Skip to Main Content
Banner Image Main site Library home page Library home page

How to: Reference

What is OSCOLA Referencing?

OSCOLA Ireland is a specific style of referencing, developed by academics from Irish universities for the referencing of legal materials. OSCO referencing uses numeric references embedded within the text, which are linked to footnotes that contain the full details of the cited source. This guide provides students with a brief introduction to OSCOLA, with examples of the most commonly use source-types.

All Law students within DBS are required to use the OSCOLA referencing format in their assignments.

DBS Library recommends using Cite them Right and OSCOLA Ireland for more information about OSCOLA referencing.

Click on the links above to be taken to the eBook version of Cite them Right and OSCOLA Ireland.

OSCOLA Formatting Standards

  • When you have reached a point in your text when you want to insert a numeric reference, go to the References tab and click Insert Footnote .
  • Word inserts the note number and then allows you to type the full reference in the corresponding footnote at the bottom of the page.
  • If you have cited the same source consecutively, rather than repeating the same footnote one after another, you can use 'Ibid' which is an abbreviation of 'ibidem' and means 'in the same place'.
  • 'Ibid' on its own can be used to repeat a citation in the immediately previous note.
  • 'Ibid 345' means 'in the same work but this time at page 345'
  • Alternatively, you can repeat a reference by using 'n' to refer to an earlier footnote

Whichever method you choose, it is important to be consistent and not switch back and forth between methods.

  • In legal writing and referencing, law reports and journals are always cited using an abbreviated version of the title.
  • Check out Cardiff Index to Legal Abbreviations for an index of the most commonly used abbreviations.


Footnote and Reference List

NJ McBride, Letters to a Law Student (4th ed, Pearson Education, Harlow 2018) 3.

Footnote and Reference List

Eric Barendt and Leslie Hitchns, Media Law: Cases and Materials (Longman Law Series, Longman, Harlow 2000).

Footnote and Reference List

G Brennan and others, Landlord and Tenant Law (7th edn, Oxford University Press, Oxford 2018).

Footnote and Reference List

MN Shaw (ed), International Law (8th edn, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2017).

Note: If the books is a translation use (tr) in place of (ed) for editor.

Footnote and Reference List

J Heary, 'Company Information' in J Cox (ed), Business Law (6th edn, Law Society of Ireland Manuals, Oxford University Press, Oxford 2015).


Footnote and Reference List

Joan O'Connor and Gerard Feeney, 'Transfer pricing legislation in Ireland - a new reality?' (2010) 23 IrTR (2) 45.

Publication Information:
23 = Volume number
IrTR = Journal title abbreviation
2 = Issue number (only needed if the page numbers begin again for each issue)
45 = Page number (the first page number only is usually sufficient)

Footnote and Reference List

C Duff, 'DPP v Doyle - The Road not Taken' (2018) 28 ICLI 1 accessed 6 September 2019.

Footnote and Reference List

A Carroll, 'The Magdalene Laundries: An Ongoing Human Rights Violation' (2019) COLR 38 accessed 6 September 2019.

Legislation, Cases and Reports

Marriage Act, 2015.
Companies Act 2014 Section 1408(2) Regulations 2019 S.I. 2019/192.
Council Regulation (EC) 260/2009 of 26 February 2009 on the common rules for imports [2009] OJ L84/1.
Within the text of an assignment you would simply refer to the names of the two parties
PMcD v Governor of X Prison [2019] 1 ILRM 348
Gill & Anor v I Vino Co. Ltd. [1993] 1 AII ER 398
Woolway v Mazars [2015] UKSC 53, [2015] AC 1562.
O'Donovan v AG [1961] IR 144 (HC)


C Baksi, 'Solicitors support advocacy quality assurance scheme' (2010) accessed 4 June 2010.
Department of Enterprise, Trade and Innovation, 'Credit Supply Clearing Group' (2010) accessed 24 May 2010.
'Irish Redundancy Payments Scheme' (no date) accessed 4 June 2010.