The Oxford Referencing style is a note citation system.It is also sometimes referred to as a documentary-note style. It has two components:

1. Footnote Citation
2. Reference List

Footnote citation

  • A superscript number is inserted in your text at the point where you refer to (cite) your source of information. This superscript number then appears at the bottom of the page where the footnote is recorded.
  • State the author's given name or initial before the surname (e.g. John Smith).
  • Cite a single page reference, for example p. 3, or more than one page, for example pp. 3-6.
  • ibid. is used to indicate that the (immediately preceding) previous reference has been used again. If the same page is involved, just write Ibid. (with fullstop). If the source is the same but a different page number is now being cited, write Ibid., p. 6.
  • Surname/short title: If you refer to the same work again in the footnotes, but not consecutively, use only the author's surname and the page number(s) for subsequent references. If you refer to more than one work by the same author, use the author's surname then a short title and page number(s) for subsequent references, but omit the place of publication, publisher, and date of publication.
  • Both direct and indirect quotations (paraphrasing) must be acknowledged. Footnotes are also used to acknowledge the source of information, ideas or interpretations, even if they are described rather than paraphrased. Failure to properly acknowledge sources may constitute plagiarism.
  • Direct quotations should be enclosed with single quotation marks; if the quotation is more than around 35 words, separate the quote from the main text and indent it, without quotation marks.

Footnote example


Reference list

  • The full details for each citation or reference is then listed at the end of your essay or assignment.
  • References are listed in alphabetical order by author's surname. If you have cited more than one work by the same author, you should arrange them by date.
  • Use only the initials of the authors' given names. Use full stops and no spaces between the initials.
  • When citing a journal article, include the full page numbers for the article, e.g. pp. 165-217.
  • The format of the reference (i.e. how it is displayed) depends on the type of reference you are citing; below is an example of a journal article reference.
  • In footnotes, the author’s given name or initial precedes the surname i.e. P. Grimshaw, while in the reference list the surname comes first i.e. Grimshaw, P.
    Reference list entries for books do not contain page numbers.
  • See Reference Formats tab for a full list of reference examples

Reference list example [Journal Article]