Corporate document

Referencing and citations

Use hyperlinks for web-based sources. If there is not a web version, give people enough detail to find the reference (see citations for how to cite in text).

Do not edit the titles of papers.

Do not put a full stop at the end of the reference.

Reference examples: journals and books

Journal article

Alfredson H, Cook J (2007) A treatment algorithm for managing Achilles tendinopathy: new treatment options. British Journal of Sports Medicine 41(4): 211–6

Layton A, Moss F, Morgan G (1998) Mapping out the patient's journey: experiences of developing pathways of care. Quality in Health Care 7 (Suppl. 2): S30–6

Tillon C, Cole AF, Shah RD et al. (2015) Outcome of surgery for chronic Achilles tendinopathy: a critical review. American Journal of Sports Medicine 29(3) (forthcoming)

Conference abstract (in a journal)

Anand R, Hartmann R, Gharabawi G (1997) Worldwide clinical experience with Exelon, a new generation cholinesterase inhibitor, in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. European Journal of Neurology 4 (Suppl. 1): S37 (Abstract)

Books, reports

Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (2008) Annual survey report 2008: absence management. London: Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development

Department for Work and Pensions (2007) Ready for work: full employment in our generation. London: The Stationery Office

Chapter or article from a book or report with editors

McCrea C (1999) Good clinical audit requires teamwork. In: Baker R, Hearnshaw H, Robertson N, editors. Implementing change with clinical audit. Chichester: Wiley, p119–32

Marmot M, Wilkinson R, editors (2006) Social determinants of health. Oxford: Oxford University Press

Reference examples: NICE guidance

List published NICE guidance first in order of publication, with the most recent first.

List in development guidance afterwards, with the expected publication date or 'Publication date to be confirmed' if we do not know when it will be. If relevant, explain if an update is planned and if it has been updated. For example:

Pembrolizumab for adjuvant treatment of renal cell carcinoma (2022) NICE technology appraisal guidance 830

Osteoarthritis in over 16s: diagnosis and management (2022) NICE guideline NG226

Abortion care (2021) NICE quality standard 199

Ab externo canaloplasty for primary open-angle glaucoma (2017) NICE interventional procedures guidance 591 (currently being updated, publication expected October 2023)

Acute heart failure: diagnosis and management (2014) NICE guideline CG187. Last updated 17 November 2021

Obesity: identification, assessment and management (2014) NICE guideline CG189. Last updated 26 July 2023

Alcohol-use disorders: prevention (2010) NICE guideline PH24

Rehabilitation for chronic neurological disorders including acquired brain injury. NICE guideline. Publication expected January 2025

Abaloparatide for treating idiopathic or hypogonadal osteoporosis in men. NICE technology appraisal guidance. Publication date to be confirmed

Reference examples: others


HM Government (1995) The Disability Discrimination Act

Cochrane review

Gagnon AJ, Sandall J (2007) Individual or group antenatal education for childbirth. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews issue 4: CD002869

Conference abstract (in conference proceedings)

Li TW, Jones PA (2006) Methylation changes in early embryonic genes in cancer [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the 97th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research, 1–5 April 2006, Washington DC, USA. Philadelphia: AACR; p7. Abstract 30

Conference poster

Rockwood K, Kershaw P (2000) Galantamine's clinical benefits are not offset by sleep disturbance: a 3‑month placebo-controlled study in patients with Alzheimer's disease. Poster presented at the 7th International World Alzheimer Congress, 1–3 March 2000, Washington DC, USA

Court case

A and others v the National Blood Authority and others (2001) EWHC QB 446

Rottman v MPC (2002) HRLR 32

Newspaper citation

Timmins N (2009) NHS managers' skill levels criticised by MPs. The Financial Times, 13 January, p2


Foreign and Commonwealth Office (2013) The future of Europe in the global economy. Speech given by the Right Honourable David Lidington MP, Minister of State for Europe, to the Lord Mayor's Gala Dinner at the Great Hall, Guildhall on 23 May 2013. London: Foreign & Commonwealth Office


Department of Health NHS reference costs 2013–14 [online; accessed 2 November 2015]


When citing in the text and not hyperlinking (in documents that have a reference list), use the Harvard style of referencing (author date). Do not use numeric referencing styles.

Direct and indirect citation:

  • Harrison (2012) argues that there are 7 main principles.

  • There are 7 main principles that need to be considered (Harrison 2012).

Two authors:

  • Percy and Wright (2006) show how health inequalities vary between populations.

  • Health inequalities are known to vary between populations (Percy and Wright 2006).

More than 2 authors:

  • This effect has been reported in the community (Emson, Smith et al. 2009).

  • Emson et al. (2009) were the first to report this effect in the community.

If citing more than 1 paper, order them alphabetically based on the first author's surname:

  • There are 3 specific areas of organisational development (Davies and Franks 2008, Green 2006, Johnston et al. 2007, 2009).

If citing more than 1 paper by the same author with the same publication date, letter in the order that they appear in the text and mirror this in the reference list:

  • (Brown et al. 2007a, 2007b).

Do not include papers that have been submitted but not yet accepted for publication in reference lists. But you can cite them in the text. For example: (Peters CD, Franks JL: unpublished data 2007) or (Johnston EG: personal communication 2008). If you want to cite a personal communication you'll need to get written permission from the person being quoted.

When citing NICE publications, hyperlink the title to the product overview page and be specific about the type of guidance. Do not use capital letters in the title:

You do not always need to use the full title. If we only have 1 piece of guidance on a topic, it's fine to be more concise. For instance, our guideline on headaches in over 12s: diagnosis and management is the only guidance we have on headaches in this age group. So, we would say: NICE's guideline on headaches in over 12s was published in September 2012.

But remember not to use too many links; just enough to make it easy for the reader to navigate. See also hyperlinks in this guide.