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Rationalising referencing: changing policy and practice to smooth transition and improve the student experience - Dan Pullinger & Michelle Schneider

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Rationalising referencing: changing policy and practice to smooth transition and improve the student experience - Dan Pullinger & Michelle Schneider

  1. 1. Rationalising referencing: Changing policy and practice to smooth transition and improve the student experience Dan Pullinger Michelle Schneider Leeds University Library
  2. 2. Harvard referencing – which of these is correct? a) Smith, A., Jones, R. and Edwards, J. (2014). How to reference. 2nd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press. b) SMITH, A., R. JONES and J. EDWARDS. 2012. How to reference. 2nd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press. c) Smith, A. et al. 2012. How to reference. 2nd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  3. 3. Harvard referencing – which of these is correct? a) Smith, A., Jones, R. and Edwards, J. (2014). How to reference. 2nd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press. b) SMITH, A., R. JONES and J. EDWARDS. 2012. How to reference. 2nd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press. c) Smith, A. et al. 2012. How to reference. 2nd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press. d) There is no correct answer!
  4. 4. As one student put it… “Referencing at the University of Leeds is an absolute shambles!” • Many different styles in use, plus multiple variants • Differing expectations from tutors, within schools and even modules! • Students given inconsistent advice and left confused • Disproportionate amount of time spent on referencing • Risk of inequitable marking Image from Microsoft Clip Art
  5. 5. Provide definitive source of guidance for taught students and tutors Help students to focus on underlying principles: • Why reference • When to reference • Using sources to develop own understanding and argument Transferable skills that benefit studies and enhance employability Improved student experience Referencing as a threshold concept?
  6. 6. What did we do? • Pushed for a change in policy and practice • Gained support from Vice Chancellor and LUU Education Officer • Liaised with committees at university, faculty and school level • Introduction of Rationalising Referencing Policy • Code of practice on assessment amended across all faculties • Library as central source of guidance and support for referencing Image from Microsoft Clip Art
  7. 7. Rationalising Referencing Policy All schools to select single referencing style for use by all taught students All schools adopting Harvard or Numeric have to use standardised Leeds version Any school choosing another style (e.g. OSCOLA, MHRA) to direct students to single, official guide All marking of referencing to adhere to Library’s centralised guidance
  8. 8. Library’s referencing webpages http://library.leeds.ac.uk/skills-referencing
  9. 9. Has the policy worked? • 74.5% using Harvard, 14% MHRA, 12% Numeric • Using multiple sources of guidance • Problems with inconsistency, inexperience, perceived lack of support, EndNote Student survey: 1,464 responses • Lack of awareness of policy • Differing opinions and expectations on official styles Staff survey: 91 responses
  10. 10. “Some tutors have said that the referencing was done incorrectly, when I had used the examples given in the Library guide… I always dread getting an essay back because I'm worried the tutor will have marked me down for referencing.” “It seems that individual tutors will also have slight differences in the way they mark the same type of references. It is difficult when there doesn't seem to be a universal system to work with.” “It is confusing to know which style to use as different departments and even different members of staff within the same department say different things.”
  11. 11. Actions for the Library Promote referencing support we provide for students • Webpages • Online tutorials • Workshops • List of schools’ official styles • EndNote styles for Leeds versions of Harvard and Numeric • One-to-one advice Minor changes to Leeds versions of Harvard and Numeric Additional source type examples Examples of citations and references within working documents Improve navigation for referencing webpages
  12. 12. Recommendations for schools All students given introduction to referencing at Level 1 School drop-in or refresher sessions at other levels Promote Library referencing webpages via induction, VLE, handbooks Sample of modules to be checked for compliance with referencing policy Reading lists to be formatted in school’s official referencing style Marking criteria to explicitly state how referencing will be assessed
  13. 13. • School recommendations implemented? • Follow-up survey with previous student respondents • Any tweaking of styles needed? • Use of “et al.” in bibliography • Add Leeds styles to Mendeley and Zotero? • Embedded teaching to focus on how to use other people’s ideas in assignments Future plans “Space, Space, Space“ by Österreichisches Weltraum Forum Austrian
  14. 14. “Overall, I think the support for referencing is very good.” “Very informative and clear information given on the Library website.” “They more clearly reference the Skills@Library and online tutorials within the student handbooks.” “I got marked down on using the Harvard style as it was on the S@L website.”
  15. 15. Our top tips • Aim high, but be realistic too! • Make the most of opportunities • Gather evidence to strengthen your argument • Be prepared for the long haul • Share the load • Use existing contacts, networks, structures • Keep record of everything you do • Have courage of your convictions • Leave open to review, but on your own terms!
  16. 16. Any questions? Image from Microsoft Clip Art References: Warner, R. 2011. Referencing: a threshold concept. AUC TESOL Journal. [Online]. Special issue, pp.141-146. [Accessed 3 April 2014]. Available from: http://www.aucegypt.edu/academics/eli/TESOL/issues/Pages/default.aspx

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