The Oxford University Standard for Citation of Legal Authorities (OSCOLA) is the standard referencing format used by law students and anyone writing in a legal field. It allows for exact referencing of cases, journals and statutes meaning that sources can be found quickly and accurately.
OSCOLA can be a bit daunting at first, especially if you are unused to referencing, but don’t worry, we have a lot of help available. Here are some top tips for getting to grips with OSCOLA from scratch or if you just need a refresher:
Start by going to our library guide, where you will find tips and resources to build your knowledge up.
Set some time aside and work through the Citing the Law Tutorial from Cardiff University. This will show you how to cite cases, legislation and secondary sources, as well as how to identify authors and quote.
Harvard at Newcastle is the most frequently used
referencing style and if your school does not have a preferred style, it is the
one that we would recommend. This is because there is the most comprehensive
guidance available for Harvard and it is a style that can manage referencing
all types of information. Whether you are referencing a book, news
article, Instagram or market research, the Harvard at Newcastle style has got
There are many
variations of Harvard but the one used at Newcastle can be found in Cite Them Right. Harvard uses an in-text citation (Millican, 2018, p.12)
inserted in the text, coupled with a reference list at the end of the document,
which provides the key. Cite Them Right is available as a published book to borrow from the
library and Cite Them Right Online provides the same comprehensive
guidance in a searchable interface that can be accessed anywhere online. It
includes guidance about how to reference just about every type of information
you can think of, including the more tricky online sources such as social
You will find the
Harvard at Newcastle style in EndNote on campus PCs and through the
RAS, and are able to download the style from our EndNote guide if you are using it locally
on your own device. We’ve also included some useful tips and advice about
getting to grips with Harvard on our referencing guide.
What are the key steps to a successful routine for referencing? Of all the enquiries we get in the Library, referencing is the most common.
Referencing is the acknowledgement of the sources that you use in your work. You must reference all sources that you use in your assignment, project or dissertation, including words and ideas, facts, images, videos, audio, websites, statistics, diagrams and data.
Over the next two weeks weeks we’re focusing on referencing, giving you the routine for success. As a novice, you might need a little help to understand the steps and techniques for your referencing style.
Hopefully you are feeling settled at the Walton Library and finding your way around. During your induction session you may have heard Library staff mention reading lists and STC books. This blog post breaks these terms down to help you get the most out of the Library.
What are reading
When it comes to reading lists, the clue is in the name.
They are materials your lecturer(s) have selected to help you understand your subject
– and are not necessarily books! Reading lists can contain journal articles,
websites and other media, such as podcasts and videos. The material on your
reading list is broken down into essential,
recommended or background
reading for your convenience.
Not all reading lists look the same. Some lists are divided into the above categories, and some are divided into weekly or even daily reading. Speak to your lecturer if you have a query about the content on your module’s reading list.
Where are they?
There’s more than one way to access your reading list. If you use the Medical Learning Environment (MLE), you can access your reading list from the “Reading” tab on the “Learning Materials” window. These are embedded in each Case. See below for reference:
You can click on the items within the reading list and it’ll take you directly to Library Search, where you will be able to see the item’s location and availability.
If you use Blackboard, once you’ve logged in, you will see that the “Reading Lists” link is on the “Overview” page for each module you’re registered on. See below for reference:
You can also access your reading lists from the Library
homepage. Follow this
link and click the green “More information for students” button.
If you’re having a technical problem when using your reading list, email: email@example.com and we’ll investigate the problem for you.
What is the STC?
If you’ve been to the Walton’s service desk asking for a
stapler, you may have heard the staff directing you to the STC. STC or Student
Texts Collection is a separate room, located next to the printers and the
self-issue machine, which contains our high demand texts. Many of these will be
essential on your reading lists.
These books are available for short loan only – four hours during the day,
unless you take them out four hours before the Library closes, when you can
loan them overnight (providing you return them before 9:30AM the next weekday
and 10:30AM on weekends!)
