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OSCOLA Referencing: A Quick Guide | Rules and Examples

Students and professors in the field of law adopt the reference format known as OSCOLA or the Oxford University Standard for the Citation of Legal Authorities.

Select the appropriate choice from the dropdown menu above to begin using our OSCOLA reference generator, you may quickly construct your legal references with the OSCOLA Citing Generator, so you won't ever have to be concerned about losing points for subpar referencing.

Citations are included in footnotes according to OSCOLA referencing, which are identified in the text by footnote numbers.

Writing Academic Papers is Simpler with Our OSCOLA Reference Generator:

It may be quite challenging to stay on top of the strict and frequently challenging standards for referencing sources in OSCCOLA. Particularly when you take into account the extensive research you'll need to conduct to match the strict requirements of college papers. It's possible to forget to follow a few formatting instructions or even use the incorrect citation style in your articles.

The labor-intensive work is handled for you by our OSCOLA Reference Generator, it automatically creates footnotes and bibliographies, allowing you to focus on writing the paper.

Citing secondary resources, such as websites, is also made simpler by the reference generator. That's helpful because citing internet literature requires a lot of time. relieve the suffering of writing assignments.

Sources that our OSCOLA citation generator free cites automatically

A printed or digitally accessible literary work, whether it is fiction or nonfiction. You'll need to include information on the book's author, title, publisher, edition, and year of release.
Book Sections:
A section of a book or book collection that is available in print or digital form and is either fiction or non-fiction.
Journal Posts:
scholarly material that has been peer-reviewed and published in highly specialised academic research journals. You must provide the author's name, the publication year, the title of the journal, and the page numbers.
Web pages:
a group of internet pages that offer knowledge about a certain subject and are regarded as reliable in academic literature. When appropriate, include the information's publisher, year of release, and author.
written correspondence sent using electronic mail services.

OSCOLA Citation Manual

Oscola referencing does not include an in-text reference, in contrast to other referencing styles like APA. Instead, it is divided into three primary sections:

A superscript: A number that appears at the conclusion of a quotation or paraphrase.

A footnote: Detailed citation to the source is provided in a footnote at the bottom of the page.

Bibliography: A comprehensive list of all the sources used.

To rapidly comprehend our OSCOLA citation generator free, it is important to concentrate on these three areas. Here is a short reference list for the many sources used by OSCOLA.

Using OSCOLA footnote generator to reference sources:

Every time you use a quotation from, a paraphrase of, or another reference to the content of a source in your writing, a citation footnote is included.

The relevant sentence or clause ends with a footnote number, which identifies the footnote in the text. Any punctuation, such as a comma or full stop, is followed by the number, which is shown in superscript (i.e. 1)

In Roberts v Johnson,2 Carson J noted that …

The sources mentioned in these footnotes are fully described. Depending on the type of source, you should offer this information differently; examples are provided in the next section. A full stop must always follow a footnote

2. Roberts v Johnson [1946] AC 613.

Common abbreviations:

The names of different periodicals and judicial organizations are abbreviated in OSCOLA citations to conserve space.

For instance, the terms "UKSC" and "Cr App R" stand for the United Kingdom Supreme Court and the Criminal Appeal Reports, respectively.


Referring to a specific page inside a source is known as pinpointing in OSCOLA referencing. Simply add the page number to any already provided page numbers at the conclusion of your reference for pinpointing.

The first number in the following citation, for instance, refers to the page where the report starts, while the second number identifies the specific piece you're referencing:

3. Davis v Dignam [1999] 10 AC 515, 519.

Where possible, paragraph numbers rather than page numbers should be utilized. Only do this if the text specifically refers to paragraph numbers. In the same manner that page numbers may be used to locate a specific paragraph, paragraph numbers appear in square brackets:

4. Davis v Dignam [1999] 10 AC [5], [7].

The name of the judge must be included when citing a judge's comments inside a case report, and certain specialized phrases and abbreviations must be used both in the text and in the citation.

If the judge is a colleague, use the title "Lord," for example, Lord Williams. Use "LJ" if they are a Lord or Lady Justice, for example, Williams LJ. Use "J" for judge if neither of these apply, as in Williams J:

5. Davis v. Dignam, 10 AC 515, 519 (1998) (Williams J).

Using cross-references while citing the same source again:

OSCOLA referencing generator utilizes a cross-referencing method when you quote the same source repeatedly to conserve space. This indicates that you don't need to repeat the whole citation for a source in subsequent references.

Simply use "ibid" (Latin for "in the same place") when referencing the same source that you just cited (that is, when the preceding footnote also discussed that source):

1. Davis v Dignam [1999] 10 AC 515, 519.

2. Ibid 522.

The second footnote in this case likewise alludes to Davis v. Dignam, but to page 522 rather than page 519.

Use the author's last name or the title (shortened if it is a longer title), followed by the number of the previous citation (in brackets and preceded by 'n'), then the page number you're pinpointing (if different from the first citation) when the previous reference to the source was in an earlier footnote (i.e. when other citations appear in between):

  1. Davis v Dignam [1999] 10 AC 515, 519.
  2. CMV Clarkson, Criminal Law: Text and Materials (7th edn, Sweet & Maxwell 2010), 205.
  3. Davis v Dignam (n1) 522.
  4. Clarkson (n2) 115.

