So you want to know how to cite a reference? Here you can use 50 Harvard reference wizards to generate a bibliography, "Works Cited", references or citations to books, speeches, images, legal rulings, websites and many other sources of information using the Harvard style, author-date citation method; the legal rulings are not referenced using the Harvard system but are included because many students need to cite at least one legal citation.
Over the past 10-15 years, there has been an enormous increase in the sources of information available to students; if you are an academic just look at your own thesis and determine how many different citations you used. If you graduated more than 10-years ago it is unlikely that you used more than 10-different reference types. The diversity of information sources that today's students encounter can create difficulties when it comes to correctly citing some sources, particular electronic sources, let alone judging the validity of the source. Perhaps it should not be a surprise that referencing causes so many problems across higher education wherever it is undertaken!
Following my experiences as a research supervisor, teacher, education manager and external examiner I decided that I would try to make referencing a little easier by creating a series of 'wizards'; these are forms in which information is entered, and if entered correctly, will result in a correctly formatted reference. Hopefully through this facility, supervisors may avoid the tautology of citations with ISBN numbers, incorrect Mintel citations and web references!
A beta version of the Harvard Reference List writer is now available (October, 2009). This will work on the desktop of a PC running on Windows XP, Windows Vista and other Windows operating systems. If there is sufficient demand I will make a Mac version. The application works well but with any beta version there are a number of 'tweaks' that will be required before the final version is released. I will post screen shots and offer the opportunity to download it at a nominal cost over the next few weeks. If there is sufficient interest I will use the funding from this source to have the application professionally developed and purchasers of the beta version will get the finished version and all future updates for free. I would also welcome declarations of interest from any software companies who might also be interested in this project. Send me your views about the Desktop Reference List writer.