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How do you solve a problem like researching for assignments?: Acknowledge what you use

1. What will I learn in this section?

  1. The referencing style you are using for your course if you are in the Department of Biosciences and Chemistry. 
  2. Why we reference and how to find out how to reference specific types of information.
  3. What specific key terms mean when discussing referencing.
  4. That you have options! You can manual write your references or use online referencing tools.

2. Make sure you know what referencing style you are required to use!

This guide is aimed at students that are in their first year of study at Sheffield Hallam University and this is the current 2021-2022 referencing guidance.

Biosciences and chemistry referencing guidance by course

  • You must follow the referencing guidance provided by your course leaders or the teaching team that set your assignment.

If you are in any doubt regarding which style of referencing you should be following check with your course leader or your teaching team that set the assignment as soon as possible!

  • If you are studying on a biology or biosciences based course at undergraduate and postgraduate level then you should follow the APA style.

  • If you are studying on a chemistry course at an undergraduate or postgraduate level then you should follow the numerical system used by Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) throughout your degree.

  • If you are studying at PhD level, you will use a variety of referencing formats and styles and should be advised by your supervisor on the specific style needed at specific times of your PhD.

 

From September 2021, the university adopted APA 7 as the standard referencing style.

If you are a new student, you will be using APA 7th for referencing. If you are a continuing student from other years and levels of study you can use APA 6 for this year. In some subject areas like Chemistry, students are asked to use other referencing styles that are appropriate for professional practice.

If in any doubt, check what referencing style is expected for your programme of study in advance of beginning your assessed work!

3. Build your referencing knowledge

This is an image with the text - I'm new to referencing.

 

This is a picture of a light bulb.                      Activity 1: If you have not watched the Professional Science and Practice 1: Referencing lecture, watch the lecture!

  • If you are on a chemistry course, watch the chemistry version which covers the use of the Royal Society of Chemistry style.
  • If you are on a biosciences course, watch the biosciences version which covers APA 7.

You can find the video lecture in your Professional Science and Practice 1 module site > Skills > Essay week.

If you are unsure whether you should be following the Royal Society of Chemistry style or APA 7, check with your course leader! You do not want to follow the wrong referencing style!

If you are not taking the Professional Science and Practice module, there are links below to information that will explain why we reference and how to reference information.

This is a blue box with the text inside - I'm using another referencing style.

Important information for the chemistry students

The chemistry course follow the numerical style of referencing as outlined by the Royal Society of Chemistry. The How to reference using the Royal Society of Chemistry style guide is a webpage on the Royal Society of Chemistry website.

We recommend that you download the PDF guide for referring back to later when you are working on your references.

The following information was correct as of 16th Sept 2021. Currently, there is a limit on open access views of the RSC Education resources section. If you exceed the open access views, then you can still access the content but you will need to register with the RSC to get free access to the resources section.

 

Here are a selection of really useful guides to support APA and RSC referencing:

4. Lets check our referencing understanding!

This is a picture of a light bulb.                      Activity 2: Answer these poll based questions to check your understanding about referencing.

All the answers are in Box 4 - Answers on the How do you feel now section!

Question 1: Accurate referencing is important because...
it provides evidence for your arguments.: 3 votes (14.29%)
it demonstrates that you have researched or read around the subject which you are writing about.: 2 votes (9.52%)
it allows any reader of your work to find the sources you used.: 6 votes (28.57%)
it shows that you are not passing off someone else's work as your own thoughts.: 9 votes (42.86%)
you get marks for it in assignments.: 1 votes (4.76%)
Total Votes: 21
Question 2: I am confident that I am using the following referencing style...
APA 7: 17 votes (80.95%)
RSC: 1 votes (4.76%)
I can choose my own approach: 0 votes (0%)
I am unsure: 3 votes (14.29%)
Total Votes: 21
Question 3: Citing is...
is referring to someone else’s work or ideas in the text of your work.: 12 votes (63.16%)
is when you quote a persons work word by word.: 4 votes (21.05%)
when you paraphrase another persons work.: 3 votes (15.79%)
Total Votes: 19
Question 4: References to the information I use are put...
at the end of my work.: 18 votes (85.71%)
in footnotes.: 2 votes (9.52%)
in the citation.: 1 votes (4.76%)
Total Votes: 21

5. Citation practice

Lets put those citation skills into practice!

