I'm currently working on my thesis and need to cite a specific section of the C# Language Specification Version 5.0.

The specification is available here, but I can't find the authors and the publisher of the specification and so I don't know how to cite it correctly.

Until version 2.0, it had been an ECMA standard (available here), but it seems that this is not true for versions 3.0-5.0.

Is it even possible to cite it? If yes, who are the authors and the publisher?

In my school there is not a strict style guideline, but for citations it's common to use the Harvard citation style.

  • Welcome to Writers! Does your school use MLA/APA/other style guide or have an internal style sheet/citation formatting guide? May 16, 2014 at 14:13

1 Answer 1


Specifications fall under the same clause as standards (regardless of whether they are official standards or failed to acquire such a status). In your case, it's a standard retrieved from a database.

Identifying elements such as patent/standard numbers should be included

If no individual author is available, a corporate author can be used in the in-text reference

In-Text Citation:

(Standards Australia 1994)

Reference List Entry:

Standards Australia 2008, Personal floatation devices - General requirements. AS 4758.1-2008. Available from: Standards Australia Online. [1 December 2008].

In your case, you have no author but a corporate entity: © 1999-2012 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. The 'Details' entry on the download page gives: Date Published: 6/7/2013

An in-text citation would be:

(Microsoft Corporation 2013)

The Reference List Entry for, say, referencing the true and false literals, would look like:

Microsoft Corporation, C# Language Specification Version 5.0: chapter Boolean literals. Available from: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=7029 [7 June 2013]

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