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Harvard (Holmesglen) Referencing Guide - Previous Edition

Secondary sources (cited in) overview

Secondary sources are when authors refer to other authors in their works. This means that when you use a citation provided by a secondary source author, you are citing the original author indirectly.

Use secondary sources wisely. 

Be aware that when you cite a secondary author, the original information may have been taken out of context.  This is why you should always seek out the original author's work where possible. 

Only cite secondary sources if the original source is:

  • Out of print,
  • Unavailable,
  • Or not published in English

Secondary sources format

The citation should include:

  • The surname of the author(s) in the original source
  • The surname of the author(s) and year of publication in the secondary source
  • Page number(s) in the secondary source if you are citing direct quotes


Secondary citation elements


Example screenshot of a secondary source in-text citation for a paraphrase


Example screenshot of a secondary source in-text citation for a quote


Example in-text citations

Screenshot of a paragraph with secondary source in-text citations


Further citation examples

See in-text citations for information and examples of other types of citations. 


Reference list

Reference the secondary source (whether that is a bookjournal articlewebpage etc) in which you found the original author.