Getting referencing right: some useful resources

Working on your, possibly first, assignment and unsure how to do your references? Not know the difference between references and citations, endnotes and footnotes, Harvard or Chicago, etc? We’ve got a few useful online resources that should help demystify the referencing process.

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(Lego Academics, 2014)

Good referencing is essential.

Referencing the readings and material you have used for your research is vitally important.  Not only does it demonstrate that you have actually spent time doing the research and using it to form your own opinions or arguments but it also means that you are not trying to make it seem that someone else’s work is your own. Continue reading

Feedback questions from library welcome sessions

New Academic Support LibrariansIt was great to meet so many SPS postgraduate students in our Welcome Week workshops on Library Resources. We’ve now put the slides from these sessions up on our subject guide web pages.  We asked you to write any questions you still had about the library on your feedback sheets so we could get back to you. Here’s some of the things you asked :

1. “Are there any free software resources in the library? For example SPSS?”

Yes, the University provides access to SPSS  – see http://www.ed.ac.uk/information-services/computing/desktop-personal/software/main-software-deals/spss for more information. A range of other software resources are also available on University desktop machines, such as NVivo.

2. “You mentioned VPN – how and when do we use it for the library?”

VPN, or Virtual Private Network,  is necessary for off campus access to a small number of library databases. In particular some newspaper databases, such as Factiva and Nexis UK, require VPN access for off-campus access. You can find information about the VPN service at <http://www.ed.ac.uk/is/vpn

3.“Is there any reference management system I can download to my computer for free?”

You can download Endnote Online for free. See http://www.ed.ac.uk/information-services/help-consultancy/is-skills/catalogue/text-catalogue/endnote-web-intro. You may also be interested in Mendeley and Zotero.

 4.  “I would like to find out more about referencing systems such as Mendeley. Does the University support the desktop version?”

The desktop version of Mendeley is installed on lab PCs throughout the University, although the University doesn’t provide as full a support service for this package as it does for Endnote. If you’d like to find out more about using different bibliographic managers, you may find this comparison table useful.

5. “Is there a floor plan of the Main Library?”

Yes, there are plans for each floor – see the bottom of the page at http://edin.ac/2beNlFw

Christine Love-Rodgers & Caroline Stirling, Academic Support Librarians – Social & Political Science

Top five library questions from SPS PG students

Academic Support Librarians

Welcome from Caroline & Christine

It was great to meet so many SPS postgraduate students in our Welcome Week workshops on Library Resources. We’ve now put the slides from these sessions up on our subject guide web pages.  We asked you to write any questions you still had about the library on your feedback sheets so we could get back to you. Here’s some of the things you asked :

  1. “How do I find out more about using Endnote?”

To learn more about Endnote Online (Web) you canbook on the iSkills course, Using EndNote Online to Manage your References via MyEd. Further details can be found at http://www.ed.ac.uk/information-services/help-consultancy/is-skills/classroom-courses/basic-it-library-and-bibliography. Alternatively, the course materials are also available online.Training for the desktop version of Endnote that I mentioned is also available (Managing Bibliographies with EndNote X7).

2. “How do I log in/sign in via the University to JSTOR journals?”

If you access JSTOR via the University link at http://www.ed.ac.uk/is/databases-a-z, you will be taken through the University’s authentication which is the EASE username and password log in. This will enable you to be recognised as a University of Edinburgh student and access JSTOR. If you have done this and you get an “authorisation failed” error message, contact the IS Helpline (IS.Helpline@ed.ac.uk) , by phone (0131 651 5151) or via the self-service portal (https://ed.unidesk.ac.uk/tas/public/.

3. “Are IT services and helpdesk the same? If not where can I find the IT desk?”

The IS Helpline are the main contact for  IT and e-learning enquiries. They don’t have a desk that you can visit them in-person, but they do offer a pretty much 24/7 service. You can contact them via email (IS.Helpline@ed.ac.uk) , by phone (0131 651 5151) or via the self-service portal (https://ed.unidesk.ac.uk/tas/public/ – if you contact them via this route then you can keep a track of your enquiry).

There are also Mobile Device Clinics that you can book onto via MyEd for one-to-one help with your laptop or tablet : www.ed.ac.uk/is/mdc

If you’re  having problems connecting to your email account or using the University’s wireless or VPN services then the Helpline are running drop-in Get Connected sessions in the Main Library, 10am-4pm (until Fri 25 Sept). More information at www.ed.ac.uk/is/get-connected

4. “Can you tell me more about study spaces beyond the Library (as I’ve heard it gets crowded)?

During peak periods such as undergraduate revision and exam time, extra study space is opened up around the central area and this is advertised through the Library website, library social media accounts e.g. https://www.facebook.com/EdUniLibraries and https://twitter.com/EdUniMainLib, and a large map gets put up in the Main Library itself.

Apart from this though, remember that you can use any of the other site libraries around the University, which have study space and often open access computing facilities as well.  Also in George Square the Hugh Robson Building, which is next door to the Chrystal Macmillan Building (CMB), has a 24 hour open access computing lab in it which all students have access to. There are also other open access computing labs available, not based in libraries, around the central area. See http://www.ed.ac.uk/information-services/students/study-space for more information.

5. “I want to know more about the possibility of using other academic libraries in the UK”

Have you heard of the SCONUL Access scheme? Most of the Universities in the UK and Ireland are members of this reciprocal scheme which gives students and staff of member universities access to other member university libraries. You have to register with the scheme first of all and you register online with your home library i.e. University of Edinburgh Library. Once registered you will be sent a registration email and it is this email AND your student card that you will need to gain access to other University Libraries in the UK. For more information see :

http://www.ed.ac.uk/information-services/library-museum-gallery/using-library/borrowing-a-book/other-libraries/eu-sconul-access

More information can also be found on the SCONUL Access website http://www.sconul.ac.uk/sconul-access

Christine Love-Rodgers & Caroline Stirling, Academic Support Librarians – Social & Political Science