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LSBU Harvard Referencing: General guidelines for referencing online resources

General guidelines for referencing online resources

In general, if an online source is also available in print then just follow the guidelines for referencing the print version. This is particularly advisable for e- books and e-journal articles on LSBU subscription databases.

If an online resource doesn’t have the same publication information of a print version, or you’re unsure whether it is available in print, include the URL and the date you accessed the source in the reference list. e.g. … Available from: URL [Accessed day month year].

Alternatively, if a source has a Digital Object Identifier (DOI), include this in place of the URL in the reference list. You don’t need to include date of access as the DOI is a permanent identifier. See Digital Object Identifier (DOI) for more information.

NOTE: the in-text citation for an online resource has the same format as for a print resource i.e. name of author(s) and year of publication, followed by the page number if including a direct quote e.g. (Smith, 2019).

Long URLs (web addresses)

If an online source has a long URL (e.g. longer than one line), it is acceptable to shorten the URL up to the first forward slash.


This will allow you reader to access the homepae of the site where they can search for the specific webpage or document.