OSCOLA Referencing Guide

OSCOLA Referencing Guide

Oxford Standard for the Citation of Legal Authorities or simply OSCOLA is a referencing style used by students in citing legislation, authorities, and other legal documents. OSCOLA referencing is commonly utilized in academic institutions that offer law courses and by book and journal publishers all over UK and the rest of the world.

OSCOLA referencing involves two citations, that is, the footnotes and the bibliographies. Footnotes are used to show the authority of the previous idea or text. In most instances, there is a superscript number in the text that matches the relevant authority located down the page. Bibliographies on the other hand are placed toward theend of the content. These are usually a list of all the information sources the writer uses in the content.

General Guidelines Of OSCOLA Referencing

When referencing your work in OSCOLA format, you should cite each authority in a uniform consistent manner. Make sure to cite the different categories of information sources in different formats. We are going to look into some examples in detail but first, let’s first learn the general rules of OSCOLA referencing.

  • You should put the footnotes after the appropriate in-text punctuation. Unless you need more clarity, it would be necessary to let the footnote follow the phrase or word that is being cited.
  • If the phrase or idea you are citing is inside parentheses, have your footnote before the closing parentheses.
  • Minimize punctuation in citations, for example, USA instead of U.S.A.
  • Always lose you footnotes with a full stop.
  • Make sure to italicize book titles and case names
  • Use semi colons to separate two difference footnotes
  • If you have a quotation that is longer than three lines, make sure to present this in an indented paragraph. Do not put any quotation marks.

How To Reference Books

  • Institutions and organizations can be used as authors but if your source has no author, you can start you referencing with the title.
  • When creating a footnote, the first name of the author will come before their surname but when it comes to writing the bibliography, the author’s surname will come first, followed by their initials.
  • If your information source has an ISBN, then you should cite it as a book.
  • The first letters of all the major words in the title must be capitalized. Words like ‘or’, ‘the’ and ‘for’ should not be capitalized unless they appear first in the title.
  • When creating the footnote, you should start with the name of the author then the title of the book. Next, insert the edition information, the publisher, and the publication year. If you are referencing a specific page, the page numbermust be inserted at the end.

Examples:

  • Books with one contributor

Footnote:

George Stuart, Law and Justice (3rd edn, OUP 2010).

Referencing a specific page:

George Stuart, Law and Justice (3rd edn, OUP 2010) 67.

Bibliography:

Stuart G, Law and Justice (3rd edn, OUP 2010)

  • Books with twocontributors

Footnote:

George Stuart and Boyle Clinton, Law and Justice (5th edn, OUP 2017).

Referencing a specific page:

George Stuart and Boyle Clinton, Law and Justice (5th edn, OUP 2017) 98.

Bibliography:

Stuart G and Clinton B, Law and Justice (5th edn, OUP 2017)

  • Books with three contributors

Footnote:

George Stuart, Boyle Clinton and Harley Josepha (eds) Law and Justice (6th rev edn, OUP 2018).

Referencing a specific page:

George Stuart, Boyle Clinton and Harley Josepha (eds) Law and Justice (6th rev edn, OUP 2018) 46.

Bibliography:

Stuart G, Clinton B and Josepha H (eds)Law and Justice (6threv edn, OUP 2018)

  • Books that has more than three contributors

Footnote:

George Stuart and others, Law and Justice (4th edn, OUP 2013).

Referencing a specific page:

George Stuart and others, Law and Justice (4th edn, OUP 2013) 75.

Bibliography:

Stuart G and others, Law and Justice (4th edn, OUP 2013).

  • Edited book

An edited boo is usually a collection of various chapters on a certain theme, written by a variety of authors and put together by an editor.

Footnote:

George Stuart (ed), Law and Justice (OUP 2013).

Referencing a specific page:

George Stuart (ed), Law and Justice (OUP 2013) 213.

Bibliography:

Stuart G (ed), Law and Justice (OUP 2013).

