Cite it right – and avoid unintentional plagiarism! – info tip

You may think that advice on avoiding plagiarism doesn’t apply to you, because you’re not planning to buy an essay from the internet, or copy someone else’s work. But you may not be aware that it is possible to plagiarise unintentionally if:

  • you’re not aware of the differences between referencing at university and any referencing you may have been used to doing previously;
  • you haven’t been meticulous about keeping records of your reading;
  • you don’t know how to use references in your academic writing to support your discussion and critical analysis.

It’s important to take referencing seriously and not just guess, or assume that you know how to do it. The consequences can be serious with marks deducted – it can even lead to accusations of academic misconduct.

However, it can be confusing when you have advice and guidance on referencing from so many different sources. It’s tempting to just Google it! But that’s far less likely to give you the right answer than guidance produced at your own university. You should always check your own Course Handbook first for advice (it will be on Blackboard).

Our Citing References guide combines previous guidance from the Library and Study Advice to cover the why, what, when and how of referencing in a single place. Study Advice video tutorials on referencing are embedded in the guide, which includes:

You could also look at The Academic Integrity Toolkit, which shows how understanding referencing is an important part of studying at university and ‘becoming a graduate’ generally. The Toolkit includes tips, explanations and exercises (with answers) to help you develop your understanding of essential skills including:

If you’re a Part 1 undergraduate and have enrolled on Study Smart, you could also go back over the relevant guidance in Week 1.

The guidance below focuses on three important points to help you avoid unintentional plagiarism.

References in a footnote1.Know when to include a reference

Whenever you include an idea that you have gained from your reading in an assignment, you must ensure that you reference it correctly, both in the text and at the end in your reference list or bibliography. If you use the original words you have found in your reading, you must mark them with quotation marks, even if you only use part of the sentence. It is not enough to give the details of where the words came from; they must be marked out, or it will look as if you are claiming them as your own words. If you are writing the idea up in your own words, don’t be tempted to just change a few words. If you use quotations inadequately or paraphrase badly it will certainly be viewed as poor academic practice and may subject your work to penalties. It may even be seen as plagiarism.

Watch this brief video tutorial on using paraphrases.

See Library and Study Advice guidance on using quotes and paraphrases.

2. Develop good note-taking practices

Ever looked at your notes and thought, “I wonder where that came from?” or “I wonder if those are my words or copied from the text?” It’s frustrating when you can’t be sure – but it could cause you problems if you use the material without being able to reference it accurately. To avoid this, make it a habit to have good record-keeping practices. Always note the details of each text you use (author, title, year) when you start writing notes on your reading; include page numbers as you go along, even if you are not copying text directly but writing the ideas in your own words; have a system of markers to indicate if something is a quote (put in quotation marks), an idea explained in your own words, or a query or new idea stemming from what you’re read (perhaps an asterisk *). The Study Advisers have guidance on effective note-taking and a brief video tutorial on critical note-taking with more suggestions.

If you’re using an e-book, you may be able to make notes electronically as you’re reading the text. See the section in our LibGuide on Studying with e-books for more information. If you have an online reading list, you can also make brief notes on this – our LibGuide page on What else can I do with my list? has details.

You might also consider using reference management software to keep details of your reading including all the bibliographic information. EndNote Web is a basic tool that works with Word to add citations to your written work and constructs a bibliography at the end. It is free too.  If you have a large number of references to manage you might choose the more sophisticated Desktop EndNote. For advice on which version to use, and for self-paced training guides on EndNote, or book a place on a training workshop, see the Library’s web pages.

3. Know what to do if you can’t find all the details of a reference

bibliographic details screencast screencapIf you have a quote but don’t know where it came from, try typing it into Google. You may find it’s better to use a short phrase rather than the whole quote; try to find a grouping of words that is less common. If you have some details of the text, you could try looking at your reading list or searching the Library catalogue. You can also look back through your Library account to see the titles of books you’ve borrowed. If you have the author and title of a journal article or even just the title of the journal and a date it may be possible to find the complete reference in Summon or one of the Library’s databases. What you must never do is invent details, or include things in your assignment if you cannot be sure about the source. This may lead to accusations of academic misconduct.

For more help watch this brief video tutorial on how to find bibliographic details.

Need more help?

If you’re still confused, or you have a specific question about referencing that isn’t answered in our guide, you can always contact your Liaison Librarian or the Study Advice team to discuss this in person. Just remember to do it in plenty of time – the day your assignment is due to be submitted is not ideal!

