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NUT201 Research Skills Guide: Understanding Your Reading List

Library Information Literacy Task

Interpreting Citations in a Reading or Reference List

When you are looking at a reading list or a list of references, it is helpful if you can distinguish between citations for books, book chapters, journal articles and webpages. This will also help you to search for the items in Primo Search, Google Scholar, or Journal Databases.

The following graphic will help you identify each of the three most common types of citations at university, and indicates the elements that are contained within citations. These citations (or references) are all formatted in the APA 6th style.

 

Book citations should have the following structure: Author/s. Year of publication in parentheses. Book title in italics. Edition in parentheses. Place of publication and publisher.

Book section/chapter citations should have the following structure: Author/s. Year of publication in parentheses. Chapter title. Editor name/s. Book title in italics. Page numbers. Place of publication and publisher.

Journal article citations should have the following structure: Author/s. Year of publication in parentheses. Article title. Journal title in italics. Volume. Issue in parentheses. Page numbers. Retrieval information.

Webpage citations should have the following structure: Website author/s. Year of publication in parentheses. Page name. Retrieval information.

 

Finding Readings in Primo Search

If you paste in the whole citation you will usually get no results.

Search for the article title for a journal article.

Search for the book title for a book or book chapter - add an author if you get too many results.

Searching using your subject code to find eReserve and print items that are on reserve for your subject.

ebooks

Accessing an eBook? Watch this video for handy tips.

Search Tips

If you are searching for a chapter in an edited book from your reading list:

  • Search your subject's eReserve, (also known as 'reserve' or 'subject reserve') as digitised chapters are often in there
  • Search for just the title of the book (not the chapter) in Primo Search - it might be available in an eBook

If you are searching for a journal article from your reading list:

  • Search for just the article title in Primo Search, and if that doesn't work-
  • Search for just the journal title in Primo Search - it might be available within an ejournal or a hard copy journal