Category Archives: Referencing

Library and Research Skills module in ELE

Library and Research Skills ELE module

The Library and Research Skills module in ELE has lots of information to help you to find out about effective information searching and research skills, and discover more about the different kinds of library resources available to you.

The suite of video tutorials provides quick and easy to follow demonstrations of library and research techniques, e.g. finding a book, an electronic book or a journal article on the library catalogue; booking an Express Collections item; accessing and searching particular research databases.

There are also short films introducing you to different library services, spaces and facilities. Take a tour of the Forum Library and other study spaces at the University. Learn how to use the issue machines. Or meet your Subject Librarian team on film.

Simply pick the topic you’re interested in from the picture menu to learn more about referencing, information skills, journals, research databases, using the Internet and much more.

Each College also has its own Library and Research Skills ELE module tailored to your subject needs; navigate to the appropriate one via the ‘Library’ menu.

There are various ways to access the Library and Research Skills module:

Deskside Training Service

Did you know that if you are a member of staff, or a research postgraduate, the library offers one-to-one training at your desk?

Our team of Subject Librarians can offer advice on finding resources in your subject area and managing your references, as well as offering assistance for the resources aspect of research bids or proposals. In addition, we also advise on Open Access issues: how you can use our institutional repository ORE to raise the profile of your research and to comply with research funders’ Open Access publication requirements.

To book an appointment, please send a message to, stating which College/discipline you belong to, brief details of what you’d like to ask about, and a convenient date/time. We’ll get back to you and arrange to pop over to your desk/office.

For undergraduates or taught postgraduates, we offer group training sessions as well as individual appointments in the libraries: please see the Subject Guides pages for further help and contact details of your Subject Librarian.

A Handy Hint to Help… Keep track of your Library Borrowing

“Is there any way I can get a list of items from the Library I’ve previously borrowed and returned?”

This is a question Library staff hear quite a lot, and the answer is, yes there is: it’s called My Reading History. The bad news is it’s not automatic, it’s something you need to opt into. This is due to data protection issues. However, your borrowing history will be recorded from the moment you opt in onwards, so the sooner you do this the more useful it becomes.

How do I opt in?

  • To opt in, all you need to do is log-in to your Library record online, either via the Library tab on MyExeter or by clicking the patron record button on top right of the Library Catalogue screen.
  • Once you are logged in you will see five buttons to the right of the box with your name and details. Click on the one marked ‘My Reading History.’
  • If you have not already opted in to the scheme you will be informed that you have now reading history currently available and should see a box marked ‘opt in.’ Click on this.
  • Once you have opted in, logging in using the above method  and clicking on the ‘My Reading History’ button will bring up a list of all the items you have borrowed since you opted in. Clicking on the title of any of them will automatically link through to the full bibliographic details of that item as shown in the Library catalogue – this can be useful for last minute reference checking!
Click on the screenshot to view a larger version
  • Once you have a few titles collected in your Reading History list various options will become available to you, such as ‘Export Reading History’ which will allow you to email the list of references to yourself, or save them to a file.

If you have further questions about ‘My Reading History’ or would like a demonstration of how to opt in then please speak to a member of Library staff who will be happy to help you.

Having trouble with referencing your essays?

Many students are unfamiliar with the conventions used to put in references in their essays. We know that it can confusing so here are some places you can look for help.

Try the online tutorial on referencing available under the Student resources tab at the top of ELE (the section on Undergraduate skills ).

The Library’s subject librarians can help you too. Have a look at the subject pages on the home page – each subject has a section on Information skills with details of all the main systems. Don’t forget that each College or discipline has its own preferred form of referencing so make sure you know which it is. You can find out more from your College handbook.

Although the rules look complicated to start with you can use computer programs and databases to help make life easier. When you find articles on our databases you will usually find all the information you need for your references and many of them provide ready-made citations.

It is a good idea to keep track of your references as you go along to save problems later. Try using referencing software to help you. One of the most popular services is EndNote, which is available on all the PC clusters, and EndNote Web, a free web version which you can sign up to online. The subject pages include details of EndNote and EndNote Web as well as some of the free sites, like Mendeley and Zotero if you want to try them out.