Finding e-journals made easy with BrowZine – info tip

BrowZine logoWe provide you with access to thousands of journals, but how do you find out what’s available? You can search the Library catalogue, Enterprise, but if you’re just after journals, BrowZine is a good starting point. You can also use it to create your own collection of your favourite titles, and be notified when the latest issues become available.

Browse or search

You can browse for your subject to identify useful titles. Alternatively, search for a subject, or search for a specific journal by title, subject or ISSN.

The example below shows browsing Philosophy and Religion for Ethics/Bioethics related titles.

Browsing BrowZine for titles in Philosophy and specifically Ethics, showing a display of journal covers

Click on a title to see the contents of the latest issue, and to access earlier volumes. Clicking on a specific article will take you to the full-text on the publisher’s website, which you can then print or save.

Saving favourite journals & articles

When viewing journals on BrowZine you can create your own bookshelf of your favourite titles. Just click on ‘Add to my bookshelf’ under the journal title. You’ll need to login to do this. Simply sign up for an account if you haven’t already got one.

Once a journal is added to your bookshelf you’ll see notifications next to each title of the number of unread articles in that journal, helping you to keep track of the ones you’ve reviewed. For a quick intro on using the bookshelf to keep up-to-date watch this short video on staying current with Browzine.

You can also save details of useful articles using the ‘Add to my articles’ option.

Both journals and articles can be put into topic groupings of your own choice.

Accessing BrowZine

BrowZine can be used on your computer, or you can download the app for use on an Android or Apple device.

Getting help

Explore these videos which cover using BrowZine on the web or via the app. Alternatively, contact your subject liaison librarian for advice.

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

This tip was written by Jackie Skinner, Library Web Manager and Liaison Librarian (English Language and Applied Linguistics & Food and Nutritional Sciences).

 

Savvy searching on the Internet – info tip

Laptop and a bookThe Internet contains huge amounts of information, but do you know which sites are most reliable to use in your academic assignments?

Read on to learn more about internet sources for academic study.

Online reference sources

Reference materials such as dictionaries and encyclopedias are especially useful when you are looking for short introductions to a topic in order to start work on your assignment and they often point to useful books or articles on the subject that you can use for further reading.

General online reference sources

Although Wikipedia is one of the most popular online reference sites you should not cite it in your essays.  Anyone can add or edit pages meaning that articles are not necessarily written by experts; they may be of poor quality or contain errors.

There are more reliable and authoritative general reference sources available, including the following, which the Library subscribes to:

  • Britannica Online– the leading general reference title, peer-reviewed with entries written by experts in their field. Also available in printed format at the Library.
  • Credo Reference – Search over 250 published reference titles. Find longer articles and web pages too.
  • Oxford Reference – high quality, ‘peer-reviewed’ sources from Oxford University Press.

Reference sources for specific subjects

You can also find printed or online reference works that are specific to your subject area. For a list of recommended titles, consult the ‘Dictionaries & encyclopedias’ tab of your Subject guide. In this guide, you will also find a list of reliable, authoritative websites for your subject area.

Alternatively, you can ask your subject liaison librarian, or a member of staff working at a Library Information Desk, to recommend good quality dictionaries for you.

Google scholar

Google Scholar is the academic version of Google.  It allows you to search for scholarly literature from a variety of online resources.  However, be aware that your search results will also include material that the Library does not subscribe to, so you may not be able to access everything you find.

google scholarTo make the most of Google Scholar you might like to adjust the settings so that it displays links to the University of Reading Library. This lets you quickly access material that the Library subscribes to from your results list. Simply click on Settings then Library links to set this up. For full instructions and further information, have a look at our guide to accessing Google Scholar and some useful features of the search engine.

Google Scholar is a useful tool but remember that it only searches a small proportion of publications, so use it alongside other sources for a comprehensive literature search. Also, you should still evaluate the sources that you find for reliability, currency and authority.

