When you produce a piece of academic writing such as an assignment, a dissertation, thesis, or journal article, you draw information from a wide range of sources. These sources must be acknowledged by citing them in the text and listing them in a list of references at the end of your work.

There are four different referencing styles in use at Lancaster. You will find the appropriate referencing style for your course in your course handbook.

Referencing Styles: Lancaster Answers

These Lancaster Answers will show you how to reference regularly-used resources including books, ebooks, journal articles and more in each of the different referencing styles used at Lancaster. They will show you how to cite each resource in the text of your work and in the reference list.

APA (6th)

APA is the referencing style of the American Psychological Association. APA is an Author-Date referencing system and is commonly used in Psychology.

Chicago (15th)

Chicago is a running notes referencing system. It is commonly used in the Humanities and Social Sciences.


Harvard is an Author-Date referencing system and is commonly used in the Sciences and Business and Management.


Vancouver is a Numeric referencing system and is commonly used in Medicine.

Further Guidance

There are a range of more comprehensive referencing guides available for all of these referencing styles online. See the External Links section for guides on APA, Chicago and Vancouver. 

Library Resources on Referencing and Academic Skills

The Library holds a range of material on good academic practice including referencing. This Resource List will provide a good starting point, alternatively search OneSearch to explore our full collection of resources.

Referencing and Avoiding Plagiarism

The Library has created a Moodle site called Referencing and Avoiding Plagiarism. This Moodle site provides an overview of the Lancaster Plagiarism Framework. It is recommended for new undergraduate students and postgraduates who are new to Lancaster. You will be required to enrol in the Moodle area before you can access the material.


Whichever referencing style you use, it is very important to be consistent.  For large pieces of work such as a dissertation or thesis, bibliographic/reference software such as EndNote will help you to create consistent citations and bibliographies. EndNote is available on all PCs on-campus at Lancaster; alternatively EndNote Web is available in a free web-based version. 

The Library provides a range of training and support for EndNote. See our EndNote pages for further information.

Other Reference Management Tools

Endnote is the officially supported reference management tool at Lancaster University. For EndNote support please see our EndNote pages or contact Lorna Pimperton. Alternatives are available, though the Library cannot provide support for any of these tools.

RefMe is a free web-based reference management tool and is also available as an app for iOS and Android. RefMe supports Harvard, APA and Chicago styles.

Microsoft Word has a Citations & Bibliography management tool under the References Tab. 

For iOS users, a range of reference management tools are available for Pages, including EndNote

Mendelay and Zotero are other popular alternatives to Endnote.