We have all heard it said that languages spoken in northern arctic regions have considerably more words for snow than those spoken in southern climates. When dealing with something in detail every day it is often helpful to categorise and clarify its nuances.
A common mistake made in academic referencing is grouping all sources found online under the overarching category of a website. However, your aim should be to reference the information you have in front of you rather than where it was sourced. Grouping all items found online as a website would be the equivalent to referencing a book only by the publisher details, rather than the author and title. Or, by referring to both a snowball and a snowflake as simply snow.
For example, a government publication found online would be referenced like this in Chicago:
United Kingdom. Department for Education. Cloud computing: how schools can move services to the cloud. London: The Stationary Office, 2016. Accessed: November 4, 2019. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/cloud-computing-how-schools-can-move-services-to-the-cloud.
An electronic journal article might appear like this in APA:
Gillum, J. (2012). Dyscalculia: Issues for practice in education psychology. Educational Psychology in Practice, 28(3), 287-297. doi:10.1080/02667363.2012.684344
While a video posted on the Tate website would look something like this in Harvard:
TateShots (2016) Grayson Perry: think like an artist. Available at: https://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-modern/talk/what-makes-artist-grayson-perry-conversation-sarah-thornton (Accessed: 11 November 2019).
Identifying the type of information you are using, as well as the source, is an essential evaluation skill which helps in developing a greater critical approach to information. In many cases you will be unconsciously using your judgment to assess the value of information for your purpose. So when you are using any source of information, ask yourself what it is you are looking at, what details are recorded about it, and whether it measures up as a quality piece of information. You’ll find more guidance about evaluating information on our Evaluating Information guide.
Referencing is the acknowledgement of the sources that you use in your work. You must reference all sources that you use in your assignments, projects or dissertations, and includes quotes, ideas, facts, images, videos, audio, websites, statistics, diagrams and data.
Over the next two weeks we will be producing a series of blogs focusing on how to reference successfully in your work. We will cover…
explain why referencing is important
advice on how to produce consistent and reliable referencing
help on how to manage your information to make your life easier and assignments less stressful
point you in the direction of where to find advice and help
So come in from the cold and warm up with some referencing help and keep your eyes peeled for our upcoming blogs.
Have you ever found yourself asking any of the questions below?….
Where can I find relevant, high quality information for my research?
How can I track who has cited an article since it’s publication, as well as looking back on the references it used?
How can I follow an academics work?
Who can I collaborate with in my research?
Which journal should I submit my paper to?
Where can I find information to support my research funding application?
…..If you have, then why not take a look at Scopus and use it as your starting point? You can access it through Library Search or through your subject guide in the ‘Journals and Databases’ section.
Whatever subject you are studying, Scopus is one of the databases that you need to get to know. It is a large multi-disciplinary abstract and citation database of peer reviewed literature. It contains over 69 million records, including journal articles (from 22,000 titles), conference papers, books (20,000 new book details added every year) and book chapters. However, it doesn’t just have a list of results for you to wade through, but it has a series of smart tools which help you track and visualise the research as well. You can search for documents, sources, authors and institutions and compare and contrast them using a variety of different tools.
If you are wondering if Scopus is for you, then check out the video below. And if you are already a user of Scopus, then why not listen to one of their webinars to get the best out of the resource or check out the Scopus blog for tips and tricks. Happy exploring!
You know Library Search. You use it every day when you’re at University. Why are you going to read a blog post on it? Well, we’re wondering if you’re using Library Search to its full potential. Not sure? Then read on.
Library Search is Newcastle University Library’s discovery tool – essentially it’s how you find resources on the library shelves and access those invaluable resources online. But what else can it do?
Log in. Using your usual Campus ID and password, you can open up the full functionality of Library Search by telling it who you are. It allows you to:
Log into your library account to see what books you have on loan (which you may be finished with and could return to any library site), those requests you’ve placed and any books you have on loan that may have been requested by someone else. The standard library stuff, but it’s important too.
Save items you want to come back to (that’ll save you writing them down somewhere else). Find that favourite item and ‘pin’ it to your record. You can then access a list of your favourite books, journals or journal articles and label (or tag) them as to why you may need them, e.g. Herbology, Professor Snape’s essay, or Field Trip to Hogsmeade. That makes it easy to see what you need to use for each lecture, seminar or assessment.
Permalink. You can share an item with someone if you want to – copy the permalink to the clipboard and send it to someone you know may be interested.
Save your search. If you need to repeat your search then save it within Library Search so you don’t need to remember the keywords and connectors (AND, OR, NOT) sequence. This is important if you are scoping a search and need to record or change your approach. You can also ‘Personalise’ your results to a particular discipline – give it a try!
Set up a RSS Feed (yes, really!). The Rich Site Summary function allows you to be informed of changes to results in your saved searches. Handy, eh? Go to your Saved Searches and simply click the RSS icon.
Receive an email alert when there are new results for your saved search. This can save you time in your research as Library Search will inform you if there is a new publication available which matches your search terms. Switch it off when you move onto a new subject area by accessing your Favourites list and deselecting the alarm bell icon.