Evaluating Internet Resources: Authority, Accuracy, Currency

Phone and books on a deskThere are many different electronic resources available on the Internet, and they are all of varying quality so whether you are looking at reference materials, websites or blogs, make sure you properly evaluate their reliability before you use them in your assignments.

To help you do this there is a Library guide and Study Advice video tutorial on evaluating websites. These contain useful tips to help you judge the accuracy and reliability of your search results, as well as providing some alternatives that are guaranteed to give you good references.

Citing Websites

Once you have found an appropriate website for your research make sure that you reference it correctly. There is guidance on how to do this in the Citing References LibGuide.

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

This tip was written by, Natalie Guest, Liaison Librarian for Biological Sciences and Document Delivery Co-ordinator, and Louise Cowan, Trainee Liaison Librarian for Classics and Philosophy.

Citing references made easy with EndNote Web – info tip

Books, glasses and laptopAre you starting your dissertation? Do you lack confidence citing references in your work? Have you been marked down for inconsistencies in your bibliography?

EndNote Web can help!

What is EndNote Web?

EndNote Web is an online service you can use to:

  • store and organise useful references you find whilst researching topics
  • insert references in your Word document
  • automatically build and format your bibliography in a style of your choosing

It is designed for use by undergraduates and Masters students as it is a cut-down version of the Desktop EndNote program used by researchers (which is available on all PCs on campus).

How do I use it?

EndNote Web is freely available, but University members can access an enhanced version as part of the Library’s subscription to the Web of Science database. It can be used on a PC or a Mac.

Just log in to the Web of Science and sign up for an account. Once registered you can use it both on- and off-campus.

How do I get references into my EndNote Web library?

You can type in details of useful books and articles you have found. However, the quickest and most accurate methods are to export references from Library databases or use the Online search facility from within EndNote Web.

Direct export

This method is available on the Web of Science and all of the Ebsco databases (including Business Source Complete). Just search the database for your topic and save/export to EndNote Web.

Import

For many other databases it is easy to save a file of references and then Import them into EndNote Web. For more information on the method you will need to use for your favourite database take a look at our page about the database, this will include details of the Import option you need to select as part of the process. If you need advice, contact your subject liaison librarian.

Online search

The Online search facility within EndNote Web is particularly useful for searching library catalogues, and you can use it to get book references from our catalogue into your library.

Writing your essay or dissertation

Once you have references in your EndNote Web library you can insert them into your Word document as you write your essay or dissertation. Just download the Cite While You Write toolbar and use it in Word to search your library for the reference you want to insert and it will automatically put the citation in the text and build the bibliography at the end of your document.

EndNote Web Cite While You Write toolbar

You can select from a number of referencing styles (such as Numbered, APA, MHRA) or use the customised Harvard style which matches the style required by many of the science and life science departments here at Reading. Once you select a style, all of your citations and references will be reformatted automatically.

Getting help

Take a look at our Guide to getting starting with EndNote Web (PDF) will take you through all the steps involved in creating your EndNote Web account, getting references into your library and using it with Word to write your essays or dissertation. Or View videos on using EndNote Web produced by Thomson Reuters (suppliers of EndNote Web).

Alternatively, contact your subject liaison librarian for individual help and support.

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

This tip was written by Jackie Skinner, Library Web Manager and Liaison Librarian (English Language and Applied Linguistics & Food and Nutritional Sciences).

Develop your research skills – info tip

Research materialsIf you are a postgraduate student carrying out research there are a variety of resources and services available from the Library to help you.

In addition to the suggestions below, don’t forget that your Department or School has a designated subject liaison librarian, who is happy to offer you further advice about locating information for your research.

Suggested resources

Subject databases

The best way to find articles published on your dissertation or thesis topic is to search subject databases in your subject area. These will give you references to journal articles and other published materials.

Online journals

Use Enterprise, the Library catalogue, to see what online journals we have access to. Remember to search for the journal title, not the article title. Enterprise lists the online versions of journals separately from the print versions, so look for the words [electronic resource] after the journal title. Limit your search results to e-journals by selecting “Online” access and “Journal” format.

