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How to solve a problem like researching for your first science assignment!

1. What will I learn in this section?

We will cover:

  • Whether you are using APA 7th and the numerical system used by the Royal Society of Chemistry.
  • The meaning of specific referencing terms.
  • Why we reference and how to reference specific types of information.
  • Using online tools to help you cite and reference information.

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

This is the current recommendations for Biosciences and Chemistry referencing guidance by course (2023/2024)

  • If you are studying on a biology or biosciences based course at undergraduate or 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).

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

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!

3. Lets check our referencing understanding!

We need to know the  meaning of specific referencing terms to be able to understand the process

Words like these are very similar but the meaning can be different!

  • referencing
  • reference
  • reference list
  • bibliography
  • cite
  • citations

This is a picture of a light bulb.                      Activity 1: Use the Academic Skills Glossary to look up each word.

You may have used or heard these words already but look each one up to make sure you are clear what the meaning of each word is!

4. Build your referencing knowledge

This is a picture of a light bulb.                      Activity 2: Take a look at the referencing material on your module site.

If you are an undergraduate, you can find the information in  (add location).

If you are a postgraduate, you can find the information in ( add location).

 

What is covering in the material?

Within the folder, you can find the video version of the lecture and the accompanying PowerPoint slides. The lecture is given by the Biosciences and Chemistry librarians in each academic year in semester one.

 

Which version do I watch or read?

  • 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 biology or biosciences course, watch the biosciences version which covers APA 7.

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!

 

Supporting material

The Library has a range of referencing support and the information is included below. 

Important information for the chemistry students

The chemistry courses 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 Royal Society of Chemistry 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 Royal Society of Chemistry to get free access to the resources section.

 

This is a picture of a light bulb.                      Activity 2: We are now going to check your understanding about referencing.

Respond to Question 1 - 3 and choose one answer per question.

Question 1: Accurate referencing is important because...
it provides evidence for your arguments.: 3 votes (12.5%)
it demonstrates that you have researched or read around the subject which you are writing about.: 3 votes (12.5%)
it allows any reader of your work to find the sources you used.: 7 votes (29.17%)
it shows that you are not passing off someone else's work as your own thoughts.: 10 votes (41.67%)
you get marks for it in assignments.: 1 votes (4.17%)
Total Votes: 24
Question 2: I am confident that I am using the following referencing style...
APA 7: 18 votes (75%)
RSC: 1 votes (4.17%)
I can choose my own approach: 0 votes (0%)
I am unsure: 5 votes (20.83%)
Total Votes: 24
Question 3: Citing is...
is referring to someone else’s work or ideas in the text of your work.: 14 votes (63.64%)
is when you quote a persons work word by word.: 5 votes (22.73%)
when you paraphrase another persons work.: 3 votes (13.64%)
Total Votes: 22
Question 4: References to the information I use are put...
at the end of my work.: 22 votes (88%)
in footnotes.: 2 votes (8%)
in the citation.: 1 votes (4%)
Total Votes: 25

5. Citation practice

Lets put those citation skills into practice!

For this activity, we are going to use the Elements of Science Fiction article linked below.

There are APA and RSC questions related to the article. You can choose to answer both sets of questions or just the questions that relate to the referencing style your course uses.

You can find the answers in the Conclusion tab in the Answers box.

 

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

  • Go to the article to find out who wrote the article.
  • Answer the questions.

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.

Question 1: What referencing style does this article follow?
APA: 15 votes (75%)
Numerical referencing: 4 votes (20%)
Oscala: 1 votes (5%)
Harvard: 0 votes (0%)
Total Votes: 20
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.: 10 votes (50%)
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.: 8 votes (40%)
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 (10%)
Total Votes: 20
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 (20%)
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 (40%)
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.: 3 votes (20%)
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 (20%)
Total Votes: 15

6. Referencing practice

Lets put those referencing skills into practice!

For this activity, we are going to use the Elements of Science Fiction article linked below.

There are APA and RSC questions related to the article. You can choose to answer both sets of questions or just the questions that relate to the referencing style your course uses.

You can find the answers in the Conclusion tab in the Answers box.

 

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

  • Go to the article.
  • Look at Page 1 of the article to find the information you need to write an article reference.
  • Answer the questions.

Remind me... what information do I need to write a reference for a journal article?

You need 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

If you need more information, take a look at the Library guide or the Royal Society of Chemistry guide for referencing. Look in the article referencing section!

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.

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 (60%)
Kundu, S. (2019). Elements of science and fiction. Nature Chemistry, 11(1), 13–16.: 4 votes (20%)
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%)
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%)
Total Votes: 20
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

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

That's a great question! 

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

However!

You still need to know what an APA or RSC citation and reference needs to include to be a complete reference. You are the ultimate quality control of your work!

If you use an online tool, you still need to check your citations and references and have  the referencing knowledge to spot if your citation and reference is correct or you may lose marks in your assignment!

Does Library Search have a referencing tool?

The good news is yes it does!

You can see an example of the feature in Library Search below. You can use it 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 missing from your reference!

The screenshot below shows the tool with APA 7 selected. Once selected, you can 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 feature with Royal Society of Chemistry selected. Once 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.

There are other 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.

8. Take a break

Congratulations you have completed six sections! 

Time to take a break - maybe find your next box set to watch!