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Oxford referencing style: Introduction

A guide to using the Oxford note citation referencing style for footnotes and reference lists.

In this guide...

Oxford style in EndNote

Note that the EndNote Oxford style is currently being reviewed to accomodate recent changes to the style.

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How to create a numbered citation

The Oxford referencing style

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

Please remember that there are many variations on the Oxford style of referencing. The examples presented in this guide are recommendations only. They are based on the 2012 edition of the New Oxford Style Manual.

Always check your unit outline to determine any preferences. No matter which variations on this style you use, the most important thing is to be consistent throughout your assignment.

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.
  • Surname/short title: If you refer to the same work again in the footnotes, use only the author's surname and the page number(s) for subsequent references. If  the references are not successive use the author's surname then a short title and page number(s) for subsequent references.  Omit the place of publication, publisher, and date of publication.  Similarly if you refer to more than one work by the same author you can use the surname and short title in subsequent references to distinguish between the works.  See examples provided on the Example text page..
  • 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.  This indentation should be single spaced, regardless of the spacing of the rest of the text.

Footnote example


Glanville-Hicks was by no means the first to make this connection. The British Scholar Winnington-Ingram had come to a similar conclusion more than 20 years earlier, observing that 'in all probability [ancient] Greek music was closely related to that of the contemporary Orient ...'.


1R.P. Winnington-Ingram, Mode in Ancient Greek Music, London, Cambridge University Press, 1936, p. vii.


More than one reference can be cited in a footnote:

R.M. Schwartz, 'Nationals and Nationalism: Adultery in the House of David', Critical Inquiry, vol. 19, no. 1, 1992, pp.131-32.; D.N. Freedman and J.C. Geoghegan,'House of David Is There', Biblical Archaeology Review, vol. 21, no. 2,1995, p. 79.

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, the earliest first and alphabetically within a single year.Repeat the author's name for each citation
Johnson, A., Epidemology 1900-1945, London, Penguin Press, 2003
Johnson, A., Diseases and cures in the Midwest, London,Penguin Press, 2005


  • 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]

 Mintz, S., 'Food Enigmas, Colonial and Postcolonial',  Gastronomica, vol. 10, no. 1, 2010, p. 149.

  1. Authors, author initials [See the Reference Formats tab for examples where there are more than one author.]
  2. Article title
  3. Journal Title
  4. Volume
  5. Issue Number
  6. Year of Publication
  7. Page Numbers

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