By Dr Linda Glassop
“…we rarely teach students about the underlying principles of referencing.”
I recently had a student ask me to explain the difference between an authored book and an edited book. This is not a question you expect to hear, but it is a reasonable question for a student to ask. The problem is, there is no forum within which students can actually ask this question!
The reason for the question is related to referencing. The reference for an edited book is very different to an authored book; but first, you need to know what type of book you have. The same goes for many other resource types (e.g., articles). The key problem is that we rarely teach students about the underlying principles of referencing, expecting that they can pick up a Style Guide and miraculously know how to apply it.
As a consequence, we devised a course ‘Fundamentals of Referencing‘ that, in Part A, explores five resource types: Articles, Books, Journal Material, Internet Material and Notes or Notebooks. For each resource type, we examine a range of issues. For books, we take a look at:
- What ‘book’ is that?
- Parts of a book (e.g., front matter, body, back matter)
- Elements of a book (e.g., contents, acknowledgments, glossary, references)
- Contributors to books (e.g., editors, authors)
- Descriptors for books (e.g., titles, short titles, series titles)
- Identifiers for books (e.g., year published, publisher, and other key publication data)
- Recording the source (i.e., hard copy, online or database)
- Keeping notes (e.g., abstract, summary, legal notes)
- Finding books
- Top tips for referencing books
- Examples of referencing books
- Tools for storing book references
Students can find out all the intricate details about managing reference data for: Articles, Books, Journal Material, Internet Material and Notes or Notebooks, before they launch into applying a Style Guide. Our course is self-paced, and provides a range of interactive elements to keep it interesting. Also, students can self-test after each section to ensure they are retaining the knowledge.