If you are using subject databases that display the Search for item at Reading button button, use this to see if we have access to the journal in question. If conference papers are commonly used in your field then you might like to look at our finding conference papers guide.

Theses

Use Enterprise to find Reading PhD and MPhil theses related to your subject. Theses are kept in the Library’s Closed Access section and Off-site Store (see below). To locate relevant theses written at other institutions use the sources recommended in our Finding theses guide. The British Library’s EThOS service is free and enables you to download digital theses held on their system and order paper theses for digitisation.

Closed Access and Off-site store

Material which is rarely used and University of Reading theses are kept in the Library’s Closed Access section and Off-site Store. These items have a note in Enterprise saying ‘In Closed Access – available on request’ or ‘Off-site Store – available on request’. To request these items use the ‘Request Item from Closed Access / Off-site Store’ link in its Enterprise record and complete the online form. Your items will be collected for you by Library staff and you will receive an email notification when the items are ready for collection. For more information see Requesting items from closed access collections using Enterprise.

Keep up-to-date

You can keep up-to-date with published information in your subject by using Browzine or setting up current awareness alerts. For help setting up current awareness alerts see the keeping up-to-date guide.

For items not held at Reading…

The Inter-library loans service enables you to access journal articles and borrow books that we don’t have in our library stock.

Other libraries

If you wish to use another library, University staff and students can access most Higher Education libraries in the UK and Ireland via the SCONUL Access scheme. This free scheme allows all students reference only access. Taught postgraduates and research postgraduates may also be able to borrow items. To use the scheme, register on the SCONUL Access website.

Further help

Our dedicated page for researchers gives links to many of the most important sources of information. Alternatively contact your subject liaison librarian who will be happy to help advise you about sources for your research.

This is one of a series of tips to help you save time and effort finding or using information.
This tip was written by Melvin Morbey, Research Support Co-ordinator and Liaison Librarian.

Using University Special Collections for your dissertation – info tip

Are you planning your dissertation? You might want to consider using the University’s Special Collections of archives, manuscripts and rare books.

Why use Special Collections?

Rare book spinesOur collections include rare books, manuscripts, records, letters, photographs, maps and drawings. Using this type of material can add a unique dimension to your work and enliven your dissertation. You could, for example, encounter the annotations of previous readers in a book and discover what they thought of a text, get a glimpse of the inner workings of a farm or a publishing company by looking at their records, or find out how new discoveries in your discipline were communicated and disseminated at the time.  You are also much more likely to produce original research, which will help you gain you a better mark, and you will develop valuable research and critical thinking skills.

Walking into Special Collections can sometimes seem daunting – but it doesn’t have to be! We’re helpful folk down here, and we’re always happy to get you started. The University’s Special Collections are available for all students in the University, and you can access over 150 important collections covering a wide range of arts and humanities, science and social science discipline areas.

In the past, students have used Special Collections to research a wide range of subjects, including:

  • A collection of historical postcardsMills & Boon romantic fiction
  • Botanical illustration
  • Robinson Crusoe
  • The publishing industry
  • Mathematics
  • Bees
  • Farming records
  • Women’s history
  • Children’s literature
  • Architectural history

Finding items on your research topic

You may be surprised at the variety of material you can access to support your research! See the A-Z list of collections or our list of featured items for a flavour of what’s available.

Try the following to see if there is useful material for your research project:

Using Special Collections

A Wizard of Oz illustrationItems from our collections cannot be borrowed, but they can be consulted in our reading room. You’re advised to plan ahead and contact Special Collections prior to your visit, so that we can have the material ready for you for when you arrive. We are based on the London Road campus, in the same building as the Museum of English Rural Life.

Go to the Special Collections website for more useful information on using the service.

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

This tip was written by Erika Delbecque & Claire Wooldridge, UMASCS Librarians.

Planning your revision – info tip

Boy reading in sunshineEaster’s coming up fast, and you’re probably still completing assignments for the end of term. Exams might still seem a long way off now but they’ll be here before you know it. It’s a good time to start thinking about your revision – and the Library and Study Advice are here to help.

