Cite it right – and avoid unintentional plagiarism! Info tip

11548You 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).

For more advice, Citing References combines previous guides 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 guidance on:

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

Know when to include a reference

References in a footnoteWhenever 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.

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 a guide 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 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.

What should you do if you can’t find all the details of a reference?

Slide from tutorial on finding bibliographic detailsIf 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.

Further Library refurbishment 2016-2019 approved

Architect's impression of Library building and landscaping

Architect’s impression showing the refurbished Library west front with enlarged café, new cladding and landscaping

A £40 million redevelopment and refurbishment of The University Library starting this June, has been approved by the University Council. This second phase of the complete modernisation and revamp of the Library will increase space for individual and group study, and will make better use of the space currently available on the Ground and 1st Floors. Work is anticipated to be completed by the end of 2019.

Significant improvements

Specific key areas of improvement will include 200 more study places and increased toilet capacity with toilets available on all floors, including disabled and gender neutral provision. Café space will be expanded, including opening glazed doors onto external al fresco areas. New lifts will be installed, and an improved system for borrowing and returning books will be put into place.

The redevelopment will provide better access and security as well as improving its energy efficiency, through improved insulation and ventilation. The exterior of the building will be totally re-clad and will have replacement windows fitted throughout, providing a striking focal point at the heart of the Whiteknights campus.

University investment rates Library highly

The University Council approved the £25 million building costs, with an additional £15 million costs of keeping the Library fully operational, contingency funding, VAT and project management. This comes after the first £4.4m phase revamped the study spaces and furniture on the 2nd to 5th Floors in 2013 and 2014. Planning permission was granted by Reading Borough Council last December.

Our Vice-Chancellor’s view

“The Library has always played a central role in our life and work, with its location at the very heart of the University’s Whiteknights campus,” says Vice-Chancellor Sir David Bell. “We have invested £4.4m in the top four floors of the Library as a first phase of redevelopment and this major new investment of £40m will complete the project. We will combine traditional and crucial functions such as book and journal collections with group study facilities, great digital access and multi-purpose spaces. Our Library has never been a static, sepulchral space. It has continued to evolve over its 50 year history and as these excellent new facilities become available to students and staff.”

Keep calm, we’ll carry on!

The Library will remain fully operational to students across the entirety of the redevelopment. No building work will take place at all during exams. To minimise disruption for Library users, books held on floors being refurbished will be relocated elsewhere in the Library. Print journals will move off site, but as the majority of Library users access journal content online via the Library website, this should cause minimal inconvenience.

In addition, the University will provide alternative study space across the centre of the campus during exam and periods of high-demand – with details being confirmed in due course.

Further information

The Library Refurbishment 2016-2019 webpage gives further information, including a proposed work schedule, frequently asked questions and links to the latest refurbishment news on the University Library News blog (where day-to-day advice will be given to Library users).

A wider Campus Projects website is also in development, in which the Library redevelopment will be featured. Many other communication channels will also be used to help provide as much information as possible across the development of the project.

Rachel Redrup, Library Marketing Co-ordinator

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.

 

Note this!Coloured pens and notebooks

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

This tip was written by Michelle Reid, Study Adviser.

Carry your Campus Card for 24-hour access

University of Reading Library at nightPlease carry your Campus Card in the Library to prove you are a University member and entitled to access. This is especially important overnight during 24-hour opening when it will open the door for you.

From 19:00 to 08:00 please enter by the right-hand Library door – the revolving door is locked.

  • University members can gain automatic entry by placing their Campus Card on the ‘proximity reader’ beside the right-hand door.
  • Visitors and University members without their Campus/Library Cards will be asked to show ID and sign our Visitors’ Book.

The Library reserves the right to refuse access to anyone, including University members, who cannot identify themselves adequately.

Campus Card faulty?

Did your Campus Card fail to open the Library’s front door with the card reader overnight 19:00-08:00? Please ask Campus Card Services to fix the fault via their Campus Card non-residential door access report form or email campuscard@reading.ac.uk.

Summer exam-time exclusive access

Please note that during the April-June examination period, we operate a ‘no card, no access’ policy 17:00-08:00 in order to preserve our fantastic University Library facilities for University members only.

Rachel Redrup, Marketing Co-ordinator

Pay your fines online!

Staff and students with campus cards! You, (but only you) can pay Library fines online! If you haven’t tried this before, here’s a guide on how to do it.

Step 1: Logging in 

Go to the University of Reading Campus Card Portal at cardfinance.reading.ac.uk and login with your University username and password.

Step 2:

Click on the ‘Library Fines’ link on the left side of the page.

1Step 3:

This page will display how many fines/bills you have to pay and what available funds you have. Before you tick the box, the text below will be orange. Tick the box to select your fines.

Step 4:

Now the box is ticked and your fines are selected, the text will turn green. Beside the ‘Pay Now’ button, you will see the total amount you are about to pay. Click the ‘Pay Now’ button to confirm the transaction. The total amount will be deducted from your available funds.

