Understanding reading lists

When you are given a reading list, you'll need to:

  • You will find your reading list via a link in Blackboard 
  • understand the references to books and journal articles on the list
  • know how to search for the books or journal articles online or in our Library Search

Watch the Reading Lists video for some helpful tips

Book references

Book references usually list the author(s), book title, place of publication, publisher and date of publication. The order of these items varies and sometimes the place of publication is not included.

Here are two examples of references to the same book:

  • Johns, C. (2010) Guided reflection: a narrative approach to advancing professional practice. 2nd ed. Oxford, Blackwell Publishing.
  • Johns, C. Guided reflection: a narrative approach to advancing professional practice 2nd ed. Blackwell Publishing (2010).

In these examples, the items are as follows:

  • Author = C. Johns
  • Title = Guided reflection: a narrative approach to advancing professional practice
  • Date of publication = 2010
  • Publisher = Blackwell Publishing
  • Place of publication = Oxford

Editions

If there is more than one edition of the book, the reference may include an edition statement. In the example above, this is the second edition of the book.

Book chapter references

Your reading list may also include references to chapters in books.

Using the above book as an example, a chapter reference could look like this:

  • Foster, L. ‘An accidental tourist’, in Johns, C. (ed.) Guided reflection : a narrative approach to advancing professional practice . (2010). Oxford, Blackwell Publishing.

In this example the items are:

  • Author of the chapter = L. Foster
  • Title of the chapter = An accidental tourist
  • Editor of the whole book = C. Johns
  • Title of the whole book = Guided reflection : a narrative approach to advancing professional practice

Searching for books

To search for a book in Library Search, you will need the title of the book and the last name of the book's author or editor (not the author or title of the chapter).

Using the above example, you could search for ‘Johns’ and ‘Guided Reflection’.

Journal article references

References to journal articles usually list the author(s), date, article title, journal title, volume number, part/issue number and page number. The order of the information may vary and sometimes the journal title is abbreviated.

Here are two references to the same journal article:

  • Vyas, H.K. (2006) Design History: an alternative approach, Journal of Art History 22 (4), 27-36
  • Design history: an alternative approach, Vyas, H Kumar., J Art Hist, vol.22, no.4, pp.27-36, Autumn 2006

In these examples, the items are:

  • Author of the article = H.K. Vyas
  • Title of the article = Design history: an alternative approach
  • Title of the whole journal = Journal of Art History (abbreviated to J Art Hist)
  • Date of publication = 2006
  • Volume number = 22
  • Part/issue number = 4
  • First page of the article = 27
  • Last page of the article = 36

Searching for journal articles

To search for a journal article in our Library Search (using the 'Articles and more' tab), you'll need the title of the article.

If you're searching the E-journals A-Z list in our Library Search, you'll need the journal title.

Book or journal reference?

It can be difficult to tell the difference between a reference to a journal article and a reference to a book chapter.

If it’s a reference to a journal article, it will usually include a volume, part/issue and page number:

  • Vyas, H.K. (2006) Design History: an alternative approach, Journal of Art History 22 (4), 27-36

If it’s a reference to a book chapter, it will usually include the name of both the author of the article and the editor of the book:

  • Vyas, H.K. 'Design History: an alternative approach', in Fuller, P. (ed), An introduction to art history. 2006, Blackwell Publishing.

Researching a subject or topic

If your reading list suggests a topic or particular person to research, use our Library Search.

Many journal articles and books are available online using the Library Search “Online Access” links.

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