OSCOLA referencing examples:

Our OSCOLA referencing tool offers formats for several different source types. The following are examples of the most typical ones.

1. Case studies:

When citing a case, you'll often start with a neutral citation—a means of referencing the case that is unrelated to a specific report—and then provide the report's specifics afterward. You can merely start with the report if there is no neutral citation, as was the case in cases from before 2002.

Furthermore, take notice of how the year (for the report) is displayed differently depending on whether it is necessary for the reference or not. The year appears in standard brackets for reports where each year is also given a volume number. When many volumes are released in a single year, the year is displayed in square brackets.

Case report with neutral citation
FORMAT Party names [Year] Court Case number, [Year] or (Year) Volume number Name of report Page number or [Paragraph number]
EXAMPLE Williamson v MacDonald [2012] UKSC 15, [2012] 14 WLR 1676.
Case report with neutral citation
FORMAT Author Surname and Initial, Title, (Additional Information,  Edition, Publisher Year) Page No.
EXAMPLE Jones S, Employee Law, (3rd Edition, OUP 2017) 56.

2. Acts of Parliament:

If the whole title is more than three words, use a shortened version. Use the section, subsection, and paragraph numbers to refer to various sections of an Act of Parliament as needed.

FORMAT Act title Year, s Section number(Subsection number)(Paragraph number).
EXAMPLE Offensive Weapons Act 2019, s 11(5)(a).

3. Statutory regulations:

Legislative acts (SIs) are serially numbered throughout the year; this number is what appears at the end of the citation; in the example below, the SI is the 149th SI of 2020.

FORMAT Title Year, SI Year/Number.
EXAMPLE Communications (Isle of Man) Order 2020, SI 2020/149.

4. Bills:

Bills from the House of Commons are cited a little differently from those from the House of Lords. Bill numbers for Commons legislation appear in square brackets, and you write "HC Bill" or "HL Bill" depending on which house it is.

House of Commons bill
FORMAT Bill title HC Bill (Session) [Bill number].
EXAMPLE Transport HC Bill (1999–2000) [8].


House of Lords bill
FORMAT Bill title HL Bill (Session) Bill number.
EXAMPLE Academies HL Bill (2010–11) 1.

5. Hansard:

The official record of parliamentary proceedings in the UK is called Hansard. Write "HC" for the House of Commons and "HL" for the House of Lords, just as you would for bills. Deb, vol, and col are abbreviations for dispute, volume, and column, respectively.

In the Footnotes
FORMAT HC Deb or HL Deb Date, Volume number, Column number.
EXAMPLE HC Deb 5 February 2020, vol 671, col 300.

6. Books:

Use the author(s)' complete name(s) as it appears in the source. When it is mentioned on the title page, include the edition (abbreviated as "edn"). It should be noted that OSCOLA advises abbreviating "Oxford University Press" to "OUP," although other publishers do not.

FORMAT Author name, Book Title (Edition, Publisher Year).
EXAMPLE Jonathan Herring, Criminal Law: Texts, Cases, and Materials (8th edn, OUP 2018), 412.

7. Journal Articles:

Similar to case reports, when a year also specifies a volume, square brackets are used in a journal citation; when there are numerous volumes in a year, standard brackets are used.

Note that journal titles are also sometimes abbreviated; in this case, "MLR" stands for Modern Law Review.

FORMAT Author, ‘Article Title’ [Year] or (Year) Volume number Journal name Page number.
EXAMPLE Gunther Teubner, ‘Legal Irritants: Good Faith in British Law or How Unifying Law Ends up in New Divergences’ [1998] MLR 11.

OSCOLA bibliography generator:

OSCOLA requires you to provide tables indicating any instances and laws you referenced, as well as a bibliography listing any secondary sources, in a longer work, such as a thesis or dissertation. This is typically not required for shorter essays, but make sure to review your institution's requirements.

The bibliography and tables are located at the conclusion of your work. The table of cases, table of laws, and bibliography are presented in that order.

Each table and the bibliography provide an alphabetical list of sources.

a. Table of Cases

Cases are written similarly here and in the main text, with the exception that in the table of cases, the names of the parties are not italicized:

Williamson v MacDonald [2012] UKSC 15, [2012] 14 WLR 1676

b. Table of Legislation:

All legal sources, except instances, are included in the table of legislation. These sources include bills, Acts of Parliament, and SIs. The items in the legislative table are given exactly as they are cited in the text.

c. Bibliography:

A bibliography includes a list of all your secondary sources, which are all sources other than court decisions and laws. For instance, you may mention Hansard here along with any books and journal articles that were quoted as well as other sources like blogs, social media, and newspapers.

Citations and entries in a bibliography present the author's name differently. Initials are used in place of first names and author names are reversed in the bibliography:

Herring J, Criminal Law: Texts, Cases, and Materials (8th edn, OUP 2018)

Use of our OSCOLA Generator Has Many Advantages:

Making footnotes and bibliographies for your papers is simple when you use our OSCOLA style reference generator. Utilizing the data you supply, our free tool creates comprehensive in-text and bibliographies for you. The only thing you need to keep in mind is to alphabetize the bibliographical items.

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Still Need Help with Our OSCOLA referencing generator?

This is the fundamental manual for our OSCOLA cite generator. However, you may submit your work and easily receive an exact bibliography if you want to learn more or need a thorough referencing list created by experts.

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