List of references and bibliography

How you record references and types of sources depends on the type of list of references you wish to make. The most common is a list, located before the appendices, that provides sufficiently accurate information on all sources of information used and mentioned in your work. It is not necessary to mention dictionaries, grammar guides and standards used.

The bibliography is in alphabetical order according to author and is necessary using the name, year system. The bibliographical information of foreign works is recorded in the original language.

Bibliographical Information

When collecting source material pay attention to the type of source and the information you will need when compiling the bibliography. This saves time when you are writing your report by not having to search around for sources when required again.

The following information must be included for different types of sources in your bibliography:

  • Author(s), journalist(s) 
  • Year of publication (copyright) 
  • Name of the text 
  • Edition used (if there are more than one) 
  • Place of publication (home of publisher) 
  • Publisher or conference organiser 
  • Journalist of whole work or whole name of work 
  • Page references of article if part of a publication or larger work 
  • Name of series or serial number – name of newspaper or volume 
  • Newspaper issue number (recorded after volume) 
  • Name of conference, place and date 
  • www-address and date when material was read

Source records are generally divided into four parts:

who when what where
Author date title Publisher/publication channel

If the sources – copies, leaflets, instructions and handbooks do not include an author for the work, the complete name of the work should be recorded as the search word. The publisher must not replace the author. If the publication does not include a date the letters n.d. (no date) should be recorded.

The most common source materials are as follows:

  1. books 
  2. articles 
  3. reports and committee reports 
  4. Meeting and conference presentations 
  5. Doctoral theses and theses f. Audiovisual material and electronic media

a. Books

The author is recorded surname first separated by a comma and space by the first initial of the author’s first name. If there are two authors they are combined using &. If there are several authors a comma separates each name apart from the last two names between which & is used. The source’s first row starts from the left side margin and the following rows of the same source are indented. This means that you do not have to leave empty row between different sources.


Aalto, A. 1982. Sähkötekniikka. Helsinki: Otava.

Ahonen, P. & Meklin, P. 1994. Ohjeita ja Vihjeitä: Finanssihallinnon ja julkisyhteisöjen laskentatoimen opinnäytetyöskentely. Tampereen yliopisto: Hallintotiede 1994. Series B (1).

Hirsjärvi, S., Remes, P. & Sajavaara, P. 1997. Tutki ja kirjoita. Helsinki: Kirjayhtymä.

The bibliography is recorded in alphabetical order according to the first author’s surname. If two writers have the same surname and even first name the sources are organised in alphabetical order according the next differing letter.

Publications by the same order are arranged according to date of publication from the oldest to the latest publication. The date of publication recorded is the year that the publication was printed. There are no brackets around the year of publication. If sources include several works published by the same author during the same year, the title of the book determines the order and it is recorded using lower case letters. If sources include works written by one writer and works written by this writer together with others, the works written by the author alone come first and the works written in co-operation with others follow.

When the author is a publisher, organisation or institution and no individual person is recorded as author, the source is recorded according to its name:

Aikuiskoulutustutkimus 1990, ennakkotietoja. 1991. Koulutus ja tutkimus 10. Helsinki: Tilastokeskus.

Microsoft Windows. 1990. User’s guide for the windows graphical environment. Redmond, WA: Microsoft Corporation.

b. Articles

Newspaper articles are also important sources of information. High quality foreign periodicals, magazines and journals are also worth using! The most reliable are regularly issued magazines, journals and periodicals. They are recorded in the bibliography according to the basic model.

Quoted articles appearing in regularly issued periodicals should be recorded using the issue/volume and page reference. If each issue of the periodical starts with page 1 the issue number should also be recorded in brackets, after the volume number, e.g. Methods 15 (3), 1 – 8.

The author of the article should always be recorded first. If the authors name does not appear with the article e.g. in newspapers, the name of the article comes first followed by the year and publication channel and the exact date.