  • Citing a chapter in an edited book

If you want to cite a specific chapter in an edited book, do it the same way you would a journal article, then insert the name of the editor, book title and lastly, give information on publication.

Footnote:

Greg Martins, ‘Administrative Law’ in George Stuart and Boyle Clinton (eds), Law and Justice (OUP 2017).

Referencing a specific page:

Greg Martins, ‘Administrative Law’ in George Stuart and Boyle Clinton (eds), Law and Justice (OUP 2017) 107.

Bibliography:

Stuart G and Clinton B (eds), Law and Justice (OUP 2017).

How To Reference Journals

  • If your source has multiple authors, use the guide we have provided in the books’ section.
  • Institutions and organizations can be used as authors.
  • The first name of the author will come before the surname but in the bibliography, the surname will come first.
  • Make sure to capitalize the first letters of all the major words in the title and subtitles. The first letters for words like ‘and’, ‘or’, ‘the’, or ‘for’ need not to be capitalized.
  • If your source is a journal article in databases like Lexis Library and Westlaw, you should cite these as print. Do not include the URL of the database.
  • To create a footnote, start with the name of the author followed by the title of the article and then the publication year. Next, insert the abbreviation of the journal or the full title of the journal as well as the number of the article’s first page.

Examples:

  • Print article that has no volume number

Footnote:

Jack Matthews, ‘Introduction to Public Law’ [2003] PL 378.

Referencing a specific page:

Jack Matthews, ‘Introduction to Public Law’ [2003] PL 378, 380.

Bibliography:

Matthews J, ‘Introduction to Public Law’ [2003] PL 378.

  • Print article that has a volume number

Footnote:

Jack Matthews, ‘Introduction to Public Law’ [2003] 54 PL 378.

Referencing a specific page:

Jack Matthews, ‘Introduction to Public Law’ [2003] 54 PL 378, 380.

Bibliography:

Matthews J, ‘Introduction to Public Law’ [2003] 54 PL 378.

  • Online journals

Online journal articles are usually print journal articles that are provided in an online format and can be accessed thorough databases like Lexis library and Westlaw. If you will be using sources like these, make sure to cite them like print journal articles. If the journal is only published online, then you will need to include URL of the page and the date on which it was accessed in your referencing.

Footnote:

Maria Johannes, ‘The Importance of Law’ (2008) 2 (1) LAW <https://law.org/article/view/13> accessed 23 March 2011.

Referencing a specific page:

Maria Johannes, ‘The Importance of Law’ (2008) 2 (1) LAW [16]<https://law.org/article/view/13> accessed 23 March 2011.

Bibliography:

Johannes M, ‘The Importance of Law’ (2008) 2 (1) LAW<https://law.org/article/view/13> accessed 23 March 2011.

  • Case notes

Case notes should be cited like journal articles. If there is no case title, write the case name in italics and include ‘note’ in brackets at the end.

Footnote:

Sean Washington, ‘Meg David V Chief of Police West Midlands’ [2003] Crim LR 325 (note).

Referencing a specific page:

Sean Washington, “Meg David V Chief of Police West Midlands’ [2003] Crim LR 325, 327 (note).

Bibliography:

Washington S, “Meg David V Chief of Police West Midlands’ [2003] Crim LR 325 (note).

 

General Guidelines For Referencing Cases

  • A case could be reported in one or more places
  • Neutral citations are usually references that the court itself has assigned to cases independently.
  • You should always abbreviate law report titles.
  • Make sure that the names of the parties involved are in italics throughout your work as well as in the footnote.
  • If you have included the name of the case in the text, only the case citation should be included in the footnote.

Get Help With OSCOLA Referencing

Though this is one of the most popular citation formats today, OSCOLA referencing can be a little confusing to students. If you feellike you need a little help with referencing your work in this specific format and any other citation style for that matter, you can always contact us. Our academic writers’ team operates 24/7 and will be happy to reference your paper in accordance with your institution’s guidelines. And don’t worry if you want your paper done from scratch. You can easily seek our assignment help services and hire one of our best experts for the job.