It’s all a matter of style

There are lots of different referencing styles, but which one is right for you?

Once you start creating citations and references, you need to consider referencing styles. There are hundreds of them out there and each has a slightly different set of rules about how citations and reference lists should appear in your text.

Most Newcastle University students use the Harvard at Newcastle style, but there is also Vancouver, IEEE, OSCOLA, Chicago, and many more. Your lecturers will expect you to use one specific style and all of your citations and references should conform to that style accurately and consistently; same punctuation, same capitalisation, same everything. 

We have lots of help about using some of the popular referencing styles in our Managing Information guide. The Cite Them Right website is also a valuable online resource that will show you how to hit all of the right steps on your way to mastering an individual referencing style.

Referencing top tips: the basic steps

Learn the basic steps of a reference, and you can hit the rhythm with any style you need.

Referencing – why is it so important?

When you are writing a piece of work and you use someone else’s thoughts, words or ideas, you must reference them. But why do we talk about referencing so much at University, and why is it so important? Why should you bother spending time on ensuring that your references are consistent, accurate and correct?

It all comes down to why we reference in the first place:

  • To make your contribution clear by showing which words and ideas are yours, and which have come from your reading.
  • To acknowledge the work of others and to demonstrate how you have built on the knowledge that you’ve gained from your reading.
  • To ensure that the reader can follow up on your references for themselves.
  • To avoid being wrongly accused of plagiarism.

Watch our short video to find out a little more about why we should bother with referencing.

Find out more on our Managing Information skills guide.

Finding Information: Knowing Where to Look

Photograph of several closed doors, one painted yellow the others painted white.

When you’re looking for information to help you write your essays, assignments or projects it can be tempting to turn to the source of information you use every day – Google.  While Google can be useful in some ways (such as finding company websites or journal author’s profiles), it wasn’t exclusively designed to help you find good quality, academic information that is reliable and relevant.  This means you’ll likely have to spend more of your time wading through huge amounts of information and fact-checking resources for accuracy.

Thankfully, Google isn’t your only option – there are a number of different places to look that have been created with the aim of providing you with the information that you need, such as your reading lists, Library Search, and key Subject Databases.

Take a look at this video to find out more about how these sources can help you:

For more help on finding information, take a look at our Finding Information Guide.

Search and reserve on the go

Library Search and your personal Library Account are never further than a fingertip away when using the Newcastle University Mobile App.

Available on iOS and Android platforms the App can be easily downloaded and installed onto your mobile device allowing you to search the library for that key text or article anytime anywhere.

It’s so quick and easy to use that you’ll be Boolean searching resources AND reserving books at home, on the Metro, or when walking between lectures and seminars, in no time.

If you hit trouble there is information and support available via the Mobile Apps and Resources Subject Support Guide, the Library Website and NUIT.

But before you get started why not watch this quick video which tells you all you need to know.

Hello from your bibliothēkē

An image of the Venus de Milo

Welcome to all new and returning Classics students from the University Library!

We have a new look library website for you, alongside our Subject Guides with lots of resources for you to explore.

Our Subject Guides give you access to:

  • subject databases and other specialist information sources for your discipline, such as digitised archives and multimedia resources.
  • links to great new learning resources to help you refine your academic skills.
  • our latest blogposts: regularly updated news, tips and features from your Library’s Liaison Team.

You may want to seek out images from the Bridgeman Education database which provides access to over two million images, including paintings, posters, artefacts and photographs, from galleries and collections worldwide. All images are copyright-cleared for educational use, and cover a wide range of themes.

Perhaps you want to browse the Classical Studies eBooks section from Oxford Scholarship Online, or search our Special Collections and explore their Classics resources using their new search function.

If you’re tired from exploring the Campus then kick back and watch a programme dedicated to The History of Empire, the blossoming of art and philosophy in the Ancient World, or listen to Melvyn Bragg discuss the Greek Myths on Box of Broadcasts.

Whatever subject you are reading, explore the possibilities through Library Search, our Library Guides or ask a question via Library Help and we look forward to seeing you in and around the Library soon.

Law Library 101

To all our new students – WELCOME TO THE LAW LIBRARY!
To all our returning students – WELCOME BACK!Welcome to Law Library

During your time here you will need to use all sorts of resources to find:

Cases
Acts
Statutory Instruments
Journal Articles
Textbooks
Reports and Government Publications
And the rest!

