Referencing@portsmouth giving students what they really really want
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[email protected]: giving students what they really, really want. Anne Worden Faculty Librarian: Humanities and Social Sciences University of Portsmouth. Background. Library seen as trusted provider of guidance on using Harvard APA Short printed guide published for 10 yrs

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[email protected]: giving students what they really, really want

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[email protected]: giving students what they really, really want

Anne Worden

Faculty Librarian:

Humanities and Social Sciences

University of Portsmouth


  • Library seen as trusted provider of guidance on using Harvard APA

    • Short printed guide published for 10 yrs

    • Common queries published as FAQ on Library Website

    • Students and staff ask librarians for advice

  • Sliding scale of penalties introduced

  • Increasing number of students asking for help

  • Increasing questions about reference types not covered in APA manual – needed wider consensus on format to be used

The [email protected] Project

  • Bid to University Learning & Teaching Committee - Summer 2005

  • Small group to drive things forward

  • Plan for authority group to rule on formats not covered in APA manual

  • Crucial early decisions on where content should reside

  • Bulk of time then taken with inputting examples – and finding suitable e.g.s to use

Promotion of [email protected]

  • Presented to Heads and Course Leaders’ Conference Sept 2006

  • Flyers and post-it notes

  • Demonstrated during student induction and re-induction sessions Oct-Nov 2006

  • Link on the Library homepage

Lessons learned

  • Bid for University money - it gets official seal of approval and raises Library profile

  • A small compact team with direct experience of answering referencing queries got things moving

  • Having University Authority Group a good idea but difficult to get off ground

  • More publicity needed!

What students think we need to improve

  • Quite low profile still, many on my course did not know about it - Education

  • Students need to be made aware of it - Politics

  • As a joint honours law student the information is only relevant for half of my assessments. Maybe the OSCOLA system could be added

  • Some links haven’t been put in yet– Creative Technology

  • Complete it! - Health

Hits on [email protected] Site

Student views: Easy to use?


Student views: Does it meet needs?


What do the students say?

  • Very useful, found it invaluable when stuck on how to reference – Politics Yr 1

  • It has really helped me understand what I am supposed to be doing – Criminal Justice Distance Learner

  • It is a great help. I have recommended it to my fellow students when they have referencing problems – Part-time Education Student

  • It’s very, very useful! – Languages Final Yr

  • An easy to use helpful guide for something that is really important to academic work– Law Final Yr

What do staff say?

  • The definitive guidance

    • Criminal Justice lecturer

  • Has made my responses more efficient, I can in some cases simply point the enquirer to it

    • Academic Skills lecturer

  • I advise students to have this link open in a 2nd window whilst they are working on their essays

    • Politics lecturer

  • I use it during tutorials with students, including final year students for dissertation work

    • European Studies lecturer

  • I think it is particularly useful for international students

    • Public Administration lecturer

Benefits of [email protected]

  • Time saved on referencing queries – subject librarians, enquiry staff, lecturers, students

  • Single authoritative source available 24/7 – for students, lecturers and library staff

  • Agreed new formats instantly available to all

  • Good publicity for the Library

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