R@P: developing and promoting the Referencing@Portsmouth service

J. Matthews, Roisin Gwyer, Linda Jones, Anne Worden

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    The library at the University of Portsmouth (UoP) has for some years been providing advice on referencing across the institution, either at enquiry desks or through subject/faculty librarians.In addition, annually updated short guidesto Vancouver and Harvard (American Psychological Association variant) were produced by thelibrary, and distributed to new students in their thousands. This sufficed for a time but in thelast three or four years the number of referencing enquiries being fielded by library staff has increased tremendously in response to a number of trends common across UK higher education, mainly issues concerning the increased possibilities for intentional and unintentional plagiarism that the web affords. Enquiries about referencing new (usually web-based) sources of information that were not covered by the traditional referencing conventions – developed in a predominantly paper-based era – were also growing and staff were having to give ‘best guess’ solutions. Locally, new courses were much more concerned with electronic and visual media than more traditional courses, and law courses were being developed that had their own referencing conventions. The introduction of penalties for poor referencing meant that students were seeking advice from library staff, from academic tutors and from the university’s academic skills unit and there was a worry about consistency of advice.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)19-23
    Number of pages5
    JournalSCONUL Focus
    Issue number47
    Publication statusPublished - 2009


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