Working out a schedule

It’s important to have a plan, to make sure you have time to cover all the topics you need to. Avoid making your revision plan too detailed and prescriptive though – you will need to build in time for relaxation, exercise – and the unexpected!

Our Guide on preparing for exams includes tips for planning your revision, including more on how to work out your schedule. We also have a Study Seminar on this topic: Wed 8 March 2017, 2-3 in Palmer 105 – no need to book. And why not pick up a free year planner from the Study Advice office? They’re perfect for making your revision plan!

Finding materials for revision

You will probably start by reading through your lecture notes, and then looking at texts on your reading list. The Library has guidance on finding different types of publication as well as videos that will help you to get the most out of the Library.

You should also check the subject resources and guidance for information resources in your topic – much more reliable than ‘just Googling it’. And remember that, whether you’re revising on or off campus, our ebooks and ejournals are accessible 24/7.

Where will you revise?

With the current refurbishment continuing in the Library, you might be concerned about noise. But don’t worry – the University are making an alternative study space available in the URS building (the ‘Lego’ building, next-door to the Library). Study pods and PCs will still be available in this space and opening hours will remain the same, so there’ll be plenty of options for studying. You can also use the sleeping studentFree Room Finder to find classrooms that are not currently in use if you want an alternative place to revise on campus. Or see the list of alternative study spaces.

Wherever you revise, remember to take breaks. We may be open 24 hours but that doesn’t mean you have to work through the night – your brain needs rest and time for processing information.

Making your revision effective

If you can find six minutes in your busy schedule, you have enough time to watch our video tutorial on Effective revision – and save yourself a lot of wasted time. Our guide on preparing for exams also has tips on revision and memory techniques. If you’re taking exams in the UK for the first time, have a look at our information on assessment by examination in UK higher education to give you a clearer idea of how they may differ from what you have done in the past.

Remember that the purpose of revision is not to memorise everything you can find about the subject, but to prepare yourself to answer exam questions. Check the Past Paper archive on the Exams Office website to find examples of questions for your modules which you can use to write practice answers – to time and by hand, ideally. We have a Study Seminar on this topic: Wed 15 March 2017, 2-3 in Palmer 105 – no need to book. And have a look at our video tutorials on exams for guidance on the best way to prepare for different kinds of exams.

 

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, Michelle Reid, Sonia Hood and Erika Delbecque (Study Advice team).

Illustrate to communicate – make your point with an image! – info tip

The Library has a number of sources of copyright-cleared images which you can use in your assignments and University work. Why not explore some of the resources listed below in order to enrich your projects with pictures that illustrate your point?

Images can be a persuasive addition to your argument, but remember to consider them critically as with any source and reference images appropriately, giving credit to the original source.

Finding images

The main resource for images is Britannica Image Quest – it includes over 2.7 million images from various collections including National Geographic, Getty Images, National History Museum and more.

There are lots of other databases that provide images, or include both text and images but allow you to search for images only. See what’s available on our Image and sound page.

Image search engines

There is also a wealth of images available online, some of which are made available for non-commercial use in project work and presentations. These are labelled as Creative Commons images.

You can find these by using a number of search engines and photo-sharing websites, including Xpert search and attribution. Xpert searches Creative Commons licensed material and allows you to download the image with the appropriate attribution and licence details integrated – easy!

For further guidance on using images legally, see the University’s advice on copyright

University image collections

The University has several image collections students can use to improve their work. Special Collections have many images of the items in their collections on their website which can be used in unpublished and non-commercial works. Special Collections covers many areas including Samuel Beckett, early English coins, early anatomy books and publishers’ archives. Please contact them if you want to know more about using these images.

Citing images

Like everything you refer to in your academic work, you need to cite the author of your image and where you got it from – see our advice on how to cite an image

Need further advice?

For more guidance contact your subject liaison librarian

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

This tip was written by Natalie Guest, Multimedia Manager.

