Harvard does not exist.
The referencing style, I mean, not the University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The University exists. Harvard, as a referencing style, does not.
Most referencing styles, certainly the most widely-used styles, do exist, in that there is one authorised version, sometimes with an authorised version-lite, an adapted version for use in schools and academia. There is a manual to which we can refer,
The Modern Language Association, for instance, publishes the MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing (in its 3rd edition as of 2008) for professional writers and for scholars and the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (7th edition, 2009) for universities, colleges and schools.
The American Psychological Association publishes the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th edition, 2010), designed primarily for writers submitting papers to APA journals, but adopted by schools and universities and other publishers too.
The University of Chicago Press first produced its own style manual in 1891 to ensure consistency of style in its publications; the Chicago Manual of Style is now in its 16th Edition (2010). Its offshoot for scholars at school and university, A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations : Chicago Style for Students and Researchers, originally compiled by Kate Turabian, is in its 8th edition (2013).
So it is with many other styles. The publisher, university, association or other body responsible for the style guide usually publishes a definitive manual, and gives the manual its name. Continue reading