Masterson, J. J. 1995. Future directions in computer use. Language, Speech and Hearing Services in Schools 26, 260 – 262.

Rutonen, M. 1996. Vaasassa on saatu isätkin mukaan. Opettaja 91, 8 – 9.

Yksityishenkilöiden konkurssit lisääntyneet. 1996. Iso Savo 12.1.1996, 8.

A combined work consisting of articles by different authors should be recorded carefully – the overall author of the work is important! The information on the overall author is recorded after the name(s) of the author(s) of the article:

Kuusinen, J. Korkiakangas, M. 1991. Oppiminen. In J. Kuusinen (pub.) Kasvatuspsykologia. Porvoo: WSOY, 21 – 64.

c. Reports, Committee Reports, Meeting and Conference Presentations/Papers

Research reports are a useful source of material for your thesis. They provide tips on source literature, indicators and research outcomes. If you use reports in your thesis you must provide as much publishing information as possible, e.g.:

Mannermaa, M. & Mäkelä, K. 1994. Tulevaisuusbarometri 1993. Yhteiskuntakehityksen ha koulutuksen tulevaisuudennäkymiä vuoteen 2017. Opetusministeriön suunnittelusihteeristön keskustelumuistioita 21. Helsinki.

Please see Finnish version of these guidelines for further examples of how to refer to reports, presentations and papers.

Meeting and conference papers are available in conference publications, field-specific magazines and journals or in participants’ materials. If the presentations have been printed they should listed in the same way as any other printed material. There are only usually printed summaries of presentations available and sometimes nothing at all. You should include the date of the conference and the conference organiser accurately in your list of references and bibliography.

d. Theses and Critiques

Different types of theses and dissertations are considered to be reliable sources of knowledge and they are often quoted. When referring to a thesis you must state the level of the work in question: doctoral thesis, licentiate work, master’s thesis, engineering thesis or bachelors thesis, etc.

When listing unprinted sources you may need to provide more information than for printed material. If you need to add more precise information of your own, put it in square brackets.


Asltonen, K. 1992. Korkeakouluopiskelijoiden työssäkäynti ammatillisen strategiana. Helsinki University, Department of Social Policy. Licentiate Thesis.

Carson, K. 1996. Thanks for the Book! [Book critique S. Istanmäki. 1995. Liian Paksu Perhoseksi. Helsinki: Kirjayhtymä]. Suomen Kuvalehti 80 (22), 58.

Audiovisual material should also be listed: films, TV programmes, cassettes and records.

e. E-media

E-media includes online information such as Internet material, abstracts, CD ROMs and computer programmes. It is difficult to evaluate the reader-friendliness and level of material published on the Internet because almost anyone can publish material on the www. A reliable expert or a well-informed amateur may have produced material on the web. Internet material can also be carelessly produced and shallow while containing thoughtless opinions and in some extreme cases, deliberately false information. Official web sites produced by public institutions are probably more reliable than home pages of individual users on commercial servers. It is always a good idea to compare web information with an independent source of knowledge.

E-sources or their different parts are easy to copy to your own web sites or your own printed publications. Please remember to respect copyright. You need the permission of the author if you wish to use photos or other graphic material.

The following format is used when referring to Internet and e-mail sources:

Author Title Date Publication Channel
(Recorded if known) Kajaani University of Applied Sciences Student Work Year when saved to database (page administrator)
Available in www-form 9.6.1997 (when read)

The source date, version number or equivalent information must be retrieved. Any important documents should be printed to paper. If there is no clear date on the document, the date when read must be recorded in the final part of the reference on the list of references.

The source reference www address is recorded in the bibliography/list of references in alphabetical order according to the reference name. If the same web site is used more than once, use small case letter alphabet listing to indicate the different sources as when recording works produced by the same author during the same year.


The Standish Group. 1995. The CHAOS Report. Web document. Available from: (read 21.11.2003)

Yleisradio 2003 a. (read 2.8.2003)

Yleisradio 2003 b. (read 5.9.2003)