are many excellent sources freely available online, and the Chicago Manual of Style has an excellent chapter on Author-Date Referencing.
The name "Harvard" is misleading in this case. There is no official institutional connection between Harvard University and this citation style. For more about the history and how it became informally associated with Harvard, see our FAQ What is Harvard Referencing Style?