For a while, I thought that I've been using an APA version of 'Harvard style' but it turned out that these 2 styles are totally different. What are the exact differences and, generally speaking, is mixing between styles a bad practice? (If the intention is for more clarity and the university doesn't ask for a specific style).

  • There are at least two questions here, which is discouraged, and the first question is potentially massive. There could be hundreds or thousands of differences between APA and Harvard citation style. Why not pick a piece of software (EndNote or BibTeX) that can automatically implement one of them and just use it? Especially if your venue doesn't actually care.
    – Bill Barth
    Jun 8, 2016 at 1:25
  • Obviously, as @BillBarth mentioned, the exact differences question is too large for an answer on this site. You will have to do your own analysis - the relevant information is trivial to find. Jun 8, 2016 at 2:22

1 Answer 1


Even if your current university and situation do not call for using a specific publication style, I would strongly recommend against mixing two or more styles, even if they are not much different. The reason is pretty clear: consistency. For the sake of readers of your publications as well as for the sake of your own sanity. Following a single style will make your life easier - if you can choose, just pick the one you feel more comfortable with or the one popular, or, perhaps, a standard de facto, in your field (the latter is IMHO much more important - again, that "for the sake of readers" argument).


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