Oxford Referencing – Citing a Journal Article
  • 5-minute read
  • 24th July 2019

Oxford Referencing – Citing a Journal Article

At some point, you may need to reference a journal article when writing a dissertation or essay. And when using Oxford referencing, you’ll need two things for this: footnote citations and an entry in the bibliography.

The format of Oxford citations can differ depending on the version of the system used, so make sure to check your style guide if you have one. However, the general rules for referencing a journal article are as follows.

Citing a Print Journal Article in Footnotes

Footnote citations are indicated with superscript numbers in the text:

This is how it should appear in your document.1

Source details are then given in a footnote at the bottom of the page. The first time you reference a journal article, use the following format:

n. Initial(s). Surname, ‘Article Title’, Journal Title, volume, number, year, page number(s).

The ‘page number(s)’ bit here should point to the specific part of the article cited. Using this format, you should end up with something like this:

1. T. Walker, ‘Beating the System’, Economics 101, vol. 10, no. 4, 2007, p. 167.

If the article you’re citing has two or three authors, meanwhile, you can use ‘and’ to separate the last two names:

2. O. Duffy, S. Taylor and J. Tokunago, ‘Using Mulch to Improve Your Crops’, Ecology Reports, vol. 6, no. 8, 2009, pp. 34-35.

And if it has more than three authors, use ‘et al.’ after the first name:

3. M. Larkin et al., ‘Determining Time’, Space and Beyond, vol. 12, no.4, 2015, p. 16.

This will provide all the information your reader needs to find the article in question. But you will also need a bibliography entry (see below).

Citing an Online Journal Article in Footnotes

The format for citing an electronic journal article is similar, but most versions of Oxford referencing also require a URL and date of access in these cases:

n. Initial(s). Surname, ‘Article Title’, Journal Title, volume, number, year, page number(s), <URL>, accessed day month year.

For instance, we would cite an online journal article as follows:

1. T. Walker, ‘Beating the System’, Economics 101, vol. 10, no. 4, 2007, p. 167, < https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.3998/mpub.14486 >, accessed 6 April 2017.

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Alternatively, you could give the name of a database instead of a URL. The key in both cases is to clearly show how you accessed the article.

Subsequent Footnotes

After the first citation, you can use a shortened format if you end up citing the same journal article again. Depending on the style guide you’re using, there are two ways to do this: Latin abbreviations or a shortened footnote format.

Repeat Citations: Latin Abbreviations

Many versions of Oxford referencing use three Latin abbreviations:

  • Ibid. (meaning ‘in the same place’) – Used to cite the same source twice in a row. These are known as consecutive citations. Make sure to include a new page number if you’re citing a different part of the same text.
  • Op. cit. (meaning ‘in the work cited’) – Used when citing a different part of the text in a non-consecutive citation (i.e. when you have cited at least one other source since the initial footnote). Use this after the author’s surname. If you have cited more than one source by the author in question, include a shortened source title for clarity, too.
  • Loc. cit. (meaning ‘in the place cited’) – As above, but used when citing the same page as in the initial footnote citation.

In practice, then, repeat citations would look something like this:

4. L. Stephenson, ‘Replacing BMW Tyres’, Practical Help for Aspiring Mechanics, vol. 76, no. 7, 2010, p. 22.
5. Ibid. p. 27.
6. R. Rose, ‘Carburettors and Me’, Automotive Anonymous, vol. 34, no. 6, 2011, p. 16.
7. Stephenson, op. cit., pp. 29-31.
8. Rose, loc. cit.

Here, footnotes 4, 5 and 7 all cite different parts of the Stephenson source. Footnotes 6 and 8, meanwhile, both cite page 16 of the Rose source.

Repeat Citations: Shortened Format

Alternatively, some versions of Oxford referencing abbreviate repeat citations by giving the author’s surname and a page number. If you have cited more than one source by a single author, moreover, make sure to include a shortened title to indicate which source you are citing:

4. L. Stephenson, ‘Replacing BMW Tyres’, Practical Help for Aspiring Mechanics, vol. 76, no. 7, 2010, p. 22.
5. R. Rose, ‘Carburettors and Me’, Automotive Anonymous, vol. 34, no. 6, 2011, p. 16.
6. L. Stephenson, ‘Driving through Spain’, The European Road Trip, vol. 12, no. 6, 2003, p. 87.
7. Stephenson, ‘Replacing BMW Tyres’, pp. 29-31.
8. Rose, p. 16.

Here, for instance, footnotes 4 and 7 are both for one of the Stephenson articles, while footnotes 5 and 8 are for the Rose article called ‘Carburettors and Me’. We include a title in the repeat Stephenson citation to distinguish it from the source in footnote 6, which is also by Stephenson.

Journal Articles in an Oxford Bibliography

At the end of your document, you will need to list all sources in a bibliography. The format to use here for a journal article is:

Surname, Initial(s), ‘Article Title’, Journal Title, volume, number, year, page number(s).

Note that, in the bibliography, you should include the full page range for a journal article, not just a pinpoint citation for the page(s) cited. In addition, as with footnote citations, you will need to include a URL/database name and a date of access for online journal articles.

In practice, then, a journal article in the bibliography would look like this:

Stephenson, L., ‘Driving through Spain’, The European Road Trip, vol. 12, no. 6, 2003, pp. 74-87.

Walker, T., ‘Beating the System’, Economics 101, vol. 10, no. 4, 2007, pp. 160-167, < https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.3998/mpub.14486 >, accessed 6 April 2017.

And if you’d like someone to check your document, including footnotes and the bibliography, get in touch with our academic proofreaders today.

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