In assignments, sources are referred to by the  name of the author and the date of publication (the Harvard reference system), or by a number (the Vancouver reference system).

Most, but not all, assignments in the Social Sciences use the Harvard system.

Harvard references can be ‘integral’ or ‘non-integral’. In integral references the author’s name (or an equivalent proper noun) is part of the sentence. For example:

Fama (1997) concludes that "long-term returns are fragile (and) statistically marginal".


For instance, Giddens (2000:69,79) indicates that the 'knowledge economy' reflects the dominance of dynamic 'knowledge' sectors such as finance, computers and software, telecommunications, biotechnology and the communications industries.

In non-integral references proper names and dates are provided within brackets. For example:

In 1993 it was estimated that 33% of the UK population had used some form of CAM (Zollman 2006:836), today it is estimated that one in four people use them (Giddins 2001:142).

For every million words in the Social Sciences assignments there are about 217 integral citations and 606 non-integral citations. Quotations are used quite frequently.

In the Social Sciences assignments ibid is quite common, but op. cit. is rare.

Reporting Verbs

Here are some verbs typically used for reporting other people's work in Social Sciences.

Reporting Verbs in Social Sciences Examples