We have a lot on our shelves, but also a lot more online.  So, where to start when trying to find what you’re looking for?

THE LAW SUBJECT GUIDE OF COURSE! 

Law Subject Guide

Click on the image above to take you to this one-stop shop of useful links and helpful tips to get you finding what you need.

And don’t forget us – your Law Librarians!  We’re here to help you with whatever we can.  What we don’t know, we’ll find out.

Identify resources for your research project

A strong research project such as an essay, dissertation or thesis will always be supported by good quality information from a wide range of sources.  There are a huge variety of resources available to you and being able to make appropriate choices when selecting materials to include in your project and explain why you have chosen them, is an important academic skill that demonstrates a good awareness of your subject and an ability to think critically about ideas and research.

Of course, not all information resources will be relevant to your particular research.  You will have to think about the type of information you need then identify the type of resource that will provide that kind information.

For example:

Books will offer an in-depth overview of popular ideas, theories, and opinions in your subject area and are likely to be broader in scope than a journal article or conference paper.

While a conference paper will often discuss ‘work-in-progress’, and therefore can be an ideal way of finding out about up to date research and ideas.

For more information on different resource types, including standards, patents, maps, newspapers and more, take a look at our range of Resource guides.

Your Subject Guide can also help you identify useful sources of information for your research as it contains a carefully curated list of resources that are tailored to your subject area.  Here you’ll  find useful lists of online reference books, eBook collections and recommended databases for finding relevant journal articles and conference papers.  Also, under the Subject Specific Resources tab, you’ll discover a further host of specialised materials relevant to your subject such as audiovisual media, data-sets or professional organisation’s websites.

Screen capture of a Library Subject Guide, showing various tabs and resource links.

Depending on your research topic, you might also want to explore the Special Collections tab to see materials held in our Library archives that are relevant to your subject area specifically.

For more advice on finding and evaluating resources for your research take a look at our Finding Information and Evaluating Information Guides.

Brush up on your search skills

A pot of paint brushes

Searching should be easy, right? We do it all the time in our day to day lives and with Google so ingrained into our existence, we don’t give it much thought. We type some words into the search engine and most of the time we find what we are looking for. Nothing to it!

However, while this approach certainly works for checking out cinema times or booking flights, it lets us down where research is concerned. We have high expectations that information will be quick and easy to come by and that it will be neatly organised in one place, rather than having to search in multiple locations, using different techniques. We imagine that the time consuming part of our research will be the analysing, synthesizing and the writing of it and we often don’t even think about the searching side of things.

The reality though is quite different. Without investing in our searching techniques and the development of a search plan, we can often find ourselves overwhelmed by information and not being able to see the wood from the trees. Our stress levels rise and our frustrations explode. Surely finding information shouldn’t be this hard!

The good news is, is that there is help to be had. Our job as Liaison Librarians is to equip you with the skills you need to create that all important search plan and to encourage you to pause and stop before you dive straight into finding information for your research.We have a fantastic range of online tools for you to do this, not least an interactive search planner that you can keep adding to throughout your search and which you can even email to yourself, supervisor or us as a Liaison team for feedback. And our ‘Finding Information’ academic skills guide has lots of advice on how to start a search, including how to break your concept down into manageable chunks and how to identify keywords and synonyms.

You can also check out this short video to get you started…….

Keep your eyes peeled for our next blog installment of how to find particular resources. See you then!

Photo by Debby Hudson on Unsplash

Level up your academic study skills

Time to get your game face on and level up your academic skills!

Cartoon students thinking about academic skills and becoming graduates

Throughout your time at University, you are required to develop a whole range of important academic skills, from knowing where to find information to critical thinking to reference management.  These skills are not only important for completing your degree successfully but they can also be transferred to the work you do once you leave the University, making them invaluable for your future career.

Developing some of these skills may seem daunting but the Library is here to support you at every level of study with our range of online tools, videos and guides as well as one-to-one support from your Subject Liaison team and staff at the Writing and Development Centre.

This month we’re inviting you on a study quest to explore our guides and tools and gain some serious Study XP (experience points).

To get started take a look at your Subject guide for advice on finding information in your area or see our Employability guide to explore how these skills can help in your future career.

From 11 – 24 March 2019 visit our display in the Library to chat to our helpful staff, pick up postcards, guides and fun freebies, and if you feel up for a challenge, take on our exciting mini escape room game (more details to follow)!

Ready, Player One?