These short loan books are perfect if you’re on the go. You can issue one before a lecture and then return it just after! They’re also ideal if you only need to use a short section of a book: you can copy up to one chapter or 10% of a book (whatever is greater) using the photocopier.
How does it work?
Just like long loan items, STC books are on Library Search. However they can’t be reserved if all the copies are out on loan. STC books need to be checked out and returned from your account using the self-issue machine in the STC room.
you have any further queries about the STC, you might want to check out our
Library FAQs here.
Desk staff at the Walton can also be called upon to lend a hand if you’re
Library Search is a powerful tool that can help you find good quality, relevant information quickly. Using Library Search is pretty intuitive but there are some useful search tips that can help you improve and get the most out of your searches:
Keywords and Subject Terms
When you’re searching for information it’s important to use a range of related keywords to ensure you find everything relevant to your topic. For example, if you’re searching for information on ‘Climate Change’ you might also want to search for ‘Greenhouse Effect’ or ‘Global Warming’ too. Thinking of related keywords can sometimes be difficult but Library Search can help!
From your search results page, click on the title of a resource to open the resource record and scroll down to the ‘Details’ section. Here you will find a list of ‘Subjects’, also known as subject terms, used to describe the topics and themes this particular resource discusses. Take a look at this list and add any relevant words to your search string.
There are some other useful features in the resource record page that can help with your searches too:
Browse the virtual shelf
At the very bottom of the record you’ll find a virtual bookshelf, a visual list of the books that can be found next to this one if you were looking in the physical library. As the library is organised by subject some of these titles might be useful for your research too.
Read the abstract
A quick way to tell if a resource is going to be relevant and useful for your research is to read the abstract, a summary of the contents of the resource. On the resource record in Library Search, you’ll find this under the heading ‘Description’.
The Advanced Search function in Library search allows you to create a search that will produce more focused results. It does this by providing a range of search fields and drop down lists that help you build up your search.
Select from the options to:
Limit your search field to the title, author, subject, collection etc.
Apply BOOLEAN operators (AND, OR, NOT) to your keywords
Filter by specific material types, languages and dates to focus your search results to the most relevant resources.
Take a look at the Advanced Searching page on our Finding Information Guide for more on how to combine your keywords, create a search string and improve your search results.
The Student Texts Collection (otherwise known as the STC) is located on level 2 of the Philip Robinson Library…just to the right of the Library Help Desk, as you come in the main entrance:
What is in STC:
Essential items on reading lists
Items meeting a flurry of high demand (sometimes items are transferred to STC on a temporary basis with the agreement of the Liaison Librarian)
Items that are rare, out of print or expensive (arranged with the agreement of the Liaison Librarian)
Items recommended by academics for a specific project or task.
If an item meets the criteria above, there should be one copy in the STC for you to consult or borrow (if not, contact your Liaison Librarian).
Student Texts Collection (STC) items are usually issued for 4 hours, and you can borrow a maximum of 3 items at any one time. If the item has already been booked (see below regarding booking STC) then it might be issued for less than 4 hours – always check the receipt!
At the Philip Robinson Library, STC items can be borrowed until the following morning
Term Time Monday – Friday after 6pm
Term Time Saturday – Sunday after 4pm
Vacation times may vary
At the weekends Walton STC overnight loans start at 5pm. Walton STC items cannot be booked.
Why book an item in the Student Texts Collection (Philip Robinson Library only)?
Booking an item (you can book 3 STC titles at a time) allows you to reserve so you can collect it at a particular time, then you can borrow it for four hours (or overnight, see above).
To book an item in the STC login to Library Search and follow the Request link next to the item you are looking for (remember to sign in to Library Search first):
There is an immediate overdue charge of £1 plus £1 per hour or part hour after that, the maximum overdue charge for an STC item is £15.00
Philip Robinson Library has a self-service unit in the STC so you can issue your own books (either STC or General loans).
Walton Library has a self-service unit in the STC room for the loan and return of STC items only.