This is one of a series of tips to help you save time and effort finding or using information.

This tip was written by Dr Kim Shahabudin, Study Adviser and Caitlin McCulloch, Trainee Liaison Librarian.

Library recall notices

Please check your email spam/clutter folder regularly! Some providers are routing emails from the library into spam/clutter, including urgent communications such as recall notices, so please be vigilant while we work to resolve this issue.

Antonia Gray, Library Weekend Supervisor

 

Problems downloading on JSTOR platform

 

Books, glasses and a tabletWe are currently experiencing problems when downloading PDFs from the JSTOR platform.

When attempting to download an item from JSTOR, you will be prompted to accept the platform terms and conditions. You may find this terms and conditions box keeps refreshing, and doesn’t let you proceed to download.

It is possible to workaround this issue by following the below steps:

  • If you are on-campus, please use the on-campus link for JSTOR in the library databases a-z list. As long as you are on-campus and connected to the University network you should be able to access and download articles with no problems.
  • If you are off-campus, please use this link to navigate to the JSTOR platform, then click the ‘Login Through You Library’ link at the top of the webpage. (This is known as an institutional login). Please then search and select ‘University of Reading’ when prompted. The University Single Sign On page should then load, please enter your university username and password here. You should then be directed back to the JSTOR homepage, and be able to access and download articles with no problems.

We are working on a solution to this problem, and this blog will be updated when it has been fixed.

If you have any problems with the workaround above, or any other problems with electronic resources, please submit an e-resources problem report form for help.

Our apologies for any inconvenience caused.

 

Lucy Ardill, E-resources Team

 

 

Book EndNote Web training for easy referencing!

Student studyingThere are spaces still available on next week’s EndNote Web workshop for undergraduates and masters students.

Come along to learn how to use EndNote Web to…

  • store details of the books and articles you read
  • download references from databases such as the Web of Science
  • insert citations in your Word documents
  • build a bibliography in a style of your choosing at the click of a button

Workshop time

Wednesday 25 October, 14:00 – 15:30

Book your place

Book your place via the ‘Library course bookings’ link on the RISISweb portal. The bookings link is located in the ‘Actions’ tab if you’re a student. If you’re a member of staff click on ‘Specialist Actions’ in the ‘Specialist Actions’ tab.

This workshop is part of the Student Training and Experience Programme (STEP) and counts towards the RED Award.

Unable to make this date?

Check the EndNote training webpage for other dates when this workshop is running this term.

Sally Smith, Learning Support Co-ordinator

Challenge yourself to maximise your Library and Study Skills – info tip

Student studyingWant to make sure you get the best possible marks by working smarter, not harder? Week 6 is the perfect time to review and develop the skills you need to succeed and work effectively in your studies. The Library and Study Advice teams have guides and videos that will help you achieve just this. And why not take one of our challenges and learn a new skill that will make your studying more successful and help you to find excellent resources?

What do you need to develop?

Everyone starts from a different place and progresses through their studies at a different pace, so you will need to consider what your own needs are and how they are best met, but the suggestions below should have something for you.

Ten challenges to try something new

  1. Learn how to access and use an e-book.
  2. Sign up to an app like Forest, Evernote, Tomato-Timer or Remember the Milk to keep yourself organised and on schedule.
  3. Use Summon to find a newspaper article or book review that’s related to your subject.
  4. Try a new learning technique – video or record yourself talking for three minutes on a topic from your course.
  5. Set up an EndNote Web account to store your references.
  6. Start a reading diary to record your reflections on what you’ve read (use a paper notebook or set up a private blog).
  7. Find a map that will help with your subject – they’re not just for geographers!
  8. Watch a video tutorial on an aspect of study that you need to develop.
  9. Pick up a free year planner from Study Advice and get control over your deadlines.
  10. And finally, take a break from studying and use Enterprise to find and borrow a film on DVD – we’ve lots to choose from.

Alarm clock“I don’t have time to develop my skills!”

It can be hard to develop new skills when you’re already busy using the old ones – but it’s worth doing to save lots of time in the future. If you don’t have much time, try these quick ideas:

If you’ve got 5 minutes…

If you’ve got 10 minutes…

  • Record yourself recapping the main points of your last lecture – it’s more effective than rewriting your notes.
  • Open an EndNote Web account to manage your references, then bookmark our guides and training sessions to find out how to use it.

