Academic journal article: same as print version [from Electronic source using OSCOLA]


This includes sources which are in PDF format. Bear in mind the general guidance in OSCOLA for secondary sources: if an item has an ISBN, treat is as a book. If it is an electronic source identical to the print version treat, it as the print version. Otherwise treat sources without ISBNs in a similar way, but with the title in roman rather than italics and within single quotation marks as for journals. Remember that authors can be corporate or official bodies as well as individuals.

Make sure you understand the pattern of the journal - does it have a volume number which remains the same throughout the year, or does the volume number increase during the year? Do the page numbers in each issue or part restart at page 1 or do they increase through each succeeding issue or part?

Give the publication date in square brackets if it identifies the volume (and omit the volume number) and in round brackets where the journal volumes are numbered consecutively during the year (and include the volume number). The issue/part number of a journal should NOT be included unless each issue/part within a volume of a journal starts at page 1 (i.e. are not consecutively paginated): in that case put the issue number in parentheses after the volume number.

When citing a journal article, the title is abbreviated. Use the Cardiff Index to Legal Abbreviations to choose the preferred abbreviation for any legal source omitting punctuation wherever possible. Otherwise use the abbreviation given in the journal itself or abbreviate titles using the guidance in the Appendix to the OSCOLA scheme itself.

Place a comma between the number of the first page of the article and the pinpoint.

Standard Form

Author, 'Article Title' [(Year of publication in square or round brackets as above)] Volume/Issue/Part number if necessary (see advice above) Journal Name or abbreviation first page number of article, pinpoint page if required.


An item retrieved from HeinOnline (this is a scanned page identical to the printed version):

AE Bottoms, 'The Suspended Sentence in England 1967-1978' [1981] Brit J Criminol 1, 18.

David L Weimer, 'Cultural Analysis. Politics, Public Law and Administration' [2009] J Comp Pol'y Analysis 409.

Linda R Phillips 'Domestic Violence and Aging Women' Geriatric Nursing [2000] 188, 190.

Maria O'Neill, 'A Critical Analysis of the EU Legal Provisions on Terrorism' [2008] Terrorism and Politcal Violence 26, 32.

Robert N Lussier and Sanja Pfeifer 'A Crossnational Prediction Model for Business Success' J of Common Market Studies [2001] 228, 230.

SB Butzengeiger, A Michaelowa and S Bode, 'Europe - A Pioneer in Greenhouse Gas Emmisions Trading' Intereconomics [2003] 219, 222.

Reference 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.

For example:

Phillips LR, 'Domestic Violence and Aging Women' Geriatric Nursing [2000] 188

List alphabetically by author's last name under Secondary Sources. If there is no author, list alphabetically by the first word/s of the title at the beginning of list under Secondary Sources.


  • Treat multiple authors in the same way as multiple authors of books. If there is no author, follow the same example as book with no author.
  • See pages for weekly and monthly magazines, and newspapers, for guidance on dealing with non-academic journals.
  • Reference: Faculty of Law, University of Oxford, OSCOLA: Oxford Standard for the Citation of Legal Authorities (4th edn Oxford University 2010) 37-38.