Count on Statistics! Info Tip

You’ve come up with a great argument for your essay, but how do you prove it one way or the other? Well one way is by using statistical evidence to support your position, and it might just get you a few extra marks as well.

What statistical sources are available?

Pie chart showing energy sourcesThe Library can provide you with access to a wealth of statistics covering a wide range of countries and subject areas.

The best sources of current statistics are online. For help on where to start looking go to the detailed guide to finding statistics.

A host of British statistics, covering agriculture, the environment, business, economic indicators, law, health, population and education, are freely available via the Office for National Statistics or as part of the Census data.

European statistics covering many of the same areas as the British statistics are available via the Eurostat service.

Comparative international statistics are produced by a number of bodies, UNESCO, the IMF, the OECD and the World Bank amongst others, and many of these are available via the UK Data Service (don’t let the name fool you). You do have to register separately with this provider but it is free.

If statistics are particularly relevant to your subject area, your liaison librarian may have written a guide to statistical sources in your subject – check for one for your subject.

Some historical statistics are available online, for example in International Historical Statistics Online, but you may also find what you are looking for amongst our books and periodicals. Search the Enterprise catalogue and include the words ‘statistics’ with the subject of your choice. Try not to be too specific – a more general search will produce better results.

 

Need further help?

If you need further help contact your subject liaison librarian who will be happy to help!

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

This tip was written by Gordon Connell, Liaison Team Managers for Business & Social Sciences.

Need maps? Try Digimap – info tip

If you need maps of Great Britain, think aDigimapbout using Digimap – Digimap delivers maps and map data from official sources to UK higher education, and you can easily create authoratative location and site maps.  There are five different collections available to members of the University of Reading:

  • historic_promo_smallDigimap – contemporary Ordnance Survey maps and data, ranging from small scale base maps to detailed large scale plans
  • Historic Digimap – historic Ordnance Survey maps from 1840 to the 1990s.  They can be compared side-by-side to help follow changes in the landscape
  • Geology Digimap – geology maps and data from the British Geological Survey (BGS)
  • Environment Digimap – landcover maps for different years, from the Centre of Ecology and Hydrology (CEH).  This collection includes scans of the Dudley Stamp Land Use maps from the 1930s
  • Aerial Digimap – contemporary aerial photography from Getmapping plc.

You will need to register to use Digimap – it is quick and easy to do.  Follow the instructions on our Digimap page.

geology_promo_smallOnce registered, you can select and print maps of Great Britain using the ‘Roam’ interface from whichever collection you want.  Roam includes tools to annotate your maps, and you can save them for future use. You can also measure distances and areas. Printing is possible at sizes from A4 up to A0, or you can save it as a pdf or a jpg to insert in Word.

If you prefer, you can download the map data to use in a Geographical Information System such as ArcGIS or QGIS.

environment_promo_smallExtensive help is available from the Digimap Resource Centre and from the Digimap YouTube channel, or you can email your Site Representative – Judith Fox, the Map Librarian.

To find out more about maps in the Library see our Maps guide.

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

This tip was written by Judith Fox, Map Librarian

Getting help with your dissertation – info tip

A pen on a notebook next to a laptopNo matter how many essays you’ve written, working on a dissertation or research project can be overwhelming. They can involve lots of new skills from deciding on research questions through to those tricky final citations.

Whatever stage you are at there is lots of help available from the Library and Study Advice team!

Starting out: Search strategies and finding information

It can be a little daunting starting such a big project so you might want to start with the Study Advice guide on Dissertations and major projects or their video on defining your research question.

Once you have sorted your research questions you will need to start researching your topic. Look at the Library subject guide for your department to find key databases in your area. There is also a guide to doing a literature search, the LibLearn tutorials on Blackboard, or you could watch our videos on literature searching if you would like a break from reading!

If you are struggling to find the information that you need then you can contact the Liaison Librarian for your subject.

railroad tracksStaying on track

Once you have started your research the Study Advice team have some resources to help you keep going. If you are trying to tackle the literature you have found it might be a good idea to watch their videos on reading academic texts and critical notetaking.

