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WHSL Citing the Medical Literature: Citing Journal Articles Harvard Style

How to cite print and electronic books and journals using Vancouver or Harvard styles for use in the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand (GEMP 1 BMCS, MTP1, MTP2)

Example of a Journal Article Citation Harvard Style

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Where to Find More Information about Citing a Print Journal Article, Harvard Style

The chief source of information for citing a print journal article is the article itself. Journal articles will always contain the following information at the top of the article:

  • Article title
  • Author/s of the journal article

Information about the author/s, article title and pages also appear on the contents pages of each journal issue.

Usually, information about the journal title, volume, and issue number as well as date, appear at the bottom of each page or every alternate page of the journal article. If all of this information is not shown, you may need to check the contents pages of the journal, or find a citation to the article using the Single Citation Matcher in PubMed (

Further rules for citing journal articles using the Harvard style, and some examples, can be found at the links below:


Citation Variations

There can be slight variations in style, depending on the style used by the journal or book editors, or if you are writing a dissertation or thesis for submission in the Faculty of Health Sciences. Always check the style required before submission.

The same journal article as seen in the example on the left can also be cited as follows:

Penckofer, Sue, Kouba, Joanne, Byrn, Mary & Estwing Ferrans, Carol. 2010. Vitamin D and depression: where is all the sunshine? Issues Ment Health Nurs 31(6), p. 385.

  • Full first names (not initials) of authors are used 
  • Journal title is abbreviated
  • The volume may be in bold type
  • Only the first page of the article is given. Page number/s shown by p. for one page, or pp. for a range of pages. There is no colon after the journal issue before pagination is given.

Use of the Ampersand (&) in Citations

When using the Harvard Style at Wits, it is permissible to use the ampersand (&) when citing authors in your bibliography or list of references, eg.

Jones, W., Smith, R.S. & Potgieter, J.W.L. 2010. The sad story of plagiarism amongst medical students. Medical Education 43:503-506.

You may also use the word and written out in full, eg.

Jones, W., Smith, R.S. and Potgieter, J.W,L. 2010. The sad story of plagiarism amongst medical students. Medical Education 43, pp.503-506.

However, you must be consistent. You can not use & in one reference, and then switch to and for another reference.