Please remember to take the receipt from the machine which shows the date and time the book is due back. All STC books should be returned on the unit in the STC area (not on other self-issue/return units in the library).
The Library has trial access to Bloomsbury Popular Music until 31st December 2019. This wide-ranging resource comprises:
All volumes of the landmark reference work, Bloomsbury Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World.
All 130 short books in the 33 1/3 series, focusing on significant LPs from a wide range of genres and eras.
A selection of other scholarly ebooks on popular music published by Bloomsbury, including biographies and historical overviews.
Interactive features, including a pop music timeline and map.
Biographies of hundreds of artists.
You can search or browse it in various ways, such as by artist, genre or location. Watch the short trailer for an overview. As always, your feedback will be very welcome: you can either email it, or leave a comment on this blogpost.
Although it’s now the summer vacation, it is time for our academics to start thinking about the reading lists for 2019/20. So, what resources are you going to recommend to your students to support your teaching? How will you ensure the Library has what you need in stock?
Use the Library’s Reading Lists to create, manage and update your own lists online. Or, you can send your list as an attachment to your Library’s Reading List team using our submission form.
Why use this service? Well, your lists will help the Library to order the correct number of copies of the titles you want to recommend, to decide on the appropriate loan periods of those printed books and enable access to electronic resources for your students. CLA scans (digitised book chapters and articles) can easily be requested through Reading Lists too. There’s no need to email us or fill out a separate request form; simply tag the item on your list and leave it to us.
Benefits for you include:
Your book orders and scanning requests will be dealt with seamlessly by a dedicated team of Library Staff.
It is an effective and efficient way of getting your Reading Lists to your students via Blackboard, alongside your teaching materials.
You can add resources from Library Search, any database or while you’re browsing the Web (via the “Cite it” tool).
You will provide accessible information to your students about their required reading, with live links to Library Search, eBooks, full-text journal articles and book chapters.
You can organise the resources to suit your needs, e.g. by week, topic, lecture or seminar.
You can tag the items on your Reading Lists so your students can clearly see what is essential, recommended or background reading.
In tagging each item, the Library can ensure appropriate stock provision for your students based on module numbers.
You can notify the Library and your students of any changes you wish to make to your lists automatically.
Reading Lists can boost student engagement with your subject and you can see the access statistics for the items on your list, providing valuable insight on how the students are using the materials listed.
So, Reading Lists are a great way to let your students know what they need to read, and to keep the Library informed too; they are the wise choice.
You can find information about creating and managing your Reading Lists, and making resources available to your students here. And if you have any questions about this service, please do contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
We’d recommend exploring the finding-evaluating-managing guides at the top of the screen, but feel free to try out the other guides on this page as well.
The Library’s online learning resources focus mainly on information skills: for a wider range of academic skills content and support, visit the Academic Skills Kit.
B. Research skills resources
Aimed at UG/PGT students: please explore our dissertations/projects guide. Try the proposal planners and search planners: could you use them with your students?
Aimed at PGR students: please explore the new online format for our HSS8002 information and library skills module. We’ve created a dummy version of HSS8002 for today’s workshop. You should be able to access the dummy course directly via this link.
Browse the module content via the left hand menu, or, if you want to try out the information skills checker, choose I am studying this module for credit in Newcastle on the home page.
The University libraries will be open throughout the Summer vacation, you a can find the opening hours for each library here. Please note that during self-service times, access to the building will be by Newcastle University Smartcard only.
However, there will be building work in progress during library opening times and there may be some noisy periods in some areas. Free disposable earplugs will be available at the Service Desk.
You will still find the Liaison team on levels 3 and 4 of the Philip Robinson Library – we will be the ones wearing hard hats!
You can come to us for Endnote support and 1-1 sessions. Please book an appointment via Library help.
If you have an urgent question, and we are not physically around you will find 24/7 support via our out-of-hours Live Chat Service provided by a co-operative of academic librarians from around the world.