We are going to use the same article for this citation activity.

This is a picture of a light bulb.                      Activity 3: Answer the poll

  • Go to the article to find out who wrote the article.
  • Answer the poll question.
  • You can choose to answer both polls or just answer the poll that related to the referencing style used within your course.

Poll questions and answers

  • Due to the lack of editing options for poll answers, the answers do not have reflect when italics, bold or superscript are used in references or citations. However the answers will reflect any need for bold, italics or superscript.

    You can find the answers in Box 4 on the How do you feel now? section.

Question 1: What referencing style does this article follow?
APA: 14 votes (82.35%)
Numerical referencing: 3 votes (17.65%)
Oscala: 0 votes (0%)
Harvard: 0 votes (0%)
Total Votes: 17
Question 2: Which is the correct APA 7 citation for the chosen article?
Kundu (2019) discusses how science fiction, comics and films have influenced the development of materials with properties that mirror what is being used in these fictional realms.: 9 votes (52.94%)
Kundu discusses how science fiction, comics and films have influenced the development of materials with properties that mirror what is being used in these fictional realms.: 0 votes (0%)
In Elements of science and fiction (2019), Kundu discusses how science fiction, comics and films have influenced the development of materials with properties that mirror what is being used in these fictional realms.: 6 votes (35.29%)
Kunda (https://shu.primo.exlibrisgroup.com/permalink/44SHU_INST/19st8hg/cdi_proquest_miscellaneous_2157666045) discusses how science fiction influences the development of materials with properties that mirror what is being used in these fictional realms.: 2 votes (11.76%)
Total Votes: 17
Question 3: Which is the correct RSC citation for the chosen article?
Kundu (2019) discusses how science fiction, comics and films have influenced the development of materials with properties that mirror what is being used in these fictional realms.: 3 votes (23.08%)
Kundu discusses how science fiction, comics and films have influenced the development of materials with properties that mirror what is being used in these fictional realms. 1: 6 votes (46.15%)
Kundu discusses how science fiction, comics and films have influenced the development of materials with properties that mirror what is being used in these fictional realms.: 1 votes (7.69%)
Kundu (2019) discusses how science fiction, comics and films have influenced the development of materials with properties that mirror what is being used in these fictional realms. 1: 3 votes (23.08%)
Total Votes: 13

6. Referencing practice

Lets put those referencing skills into practice!

We are going to use the same article for this referencing activity.

This is a picture of a light bulb.                      Activity 4: Working with journal articles

  • Use the same article you used for Activity 4.
  • If you have closed your browser window with the online article, you can reopen the article by using the article link as listed below - Elements of science and fiction.
  • Read around page 1 of the article to identify the bibliographic information you would need to write a reference to the article.
  • Answer the poll question.
  • You can choose to answer both polls or just answer the poll that relates to the referencing style used within your course.

What do you mean when you say bibliographic information?

We mean the information that explains who wrote the item you are using and how we could find this information for ourselves. It may be a physical item like a print book or it may be online like an online journal article.

 For example in relation to an article:

  • author name
  • article title
  • journal title
  • volume, issue and part (if applicable)
  • page numbers

 

Poll questions and answers

Due to the lack of editing options for poll answers, the answers do not have reflect when italics, bold or superscript are used in references or citations. However the answers will reflect any need for bold, italics or superscript.

You can find the answers in Box 4 on the How do you feel now? section.

