Entry with author(s) in a reference book [from Print source using OSCOLA]


Examples include dictionary or encyclopaedia/encyclopedia entries.

For looseleafs, cite the title of the book 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. Try to avoid pinpointing when referring to looseleafs, but if you must do so give the volume (if appropriate), and pinpoint to paragraphs rather than pages. If pinpoiting, you should also give the release number and/or date of issue at the foot of the relevant page in brackets after the paragraph number, in the form used by the publisher, but without any full stops.

Don't panic if you see several dates inside the book. The date you need to use is the one which matches the edition of the book that you're using. Ignore any dates that are just listed as reprints or impressions. Look on the book cover and see if it says e.g. Fourth edition (it should also say this on the title page inside the book). In this case all that you need to show in your reference in the bibliography is the date for the 4th edition of the book. Search for the book on the library catalogue to check the details needed for the reference if you are unsure.

Standard Form

As a footnote:

Author (Initials unpunctuated followed by surname), 'Title of entry', Title of Reference Book (additional information, Edition if later than first, Publication year ) volume (abbreviated to vol), part (abbreviated to pt), paragraph (abbreviated to para) or page if required.


Title of Looseleaf, volume if appropriate (abbreviated to vol), paragraph if appropriate (abbreviated to para) (release number and/or date of issue).



A Cherp and R Mnatskanian, 'Environmental degradation: past roots, present transition and future hopes', Eastern Europe, Russia and Central Asia 2005 (5th edn, 2004).

A Lijphart, 'Electoral systems', The Encyclopaedia of Democracy (1995) vol 3, para 2.

P Scratan and K Chadwick, 'Critical research', Sage Dictionary of Criminology (2001) 46.

L Lockwood, N O'Regan and JA Owens, 'Palestrina, Giovanni Pierluigi da' The new Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (2nd edn, 2001) 123.


Water and Drainage Law.


Woodfall Landlord and Tenant, vol 2, para 21.191 (R 64 March 2006).

Reference List

Reference books are listed alphabetically by the first author's surname under the heading Secondary Sources.

No full stop is required at the end of an entry in a Reference List as this is a list.

In your bibliography, the author's surname should precede his or her initial(s), with no comma separating them, but a comma after the first initial. Only initials should be used, not forenames, e.g.

Scratan P and Chadwick K, 'Critical research', Sage Dictionary of Criminology (2001)



  • If there are more than three authors, give the names of the first author followed by 'and others'.
  • If a book has a title and a subtitle, use the existing punctuation. Where there is none, insert a colon.
  • Reference: Faculty of Law, University of Oxford, OSCOLA: Oxford Standard for the Citation of Legal Authorities (4th edn Oxford University 2010) 36-37.