What is OSCOLA referencing?

OSCOLA is the abbreviated name for Oxford Standard for the Citation of Legal Authorities. It’s the style many students use for referencing authorities, legislation and other legal materials. It is widely used in law schools and by journal and book publishers both in the UK and abroad.

The fourth edition of OSCOLA is available to purchase in book stores and online, with a downloadable reference guide available from the University of Oxford, Faculty of Law website.

How to OSCOLA reference

OSCOLA invites you to follow two “golden rules” when citing legal authorities. The first is consistency and the second is consideration for the reader. Legal writing is considered more persuasive when you refer to legal matters in a clear, consistent and familiar way. An integral part of this is having an easy way of identifying your sources.

OSCOLA does not use endnotes or in-text citations. Instead, all citations appear as footnotes. Longer works such as books and theses also include citations in tables of cases and legislation, as well as bibliographies.

RefME’s OSCOLA citation generator takes the hassle out of law referencing by providing you with the Oxford standard for the citation of legal authorities within seconds. Simply use the RefME mobile app or online tool and have the whole thing done for you quickly, accurately and consistently.

OSCOLA referencing example

Footnote example:

Stella Cottrell, The Study Skills Handbook (Palgrave Macmillan 2013).

Bibliography example:

Cottrell S, The Study Skills Handbook (Palgrave Macmillan 2013)

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