A quick guide to understanding references
When you look at a reading list for the first time it can seem quite daunting. You may ask yourself, what do all these seemingly random strings of words and numbers mean? Where will I find these articles I have been asked to read? By Francesca Cornick
Take a deep breath, all is about to be explained.
Each item listed on your reading list will appear as a reference. The reference will contain unique information which you can use to identify what type of item it is (a book, book chapter, article etc.)
All items will include the following information:
- author (or corporate author)
- title of the book or article
- date of publication
The unique identifiers for a book will be:
- place of publication
- name of publisher
e.g. Jarvis, P. (2007) Globalisation, lifelong learning and the learning society: sociological perspectives. London: Routeledge.
In addition to this, the unique identifiers for a book chapter will be:
- 2 titles; the title of the book and the title of the chapter,
- often 2 sets of authors or editors; author or editor of the chapter, and the author or editor of the book
- page numbers of the chapter
e.g. Twigg, C. (2005) Overseas students in higher education. In: Cullingford, C. & Gunn, S. eds. Globalisation, education and culture shock. Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing: 86-106.
The unique identifiers for a journal article will be:
- 2 titles; the title of the article and the title of the journal
- Numbers; volume, issue and page numbers
- There will not be a place of publication or name of publisher
e.g. Altbach, P. G. & Knight, J. (2007) The internationalization of higher education: Motivations and realities. Journal of studies in international education, 11 (3-4): 290-305.
Once you have identified the references, you need to locate them in the Library. For books or book chapter, enter the title of the book or author name into Encore. For journal articles enter the title of journal into Encore.
The results will then indicate if the Library has access to the item you need. For journal articles, it is important to check the Library has a subscription to the year you require.
For more help finding items on your reading lists, take a look at our tutorial.