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Photo courtesy of Rachel Marsh.
This guide should take you through the reasons for why you need to keep track of references, & where to find help with referencing. It is much easier to start as soon as possible to follow the guidelines.
Imitation is the sincerest of flattery.
Charles Caleb Colton, Lacon, volume I, no. 183
(1780 – 1832)
Start learning the basics of referencing by copying what you see around you eg on the Faculty website for current students under the ‘Guidelines for dissertations’, or by looking at the Reading Lists on the same page. Use this along with the MHRA guidelines mentioned above as soon as you can as it will become more instinctive the more you try.
Part I - Library handouts on CamTools
Part II - Library handouts on CamTools
- Watch for the Lent Term lecture on referencing (see the Faculty’s Notes on Courses)
- The Librarian regularly runs drop in sessions at the beginning of Easter Term for undergrads. An email will be sent to the student lists.
Click on the links below for more about referencing:
Keeping track of references - WHY?
It is important to record all the details of the sources you use in your work as you will need them for your bibliography and footnotes.
If you do not keep track of all the information at the time you read the book or essay it may be impossible to find them again later when you are short of time. If you don't know who wrote it, you cannot quote it! Using it without an acknowledgement would be plagiarism.
Guidelines on how to reference books, articles etc are available on the Faculty website. They are based on the MHRA style. You can find a copy of the MHRA guidelines in the Faculty Library (B 41 MHR) or download a copy for free from the internet.
You may wish to look at the following powerpoint:Managing references lecture series lent term
Click here for some good ways to keep track of references.
When do I reference something?
You need to reference everything you have read in preparation for an essay or dissertation and then used in some way in that essay. You must reference everything that isn't your opinion or isn't just common knowledge.
Unsure about what is plagiarism and what you must reference? Follow the flow diagram below (courtesy of Cardiff Library Learning Object)and/or have a look at the Purdue OWL webpage.
Ways of keeping track of references
Many people keep a list of the sources they've consulted in some electronic format such as a Word document, or an Excel spreadsheet. One of the disadvantages of using these is that you may not be able to store all the information that you want in the same place. It is also more time-consuming when you produce a bibliography.
Watch the youtube video – Google docs in Plain English
Social bookmarking tools allow you to create a list of references which can then be accessed online via a browser wherever you are. References can also be shared with others. You may wish to explore general services such as Bibsonomy, Diigo and Delicious.
Reference management tools
These allow you to store huge numbers of references, manage these references (including adding in links to, or pdfs of the full text of articles) and then use these references to automatically create citations and produce bibliographies and footnotes in your work.
There are several types of software to consider but Zotero is freely available if you use Firefox as your browser. Although very easy to start using, there is a lot you can do with Zotero.
It's an extension to the Mozilla Firefox browser. It enables you to capture references from catalogues, Google Scholar, or anywhere where bibliographic information can be recognized. You can archive webpages, store pdfs, images, files etc. It is a good way of managing your resources or references, great for creating bibliographies and easy to cite-while-you-write with word processor plugins.
Instructions for using Zotero
Install Firefox for free on your computer if you do not already have it available
Download Zotero – if you have downloaded Zotero before check that you have the latest version
Check your browser – the zotero icon should be installed
For a full description of how to use Zotero visit their homepage or come to a reference managment course.
2. Getting stuff into your Library
There are two really important things you need to know. Firstly, your Zotero Library is always available in your web browser, normally at the bottom RH corner. Click on the icon to get your Library up. Secondly, when conducting a search, the little folder or icon that appears in the location bar of your browser is a good clue that there is downloadable information on that webpage.
- Try a search in JSTOR or Newton or Google Scholar or any of the other sites that are compatable with Zotero
- Click on the folder icon in your browser, select the items you want to download and they will pop into your Library
- You can edit them, add notes, create new libraries, create a bibliography from them etc. All of the basics are very well covered by the Zotero QUICK START GUIDE which is usually installed in your Zotero Library or which you can easily access on their website. They also have a really useful support page.
- The University provides more help for those using Zotero.
- The Computing Service have a relevant document.
- The University Libary also provide extra help in their ‘toolbox’.
The University supports Endnote and many students like to use this – especially if doing a PhD.
EndNote is a bibliographic reference management software package, which allows you to:
- Store huge numbers of references
- Import references straight from the Library Catalogue or a bibliographic database into the package
- Output them automatically into the body of your assignment as citations and a bibliography or footnotes in your chosen referencing style.
The UL's Library toolbox will provide more help.
Note that the Librarian regularly runs courses on Endnote and Zotero. The Computing Service runs courses but they tend to be more generic.