Cite using Oxford


According to the Oxford style, personal communication, like interviews, letters, email, phone calls, and in many cases lectures, should not be included in the bibliography since the material is often not available to the reader. (If possible, however, you should save a copy of the source.) One way to manage personal communication is to simply refer to the source in the footnote. Check with your instructor/supervisor if you are unsure.

The footnote should include information that clarifies the person’s name, role, context, form of communication and date.

Keep in mind that you need the relevant person’s permission before referencing an oral source. You can also use anonymous informants. More information on rules of ethics for research is available at CODEX – a collection of rules and guideline for research.

The footnote

Interview with primary school teacher, May 5, 2020.

Anna Andersson, director at Company X (e-mail message to author, October 25, 2017).

Camilla Larsson, librarian at Uppsala university (library lecture, April 23, 2022)


If avaible, include the following information in the footnote:

  • the informant's name, role and/or context,
  • form of communication,
  • date of communication.

The reference list

If you must include personal communication in the reference list, you can insert it under its own heading, such as ‘In the author’s possession’ or similar.