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Referencing and citations - OSCOLA: Books

Referencing and citations - OSCOLA

In a nutshell

In footnotes, give the author’s name exactly as it appears in the publication, but omit postnominals such as QC. In the bibliography, only use the author’s initial(s).

In footnotes, the author’s first name or initial(s) precede their surname. In bibliographies, the surname comes first, then the initial(s), followed by a comma.

Cite all publications with an ISBN as if they were books, whether read online or in hard copy.


Cite the author’s name first, followed by a comma, and then the title of the book in italics - Where a book has a title and subtitle not separated with punctuation, insert a colon.

Publication information follows the title within brackets. Publication elements should always include the publisher and the year of publication, with a space but no punctuation between them. The place of publication need not be given. If you are citing an edition other than the first edition, indicate that using the form ‘2nd edn’

Book citations should always follow the format:

author, | title | (additional information, | edition, | publisher | year).

  • Timothy Endicott, Administrative Law (OUP 2009)
  • Gareth Jones, Goff and Jones: The Law of Restitution (1st supp, 7th edn, Sweet & Maxwell 2009).

Chapters in books

When citing a chapter or essay in an edited book, cite the author and the title of the contribution, give the chapter author details and title of the chapter, unitalicised in single quote marks, preceding the full citation for the book in which it is - there is no need to give the pages of the chapter unless pinpointing.

Such citations should follow the format:

author, | ‘title’ | in editor (ed), | book | (extra info), | publisher | year).

  • John Cartwright, ‘The Fiction of the "Reasonable Man’ in AG Castermans and others (eds), Ex Libris Hans Nieuwenhuis (Kluwer 2009).

  • Justine Pila, ‘The Value of Authorship in the Digital Environment’ in William H Dutton and Paul W Jeffreys (eds), World Wide Research: Reshaping the Sciences and Humanities in the Century of Information (MIT Press 2010).

Misc (multiple authors, editors...)

If there are more than three authors, give the name of the first author followed by ‘and others’.

If no individual author is identified, but an organisation or institution claims editorial responsibility for the work, then cite it as the author.

If there is no author, cite the editor or translator as you would an author, adding in brackets after their name ‘(ed)’ or ‘(tr)’, or ‘(eds)’ or ‘(trs)’ if there is more than one.

If no person, organisation or institution claims responsibility for the work, begin the citation with the title.

Cite an encyclopaedia much as you would a book, but excluding the author or editor and publisher and including the edition and year of issue or reissue.

For loose-leaf services, cite the title of the work in italics, excluding the name of the current author or editor, but including names which have become part of the title. Do not give publication details.