Since ‘MHRA’ stands for Modern Humanities Research Association, it won’t surprise you to learn that MHRA referencing is used in the humanities. And if you’re studying a subject like English language or literature, knowing how to cite a journal article in MHRA referencing is wise.
Luckily, that’s what we explain in this very blog post!
How to Cite a Journal Article in MHRA
When citing a journal article in an essay, you should indicate footnotes with superscript numbers in the text. For instance:
Footnote numbers usually go at the end of a sentence.1
In the accompanying footnote, the format to use for a journal article is:
n. Author Name(s), ‘Article Title’, Journal, volume (year), page range (page number).
‘Page range’ here refers to the complete page range for the article, while ‘page number’ is the specific page cited. Only the latter is preceded by ‘p.’
For example, we could cite a journal article as follows:
1. Joan M. Herbers, ‘Time Resources and Laziness in Animals’, Oecologia, 49 (1981), 252-62 (p. 260).
If citing an online article that is only available electronically or differs from the print version, give a URL/DOI and date of access instead of a page range:
2. Laverne Jones, Stuart Cox, and Polly W. Brecon, ‘Sleepy Town: Why Are You Always Tired?’, Somnambulant Studies, 6 (2008), <https://www.jstor.org/stable/3058956> [accessed 12 March 2017] (p. 129).
However, if an online article is identical to the print version, you can simply cite it in the same way. No extra details are required.
If citing the same article more than once, give a shortened citation in subsequent footnotes. The format for this will depend on whether you are citing the same source consecutively:
- For consecutive citations, use ‘ibid.’ plus a page number for the new citation (if different from the previous one).
- For non-consecutive citations, use the author’s surname and a page number for the new citation. If you have cited more than one source by the same author, include a shortened article title as well.
In practice, then, we would format repeat citations in MHRA as follows:
1. Joan M. Herbers, ‘Time Resources and Laziness in Animals’, Oecologia, 49 (1981), 252-62 (p.260).
2. Ibid., p. 258.
3. Joan M. Herbers, ‘On Caste Ratios in Ant Colonies: Population Responses to Changing Environments’, Evolution, 34 (1980), 575-85 (pp. 576-7).
4. Herbers, ‘Time Resources and Laziness in Animals’, p. 262.
Here, citations 1, 2 and 4 are all for the journal article ‘Time Resources and Laziness in Animals’. We use ‘ibid.’ in footnote 2 because it is a consecutive citation of the same source. And we use the author’s surname plus title in footnote 4 because it is a non-consecutive repeat citation.
Journal Articles in an MHRA Bibliography
When listing sources in your bibliography, make sure to include full publication information. The format to use for a print journal article is:
Surname, First Name, ‘Article Title’, Journal, volume (year), page range
This is similar to the first footnote, but with the first listed author’s names reversed and no full stop. With online articles, the URL/DOI and a date of access are given instead of a page range:
Surname, First Name, ‘Article Title’, Journal, volume (year), <URL/DOI> [date of access]
In practice, this would look something like the following:
Herbers, Joan M., ‘Time Resources and Laziness in Animals’, Oecologia, 49 (1981), 252-62
Jones, Laverne, Stuart Cox, and Polly W. Brecon, ‘Sleepy Town: Why Are You Always Tired?’, Somnambulant Studies, 6 (2008), <https://www.jstor.org/stable/3058956> [accessed 12 March 2017]
As with footnotes, though, if online articles are also available in print, you can usually cite them in the same way you would a print article (check your style guide if you’re unsure about this). And if you’d like anyone to check the referencing in your document, submit it for proofreading today.