If you’ve got 30 minutes…

  • Enrol on a LibLearn tutorial to learn how to get the most out of your library – there are advanced versions if you’ve already tried one.
  • Book a session with a Study Adviser to review your study practices and see if there’s anything your could develop.
  • If you’re a Part 1 undergraduate who hasn’t enrolled in Study Smart yet, now’s your last chance – free enrolment only remains open till 12 Nov. Check your emails for details of how to do this: once you’re enrolled you retain access to the resources for the whole year. If you’re already enrolled, re-read any sections that are more directly relevant to what you’re doing now in your studies.

This is one of a series of tips to help you save time and effort finding or using information.

This tip was written by Kim Shahabudin, Study Adviser and Sally Smith, Liaison Librarian.

Library refurb: 2nd/4th Floor Information Desks relocate

Plan of 2nd Floor

2nd Floor Information Desk

Plan of 4th Floor

4th Floor Information Desk

Library staff are still here to help you on the 2nd and 4th Floors of the Library, Monday to Friday 09:00-17:00, even though we have moved our Information Desks! Come and find us on the north (Palmer building) side of the building. We’re now closer to book areas where you might need help finding things, but away from areas where building works may take place. We expect to be here until summer 2018.

The Ground Floor Help Point remains by our entrance, as before.

Stay up-to-date

Keep checking the Library blog for the latest refurbishment news and updates. For more information on the Library refurbishment, please see our dedicated Library Refurbishment Project page.

Rachel Redrup, Library Marketing Co-ordinator

Beware spam email asking you to renew your account

A spam email has been sent to some University members asking users to renew their Library account. Please DON’T click on the link in this message. It is not from us, even though the login page it takes you to looks like our ‘Online Resources Single Sign On’ page.

This is the text of the message:

Spam email received by University members

Protect your account

Always check the following before clicking on any link in an email purporting to be from the University, to avoid your University account being compromised:

  • Check the email address of the sender – libraries@reading.co is not our address, it is library@reading.ac.uk
  • Watch out for poor spelling and grammar, for example ‘base’ instead of ‘basis’, ‘inconveniences’ instead of ‘inconvenience’
  • Hover over any link to see if it is actually going to the address stated

Jackie Skinner 
on behalf of Sam Tyler, Library Systems Manager

Understanding your reading lists – info tip

Studetnt working on a laptop on the 5th floor

Many lecturers issue students with a reading list containing references to books, journal articles and other useful materials to help with assignments. There’s lots of help available to ensure you find what is on your reading list and successfully complete your work.

Some reading lists can be very long. Check the Study Advice guide on managing academic reading for help on reading in a focused and selective way.

Online reading lists

To improve your learning experience, the University has invested in an online reading lists system. These lists are accessible online via Blackboard and the internet, giving you real-time availability of University Library print material and links to online resources such as e-books, e-journal articles, external webpages and embedded multimedia. You will also be able to access scanned extracts of key readings directly from your reading list.

For a quick guide on how to get the most out of your online reading list, watch our video.

[jwplayer file=”http://content.screencast.com/users/UniRdg_Library/folders/Reading Lists/media/52c0cffa-7ad3-4205-85b2-491f5c7ad10d/Introduction%20to%20your%20online%20reading%20list.mp4″]

How to find the items on your reading list (paper or online): start with the catalogue!

Start with our advice on understanding your reading list. This guide explains how to identify the different kinds of references and successfully search for them on Enterprise, the Library’s catalogue.

Tips!

  • If you cannot find a book you might have mistyped your search – check the spelling of your search terms.
  • There might be a mistake, or typing error on the reading list – try searching for a few key words from the title.
  • If you have an online reading list, click on the title of the item to find real-time information about availability and where in the Library the item is located.

If you need further help searching Enterprise for a reading list item, ask at a Library information desk, or get in touch with your Liaison Librarian.

Getting hold of the books you need

When books are in high demand there are several ways you can ensure you get hold of the books you need by:

  • Placing a hold on a book
  • Booking an item in Course Collection
  • Accessing e-books

Placing a hold on a book

If a book you want is out on loan to someone else you can place a hold on (reserve) the book using Enterprise. To find out more about how to place holds watch this video.

You can see your place in the queue, if there is one, and can cancel your hold by logging into your account on Enterprise.

You will receive an email when your hold is available. You can then collect your hold from the Holds area within the Course Collection on the ground floor of the Library. There are detailed instructions on the Library website.


