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OSCOLA Introduction

Law students use the OSCOLA system of referencing rather than the standard university Harvard style. 

OSCOLA is the Oxford University Standard for Citation of Legal Authorities and is edited by the Oxford Law Faculty.

OSCOLA enables you to quickly and easily cite legal resources such as cases and legislation.  It is a numeric style which use footnotes (as opposed to Harvard which is a Name and Date style).

You need to reference all the sources that you use in your assignments - this includes citing them in the main body of your assignment by adding a superscript number and then putting full details in the corresponding footnote at the bottom of your page.

You can also include a bibliography at the end of your work which contains all of the works cited in your footnotes as well as any other sources you have consulted.

Microsoft Word allows you to insert and format your footnotes quickly and easily.

Introduction to OSCOLA Referencing Video

Please note  Please ensure you log into SOL in order to view these videos:

OSCOLA Factsheets and Examples

Solent Library's OSCOLA factsheet

Full list of referencing examples. If you can't find it in the factsheet, look here OSCOLA Referencing Examples

Materials from the OSCOLA Editorial Board

Additional OSCOLA tutorials and videos 

For further help, try some of these online materials from other universities:

OSCOLA guidance from the University of South Wales

Citing references using OSCOLA from the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies Library


Please ensure you log into SOL in order to view these videos: log into SOL

video iconHow and why to reference - talking you through our OSCOLA Factsheet:


video icon More on citations within legal databases and how they relate to OSCOLA:

Referencing: Test your knowledge?

Guided Learning Activity

Email Support - OSCOLA

The Library offers additional help with referencing queries via   

Queries will be dealt with as quickly as possible but please allow up to 72 hours for a response from the Information team.   

Ensure that your query is clearly marked as OSCOLA referencing and not Harvard.

Please note that this service does not include proof reading or checking of references. 

RefWorks for OSCOLA

This resource does not work well with Lexis+ UK and Westlaw and the OSCOLA style is not completely accurate.  Library advice for those using OSCOLA is to cite their references manually. 

RefWorks is bibliographic software that allows you to store and use references you have found during your research. Use it to:

  • export references from eResources and the library catalogue
  • generate your footnotes and final bibliography