Students often wish to make use of parliamentary resources in their assessed work, but are unsure of precisely how to reference this material. This guide is intended to be used by lecturers and students for the purposes of appropriately referencing parliamentary sources. It was compiled by Cristina Leston-Bandeira and Louise Thompson, produced in the context of the Parliament as a Teaching Resource project, funded by the Higher Education Academy, and developed in partnership with the UK Parliament’s Outreach Service.
If students are unsure about how to reference parliamentary sources accurately they may be reluctant to make use of them for fear of being penalised in their dissertations and other assessed work. It is important that students are aware of the need to reference primary parliamentary sources accurately so that others are able to locate them easily. Parliamentary material often requires a longer and more detailed reference and does not follow the usual referencing norms that students are familiar with. Some of the information required is specific to parliament, but is crucial for clear and precise referencing.
There is no one official way of referencing parliamentary sources and this can cause
further confusion for students who may notice for example that parliamentary debates are referenced differently by parliamentary services and institutions such as Hansard and Select Committees. Nor is this type of referencing usually discussed in the style guides accompanying the submission advice for journal articles and other publications. Thus, journals across political science may also reference this material in very different ways. The referencing used in this guide conforms to the style of referencing used by the House of Commons Library and has been completed in consultation with its staff. It has been chosen for its simplicity and ease of use. It is important to note that punctuation is used more sparingly here than in traditional referencing (particularly commas and capital letters).