With large projects like dissertations it is easy to feel like you have lots of time left only to find the deadline creeping up on you. When you are trying to balance your dissertation with lectures, other coursework and revision it is easy to fall behind so take a look at the Study Advice video on managing your time to get some tips.

Dissertations and research projects can also be harder to structure than a normal essay due to their size, this Study Advice video on structuring your dissertation has some helpful suggestions to get you started.

Writing up and referencing

Woman using MacBook

From wocintechchat.com

When you have a structure in place you will be ready to start writing up, if this seems a little overwhelming take a look at the Study Advice guidance on writing up your dissertation.

As it is a longer piece of writing than you are likely to have written before it is a good idea not to leave your referencing until the last minute, you do not want to lose precious marks because you ran out of time to format your bibliography! Luckily there is a way you can speed this process up; EndNote Web is a reference manager which can store details of what you have read, insert references into Word and automatically format your bibliography. There is a detailed guide on the Library website to get you started.

If you choose to insert your citations manually, and are not sure how to reference a particular resource or would like a refresher, there is lots of guidance on the Citing References guide. But don’t forget to check your student handbook for details of the referencing style required by your department.

Further Help

If you would like more information you can contact your Liaison Librarian or the Study Advice team.

Good luck with your research!

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

This tip was written by Jackie Skinner, Liaison Librarian English Language and Applied Linguistics & Food and Nutritional Sciences

Cite it right – and avoid unintentional plagiarism!

standing on the shoulders of giantsYou 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 and 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:

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 Helen Hathaway, Library Head of Academic Liaison and Support and Dr Kim Shahabudin, Study Adviser.

Ramp up your reading efficiency – info tip

Male students reading booksIf your resolution this term is to be more efficient when studying, a good area to focus on is your reading and note-making. Independent reading and taking notes are likely to make up a large part of your study time at university, so a few small adaptations to your reading strategies could potentially save you a lot of time over the term.

Reading with a purpose

The Study Advice team has a guide on Managing academic reading which includes ideas on how to select material, deciding how much to read, and reading techniques. We also have a brief video tutorial on Reading academic texts that introduces the kind of reading needed for academic work and appropriate strategies.

To get started, use this simple three-step plan to make your reading more active and targeted:

Understand the purpose for your reading:

 

Think about what you need to find out:

Ask yourself what you already know about the topic, from previous lectures, seminars or wider knowledge. Use this to identify your gaps and what you need to find out – it can be useful to phrase this as a series of questions so you can then search for answers to those questions.

 

Identify where you can find this information out:

Your reading list is often a helpful place to start – the Library has a guide to Understanding your reading list. But to get the best marks you will most likely need to go beyond your reading list – see the Library guide on Doing your literature search for information on where to look, effective search tips, finding the items you need. For targeted resources and more advice on finding information in your subject, take a look at your Subject resources pages or contact your Subject liaison librarian.

 

Coloured pens and notebooksNote this!

Efficient reading goes hand-in-hand with good note-making, so if you feel you are being slowed down by taking too many, or too few notes, have a look at our guide to Effective note-taking and our video tutorial on Critical note-taking.

 

The secret is not trying to capture everything you’ve read (or you’ll just end up with more notes than there are pages in the book itself!) but to keep good records so you know where to find the information again when you need it. Watch this short video tutorial on Finding bibliographical details you need for note-making and referencing. If you find it hard to keep track of your references, consider using some reference management software, such as Endnote.

Spending too long reading?

Reading is a potentially open-ended task – there is always one more book or journal article in the Library that you could read. If you feel your reading is taking too long, have a look at the Study Advice guides on Managing your time including advice on getting organised, making more time in the day, and avoiding distractions. Putting limits around your reading time and stopping it from becoming an endless task can improve your efficiency and your motivation!

 

This tip was written by Dr Michelle Reid, Study Adviser