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Business: Financial Databases: Referencing Financial Data

Financial databases provide mostly financial data but also textual information for students studying finance, economics, accounting and financial mathematics

What is a Reference?

What is a Reference:

  • A reference list is a list of works that you are acknowledging as being used in your research, essay or assignment

  • References in a list are arranged alphabetically,  by surname and then year,  at the end of your work

  • A reference must allow the reader to be able to find the material that you have cited so that it can be verified as having supported your arguments correctly

What is a ‘Referencing Style’

  • A referencing style is a convention  that is adopted to give consistency to the reference and citation elements that you list
  • In the Business School the Harvard convention is used – see Cite Them Right for the elements and the order in detail

Financial Data from a Terminal Database

Financial reports from a terminal database such as Bloomberg 

Citation order:

  • Data provider/author

  • Year of publication/last updated (in round brackets

  • Title of dataset (in single quotation marks)

  • Name of database

  • (Accessed: date)


In-text Citation:

Marks and Spencer’s share price continued to rise despite poor sales (Bloomberg, 2016)


Bloomberg (2016) ‘Marks and Spencer plc, historical share price table’, Bloomberg (Accessed: 15 June 2016)

Financial Data from an Online Database

Financial Reports from Online Databases such as S&P Capital IQ 

Citation Order:

  • Publishing organisation/provider
  • Year of publication/last updated (in round brackets)
  • Title of extract (in single quotation marks)
  • Available at: URL
  • (Accessed: date)


In-text citation:

During 2018, Vodafone Group plc showed increased operating revenues (S&P Capital IQ, 2019).

Reference list:

S&P Capital IQ (2019) ‘Vodafone Group plc financial report’. Available at: (Accessed: 5 January 2019)

Referencing an Annual Report

Company Annual Reports such as Marks and Spencer

Citation order:

  • Author or organisation
  • Year of publication (in round brackets)
  • Title of report (in italics)
  • Place of publication: publisher

OR if accessed on the internet:

  • Available at: URL
  • (Accessed: date)


In-text citation:

The company's profits expanded (M&S plc, 2015) .......

Reference list:

M&S plc. (2015)  Annual report 2015.  Available at: (Accessed: 8 January 2016).