 

Question 1: Which is the correct APA 7 reference for the article?
Kundu, S. (2019). Elements of science and fiction. Nature Chemistry, 11(1), 13–16. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41557-018-0194-5: 12 votes (63.16%)
Kundu, S. (2019). Elements of science and fiction. Nature Chemistry, 11(1), 13–16.: 3 votes (15.79%)
S. Kundu, “Elements of science and fiction,” Nature chemistry, vol. 11, no. 1, pp. 13–16, 2019, doi: 10.1038/s41557-018-0194-5.: 1 votes (5.26%)
Kundu, S. (2019). ‘Elements of science and fiction’, Nature chemistry, 11/1: 13–6. England. DOI: 10.1038/s41557-018-0194-5: 3 votes (15.79%)
Total Votes: 19
Question 2: Which is the correct RSC reference for the article?
S. Kundu, Nature chemistry, 2019, 11, 13–16.: 3 votes (23.08%)
S. Kundu, Nat. Chem,, 2019, 11, 13–16.: 1 votes (7.69%)
Kundu S, ‘Elements of Science and Fiction’ (2019) 11 Nature chemistry 13: 3 votes (23.08%)
Kundu, S. (2019). Elements of science and fiction. Nature Chemistry, 11(1), 13–16. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41557-018-0194-5: 6 votes (46.15%)
Total Votes: 13

You can find  out how to reference specific types of information on the Referencing at Sheffield Hallam University guide and in the How to reference using the Royal Society of Chemistry style guide.

This is a red box with the text - I need to reference something in APA.

Most students at Hallam are expected to use the APA 7 referencing style in their work. In this section of the Referencing at Sheffield Hallam University guide, you will find examples of how to reference the resources most used in writing at university. For more examples download our full guide to APA 7.

 This is a blue box with the text - I'm using another referencing style.

Some subject areas like Chemistry use a different referencing style, usually because another style is expected for professional practice. In this section of the Referencing at Sheffield Hallam University guide, you will find links to the Royal Society of Chemistry guide on How to reference using the Royal Society of Chemistry style.

7. Are there any online tools that can help with referencing and citing information?

That's a really good question! 

There are a range of online options and tools that you could choose to use instead of typing your references out yourself.

Whichever approach you choose, you still need to know what an APA or RSC citation and reference needs to include to be a complete reference. You need to have the referencing knowledge to spot if your citation and reference is correct or you may lose marks in your assignment!

Citation tools in resources

Many online resources like Library Search, online journals or eBooks have a citation tool. You can use the citation tool to create a citation to the piece of information you are using and need to reference. All resources are slightly different and you will need to look around the screen for the citation function. 

 

Does Library Search have a citation tool?

The good news is yes it does! You can see an example of the citation tool in Library Search below. The citation tool is available for APA 7 and RSC. You still need to check for accuracy because if information is missing from the Library Search record this will be replicated by the citation tool. You are in charge of your reference list and need to check for accuracy!

 

The screenshot below shows the citation tool with APA 7 selected. You can then copy and paste the reference into your reference list.

A screenshot of the citation tool in Library Search with APA 7 selected.

 

This screenshot shows the citation tool with Royal Society of Chemistry selected. You can then copy and paste the reference into your reference list.A screenshot of the citation tool in Library Search with the Royal Society of Chemistry selected.

This is a green box with the text - I want to use RefWorks or other tools.

There are many tools available to help you keep track of your references and format references and citations in your work.  They can capture reference details from Library Search, subject databases and Google Scholar saving you time and effort. 

Referencing tools can help you manage resources you use and format citations and references in your work.  Everyone at Hallam is entitled to a ProQuest RefWorks account which you can continue to use after you complete your studies.

The Library recommends and supports students using ProQuest RefWorks, however, this does not mean that you cannot use other reference management software.

This is an orange box with the text - I would like to book onto a workshop.

8. Take a break

Congratulations you have completed six sections! 

Time to take a break - maybe some fresh air or a chat with a friend or a cup of tea!