Finally, if you’re writing up your assignment and can’t remember the essential elements of a reference, then use Library Search for guidance. The Citation tool will allow you to view a suggested citation and to copy it to your clipboard for use in your work.*
*BUT (you knew that was coming, didn’t you) ensure you choose the correct style and check your citations for accuracy before including them in your work. It pays to know your required referencing style and not to rely on automated or generated references. If you want to learn more about referencing then see our Managing Information guide and Cite Them Right. Cite Them Right is a great resource which will remind you of the importance of referencing, how to reference and will give guidance on how to cite those more tricky materials such as conference papers, newspaper articles, social media posts and more. Finally, there’s a new tutorial with lots of interactive questions so you can test yourself too.
If you know of any tips or tricks in Library Search that aren’t mentioned here, then leave us a comment and share them!
Library Search is Newcastle University’s library catalogue. But it will give you more than just information on where to find books on the shelves! It’s our power search system and looks inside many of our subscription journals and databases, to retrieve articles, conference papers, news items and more. It is the basic way to begin any literature search.
If you can spare a few minutes then watch these short videos to learn just what Library Search can do for you:
Whether you’re a fresher or a
final year student we want to help you get the most from your Library. From
discovering resources to finding the right study space, to where to go to get help
with your coursework. So, here are a couple of ways you can settle in and join
in at the Library:
Virtual Escape Game and Prize Draw
There’s something strange going on at the
Library – something about dangerous magical beasts and impossible riddles. It
all sounds like an elaborate freshers’ week prank…but what if there’s
something more going on?
Challenge yourself to our exciting Escape Game and enter our prize draw to be in with a chance of winning a £25 Amazon voucher! (There are five runner-up prizes too, so lots of chances to win!) Play individually or work with a team of friends on Zoom (or other video conferencing tool of choice) to solve the puzzles and save the Library!
The Liaison Team have been working alongside services
from across the University to create and deliver our Library induction online
as part of the Newcastle Beginnings programme.
Available to all students in Canvas, it is designed to enable new
students to get started with the Library and act as a refresher for returning
students. You’ll find an introduction to our services, an overview of the
resources and support available for your subject area, guides on how to get the
best results from Library Search, and advice on accessing materials and support
from the Library wherever you are studying this semester.
This year’s rather unique circumstances mean that we’re managing our services and facilities more flexibly and that things may change at short notice. The best way for you to keep informed and up to date on availability of study spaces, and access to facilities and resources is to keep a weather-eye on the Library website, which will be regularly updated with any important changes.
Library Help is available 24/7 – you can browse our FAQ database by topic or search it by using keywords; send us an email or chat with us about your query. We’re happy to help!
Are you preparing a dissertation or project, or will be doing so next academic year?
Make sure you visit our interactive dissertation and project guide. Based on the extensive experience of staff from the Library and Writing Development Centre, this guide includes an interactive search planner, which takes you through the different stages of developing your search strategy, and enables you to create and download your personalised search plan: you can even ask for feedback on it from the Library liaison team.
The search planner is complemented by a project proposal planner, developed by our colleagues in the Writing Development Centre, to help you develop or refine your research proposal.
The guide also points you to further advice on a wide range of relevant skills, to give you advanced knowhow in finding, managing and evaluating information. For example: where to find specialised information resources for your subject area, and methods to keep your literature search up to date over a long period.
It’s easy to navigate, with clear text and short videos throughout. Whether you are already underway with your dissertation, or just starting to think about it, we’re sure you will find it helpful!
This toolkit takes you through all the stages of developing your search strategy. Step by step, the planner helps you take a closer look at your question, to identify important concepts, themes and keywords. You can keep adding, editing and refining this as you go, and even create and download your own personalised search plan and email it to yourself, your tutor or librarian for feedback
The guide contains further advice on a wide range of relevant skills, such as finding, managing and evaluating information. It also directs you to the key information resources for your subject area. So make sure you check it out.
We are rather proud of our new Sustainability Guide, created in collaboration with one of our quite brilliant SAgE PhD students, Georgios Pexas – actually he did all the hard work by providing all of the content!
This guide looks at Sustainability regarding the key resources available from the Library around the three main pillars of sustainability: Environment, Economy and Society. We particularly like Georgios’ opening paragraph for our guide explaining what sustainability is and its relation to these three pillars:
“As defined by the “Brundtland Commission” in 1987, sustainability is the ability to “meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”. In other words, it describes living within the limits of available natural, physical and social resources and in ways that allow our environment to thrive in perpetuity; a concept that can be summarised as: “enough, for all, forever”. Sustainability approaches the issue of resource depletion holistically, unifying Environmental, Economical and Social concerns.”
You will find the Sustainability Guide in the SAgE section of the Subject Guides, as it focuses on natural sciences and engineering side of sustainability, however we would love to have a section on how we as individuals can be more sustainable. We are trying to keep this Guide concise, yet useful, yet we welcome any new ideas for this guide, so please contact email@example.com if you think of anything worth adding.