Booking an item in Course Collection

You may borrow two Course Collection items at a time. All items taken from the Course Collection must be issued, even if you only want to read them elsewhere in the URS Building, including the study spaces directly outside the Collection. You can issue and return items at the Self-Service Points in the Collection. There are photocopying facilities within the Course Collection if you do not wish to borrow.

If a book you need is in the Course Collection, you can book it to ensure that you can use it at a time convenient to you. You can book up to two Course Collection items for the 10:00, 16:00, and weekend loan (16:00 on Friday) slots. Booked Course Collection items can be collected from the Ground Floor Information Desk in the URS Building.

More detailed instructions on how to book a Course Collection item are available on the Library website.


You don’t always have to borrow a print copy: accessing e-books

e-book search filterThe Library provides access to many e-books and these can be found through Enterprise, in the same way as print books. You can filter your search results to only show e-books by selecting the ‘Online’ access and ‘Book’ format options from the menu on the left hand side of the screen.

To read the e-book click on “Click here for online access to this book” and then just log in with your University username and password.

For advice on using our different e-book formats, see our e-books guide.

What if something on my list isn’t in the Library?

The Library contacts all schools and departments to request reading lists before the start of each course. When lists are sent to us, we try to ensure we have all the items on the lists. A lecturer may recommend you buy your own copy of a book, or it may be readily available to you elsewhere, such as in a departmental resource centre.

Please tell your Liaison Librarian if an item on your list is not held in the Library and your list does not indicate it is available elsewhere.

If the item you need is in the Library, but there is high demand for it and you feel there are not enough copies, contact your Liaison Librarian, who can arrange for copies to be placed in the Course Collection. Your Liaison Librarian may also purchase extra copies, if appropriate, or an e-book version, if available.

Alternatively, consider going beyond your reading list by searching Enterprise for a particular topic or looking on the shelves for books with similar Call Numbers.

This is one of a series of tips to help save you time and effort finding or using information

This tip was written by Kerry Webb, Associate Director (Academic Liaison and Support).

Your one-stop shop for Library information – info tip

Library homepageDistance learner? No time to make it to the Library between lectures? Don’t worry – the Library website contains a wealth of help and information to support your studies.

Where to find what…

Use the menu on the left-hand side of each page to explore the site.

  • Using the Library – information on facilities and services, including borrowing, opening hours, printing/photocopying and floor plans
  • Finding information – help and guidance on finding information, including details of resources in your subject
  • E-resources – links to e-journals, e-books and databases, and information about accessing them
  • Contacts & support – people, sites and services
  • About us – policies, facts and figures
  • Libraries beyond UoR – using other libraries or getting items via inter-library loan
  • Maths Support – help with any mathematical topic you need for your studies
  • Study Advice – 1-1 and online expert advice for developing your study skills

First things first

The things you need most frequently are on our homepage.

  • Enterprise catalogue search box – most people come to the Library website to search the catalogue for books and e-books, so it takes centre stage
  • Summon search box – our new discovery service allows you to find online journal articles and book chapters on a topic
  • Opening hours – this week’s opening hours are on the homepage, enabling you to check them quickly and easily
  • Subject resources – jump straight to our subject guides to find the most relevant resources and information for you, and contact details for your librarian
  • E-resources – quick links to our databases, e-books and e-journals; all available 24-7
  • Library news – keep up-to-date with the latest Library news (or follow us on Twitter or Facebook)
  • Out-of-hours Virtual Enquiry Service – use this chat box on left of our homepage to get help from librarians around the world when our Information Desks are closed

Scroll to the bottom of our homepage for more useful links, including guidance for specific groups of Library users, alternative study space across campus, and links to related services.

Enterprise – more than just books

Enterprise is the Library catalogue. Use it to find items in the Library including books, journals, DVDs, theses etc. You can also search Enterprise to find our e-journals and e-books – so you don’t even need to set foot in the Library to make use of our resources! Just search for a book or journal as you usually would and you may find a record that links you to the online version.

You can also use Enterprise to check your account to find out when your books are due and to renew your loans. Just log in with your University username and password.

Enterprise also covers many of the collections held across the University, including those at the Museum of English Rural Life and the Special Collections Service (archives and rare books) – a one-stop shop to find out about the wealth of materials you could use for your work.

To find out more about Enterprise, and tips on using it, go to our Help using Enterprise.

Find journal articles and much more using Summon

Search results on SummonThe Summon discovery service enables you to easily find full-text articles and book chapters on any subject.

