Harvard help: what is secondary referencing?

What should you do if you have read a book, article or webpage that has referenced or quoted a good point from another work and you would like to use that point in your essay?  This is called secondary referencing.

Let’s say you have read a book published in 2014 and the author is Smith.  It cites a good point by someone called Jones.

You can make the situation clear in your text by writing something like:

Jones (cited in Smith 2014) notes that referencing can be fun.

If you are using a direct quote don’t forget a page number:

Jones (cited in Smith 2014 p. 23) argues that “referencing is the most fun you can ever have”.

In your reference list you must include a full reference for the book by Smith:

SMITH, J., 2014. Referencing and the meaning of life. Aberdeen: Library Press.

You do NOT include a reference for Jones as you must only reference what you have read (the item by Smith).

For information on all aspects of RGU Harvard referencing please check out our guide.

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