3

Step 5:

Once the transaction is complete, red text will tell you how much in total you have paid. Your fines should now be clear.

5Other Library members

You can pay fines at either the Ground Floor Information Desk or Self-Service Point fines payment machines; or by payment card over the telephone (0118 378 8770) for amounts over £5.00.

Rachel Redrup, Marketing Co-ordinator

Library heating on

Man using a loud hailerThe Library building is now heating up! This morning a failed valve caused a fault with the main heating system. However, thanks to Estates and Facilties Management, we’re now switched over to the back-up system.  It may take a short while before the whole building reaches a comfortable temperature since it has been off for 11 days over the University’s Christmas Closure.

For more on challenges and opportunities for the Library’s heating and ventilation system, see our previous blog.

Rachel Redrup, Marketing Co-ordinator for Robin Hunter, Facilities Manager

Need maps? Try Digimap – info tip

If you need maps of Great Britain, think aDigimap logo2bout 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 four 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

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 (this can only be done on campus).

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

Simply Having a Wonderful Christmas – Info tip

Tis the season to be jolly and with over 600 festive-themed items the library has lots of great resources on hand to add a bit of Christmas cheer to your holiday.  So take a break from the text-books and journal articles and see what else the library has to offer!

 

classics xmas

The Night Before Christmas – C. C. Moore (1985); A Christmas Carol – C. Dickens (1983); The Snowman –R. Briggs(1987)

Christmas Favourites (for kids of all ages!)

Why not enjoy a little bit of festive nostalgia or introduce these Christmas classics to a new generation? If you’d rather try something new, there are many fun and beautifully illustrated options in our Teaching Practice collection too.

 

These books are designed for Education students to use in schools, but can be borrowed by all to enjoy over the break!

 

 

 

crafts xmas

The Christmas Craft Book – T. Berger(1990) and Christmas Crafts – H. Devonshire, J. Lancaster, L. Wright (1990)

Getting Crafty!

If you enjoy being creative or need a last minute gift, you might get some fun ideas from our Christmas crafts books!  There are some lovely ideas for lanterns, candle holders and of course, that perfect accessory for any student or bookworm, bookmarks!

 

 

 

 

 

cds for xmas

CDs: Christmas Music (2003) and Christmas Around Europe (2002)

A (not quite) Silent Night

If your eyes are weary from all of your course reading, maybe some peaceful seasonal music will help your holiday spirit.  The Library has classical Christmas CDs that are perfect for relaxing after a busy day of festive fun.

 

 

 

 

 

Bah humbug

top100 If Christmas crackers and carols aren’t for you, you could escape reality with one of the 100 greatest British novels.  BBC Culture recently polled 82 critics from around the world to get a new perspective on the best of British literature.  You’ll find the full list here but for a starter, here are the top three: Middlemarch – George Eliot; To the Lighthouse – Virginia Woolf; Mrs Dalloway – Virginia Woolf

 

 

DVD Delights

xmas dvds

DVDs: Shrek (2001); Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001) and Gladiator (2005)

If all else fails, pick out some classic films from our DVD collection to enjoy with some turkey sandwiches and the last of the mince pies!

 

 

Any problems?

All the items in this post can be found on the Library Catalogue. Remember to keep renewing your loans whilst you are away, as loan periods now remain the same all year.

 

 

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

This tip was written by Louise Cowan, Liaison Librarian for Classics and Philosophy.

Loans periods same over vac – keep renewing!

University Library in snow with fir tree in foregroundWith textbooks in increasingly high demand even after the end of term, we’ve changed our policy to ensure fair access to all. It will be ‘business as usual’ with all loan periods remaining the same in vacation as all term.

So just keep renewing your loans unless or until someone else recalls them. If the book needs to come back, we’ll email you …  so keep checking your University account! You can even return loans by post if you prefer. If your account is blocked please contact the Library and we will discuss the situation with you.

This means you can now place holds on books on loan in vacations. (Previously we only recalled books during vacations at the start of the following term.) The threat of fines on non-returned books should help Library users return them for you!

What about Christmas holidays and Uni Closure?

The move away from books being out all vacation should benefit students and researchers needing to continue studying, especially finalists at Easter.

However, we know the short Christmas break also spans public holidays and the Christmas University Closure (Thursday 24 December to Sunday 3 January – see our Opening hours page for more information), so we’ve made special allowance. We’ll give you a bit longer to borrow: from Friday 18 December for Course Collection items; from Saturday 19 December for 7-day and journal loans). Also, nothing will be due back, and we won’t recall anything, between Saturday 19 December to Monday 4 January.

Happy holidays!

Rachel Redrup. Marketing Co-ordinator

Explore your subject resources – info tip

Student studying in the LibraryIf you’ve ever felt a little overwhelmed by the range of resources that the library has on offer then you might like to take a look at your very own subject guide! Every subject has a liaison librarian, and they have put together a guide for each subject with lots of helpful information and advice.