Everything you find should be available to read as the results are limited to publications covered by the Library’s subscriptions.

You will also find definitions from reliable encyclopedias and dictionaries related to your topic. Other materials covered include newspaper articles, standards, conference proceedings, government documents, trade publications and book reviews.

To find out more about Summon, and tips on searching it, go to our Help using Summon.

Hidden depths

Some pages you might not have discovered…

  • Jargon buster – what does ‘folio’ mean? I need to use an ‘Institutional login’ – what is it? What is a ‘hold’? Answers to these and more in our Jargon buster
  • How to… – answers to our most frequently asked questions
  • Wikipedia alternatives – online dictionaries and encyclopedias you can rely on
  • Can’t get the item you need? – tips on getting hold of material for your studies, and contacting us about resources not in the Library

Can’t find what you are looking for?

  • Site search – use the search box at the very top of the screen, or limit your search to pages on the Library site using the ‘Site search’ function at the bottom of the page
  • Site index – next to the ‘Site search’ function, this gives an alphabetical list of what’s on the website

Any comments?

If you have any comments about the Library website, or suggestions for improvement, fill in the Website comments form or contact the Library Web Manager Jackie Skinner.

This is one of a series of tips to help save you time and effort finding information

This tip was written by Jackie Skinner, the Library Web Manager.

Library refurbishment: Library bike sheds closed

Several empty metal bike stands receeding into distance next to brick pavement under URS building overhang

Please use the bike racks outside the URS building (next to the Library building).

Cyclists, please note that the bike sheds outside the front of the Library building went out of use from Wednesday 11 October.

The hoarding outside the Library entrance will move forward to safely enclose refurbishment works around the front of the building – as a result, the bike sheds need to be removed.

The nearest place to park your bike is in the bike racks outside the URS building. Other racks are available in the Palmer quad and outside Whiteknights House.

Blue bike shelter with red and white tape wrapped around it, enclosing two abandoned and unloved bikes,

Bike shelters beside the Library are being removed.

Please be sure to move your bike from the Library cycle sheds before they are removed.

Stay up-to-date

All the latest Library refurbishment news is available on the Library blog – keep checking back for updates.

For more information on the refurbishment, please see our dedicated Library Refurbishment Project page.

 

University Communications Team
Rachel Redrup, Library Marketing Co-ordinator

 

 

 

Making the most of your Library – info tip

Students working together on a laptopYou don’t need to visit the Library to discover the range of resources we provide!

  • Need to know how to find things in the Library?
  • Unsure how to search for books and journals on Enterprise?
  • Need to find books on your subject which aren’t on your reading lists?

Try LibLearn!

LibLearn is an online course that you can do when you have time and at your own pace. It is available 24/7 via Blackboard, the University’s online learning system. Divided into three sections, LibLearn includes documents to read, and quizzes to test yourself on how much you’ve learnt and to provide more tips.

New to the University?

Then LibLearn One is for you. It will help you to:

  • find your way around the Library
  • search for books on your reading lists on Enterprise
  • locate books in the Library

Been at the University for a while or doing a Masters or PhD?

LibLearn Two and LibLearn Three will help you to:

  • find and access journals in the Library
  • find material on a subject using Enterprise and Summon
  • find academically reliable material on the web
  • evaluate what you find
  • understand the principles of copyright and referencing
  • develop effective search strategies
  • search databases for information, particularly journal articles

How do you access LibLearn?

  1. Go to Blackboard
  2. Log on by following the instructions on the Blackboard login page
  3. Click on the Enrolments tab at the top of the screen
  4. Scroll down the screen to the Course Search box; type in LibLearn and click on Go
  5. Click on the ‘arrows’ (options menu) next to the course ID
  6. Click on the enrol button
  7. Click on the submit button on the Self Enrolment screen and OK at the bottom of the next screen

You will now be taken to the course pages. Next time you log on to Blackboard the course will be listed in your Courses box in the Enrolments tab.

Or watch one of our videos!

If you were unable to come to one of our ‘Finding your way’ workshops for new students, or just want to find out more about the Library and what we do, then check out our series of introductory videos.

Some of the videos currently available are:

Library staff…happy to help!

Although there is a wealth of information and help on our website, Library staff are here to help you, so please ask if you have any questions. You can always contact your subject liaison librarian for guidance on locating resources in your subject.

This is one of a series of tips to help save you time and effort finding or using information

This tip was written by Learning Support Co-ordinator Sally Smith and Library Web Manager Jackie Skinner.