Picture of subject guides button from Library website.
Where do I find my subject guide?

To access the guide for your subject just click on the “Explore our subject guides” button in the Subject resources section of the Library homepage.

What will I find there?

Each guide is set up in a similar way, it will show you how to find books, reference materials, journal articles, electronic resources and other helpful websites that relate specifically to your subject. You can find out the latest new books that have been bought, which databases will be the most helpful in your research, and also who your liaison librarian is and how to contact them, so you know who to come to for more help! There’s also our useful guide on citing references in your work.

Fine art subject guide

How do I find the type of information I need?

The subject guides are divided into several sections, each with its own tab at the top of the page.
Dictionaries and encyclopedias tab in the subject guide

The Dictionaries and Encyclopedias tab gives links to online dictionaries and encyclopedias as well as highlighting key print titles that are in the reference section in the Library. There are links to general resources such as Credo Reference or Oxford Reference and more specific resources for your subject. It is far more reliable to use these sources than to use Wikipedia for your work.

The Books tab gives you tips on finding books using Enterprise and lists call numbers for particular topics within your subject area as well as telling you about new books that have been purchased for your subject.

The Journal articles tab gives you tips on finding journal articles on Summon and gives links to the key databases in your subject.

The Eresources tab will point you toward the key databases, but also suggests other useful resources, such as image databases or company financial databases that may be relevant to your subject.

The Websites tab gives you a list of websites that have been checked by subject specialists and could be useful for your work. There are also hints about how to evaluate a website, so if you run an internet search you can be more confident you are using reliable information.

The Citing references tab points you in the right direction for getting help with referencing and avoiding plagiarism. It also links to our information on using Endnote, the bibliographic management software.

Subject Librarian contact information.Contact us!

We want to help you find the information you need. Please contact you subject Liaison librarian if you are stuck.
The subject guide has links to their email address and office hours. Also check out the Help tab for more sources of advice.

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

This tip was written by Karen Drury and Ruth Ng, Liaison Librarians

Library heating/ventilation and refurbishment

Hot, cold or just right in the Library? Here are some tips for finding your favourite Library environment, how to ask us for local adjustments and most importantly, news of University investment in the system.

Find your microclimate!

Grey desks with purple dividers and lamps beside windows and book shelvesDifferent people prefer different study areas and temperatures.

  • If you are particularly susceptible to chills from moving air, try to avoid sitting right under vents on the 5th Floor which alternately blow warm and cooler air.
  • If you like it warm, try studying at open tables beside warm radiators, e.g. 3rd Floor, north side (illustrated).
  • Like it bright and hot? If the sun is shining, sit on the south Pepper Lane side in the afternoon or the western Whiteknights House side late afternoon/early evening.
  • We recommend wearing layers to the Library so you can adjust to the day’s and each area’s conditions.

Request an adjustment!

  • Windows can be opened on the Library’s 1st to 4th Floors. Reach lower ones yourself or ask for help with high ones, either at a floor Information Desk Monday-Thursday 09:00-17:00 & Friday 10:00-17:00; or the Ground Floor at other times.
  • Heating and air conditioning is controlled remotely by University Estates and Facilities (E&F) according to heat sensor information. If you feel it is not working correctly, please use our new online heating & ventilation form to tell us exactly when and where you had a problem so we can pass it on.

Library heating and ventilation: challenges and opportunity

The Library heating system is now fully attached to the new campus heat distribution system. However, the University acknowledges our 50-year-old Library presents challenges to balancing energy efficiency against contemporary consumer demand. Its vast open spaces and single glazed windows are still heated with 196os panels plus an ambient air circulation system and radiators in the 1985 extension. A new but separate 5th Floor heat exchange system blows warm air when sensors register 18°C or cool at 24°C.

Forthcoming Library refurbishment 2016-2019 will address not only heating and ventilation systems, but window replacement and external cladding. (Additionally, the lifts, 1st and Ground Floors will be completely redesigned and more toilets added).

Rachel Redrup, Library Marketing Co-ordinator
Robin Hunter, Library Facilities Manager

 

Noisy in the Library? Text us!

Man contemplating laptop in lather armchair on Library 5th Floor iby wall decorated with phrases about silenceEver found it too noisy in Library silent or quiet areas? Library staff will always support your right to to work quietly, as protected by Library Rule 13. But how to alert us without leaving your seat or identifying yourself to others? Try out our new pilot NOISE text service!

Before you act, please check that your study area is designated as quiet or silent, or that noise in a group study area is excessive.

Then, text ‘NOISE‘ and the Library location to 07796 300114 e.g. NOISE Library 5th Floor brown reading room. Then we’ll come and investigate.

For more information and a list of Library locations, see our Noise in the Library webpage.

Rachel Redrup, Marketing Co-ordinator