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Curtin University
Library

Understanding your reading list

Your unit reading lists will have references to books, chapters, journal articles, conference papers and websites. To find them, you must first be able to recognise the different types of references and then know how to find them in the library.

Books

Understanding the reference

Imagine that this book is in your reading list:

Hirsch, J. 1985. Great American dream machines: classic cars of the 50s and 60s. New York: Macmillan.

In this example:

  • the author is J. Hirsch;
  • the publication date is 1985;
  • the title is Great American dream machines: classic cars of the 50s and 60s,;
  • it was published in New York;
  • and the publisher is Macmillan.

Finding it

Search for the book using the catalogue. Check the availability - the catalogue will either display "check shelf" (meaning it's available) or "on loan". If the book is on loan, you have the option to request it.

If the book is an e-book, you'll be able to go straight to the full text from the catalogue.


Learn more: Guide to using the library catalogue


Book chapters

Understanding the reference

Sometimes you'll be referred to a chapter in a book, which will look something like this:

Krebs, L. and G.Wall. 2006, 'Marketing tourism online'', in B. Prideaux, G. Moscardo and E. Laws (eds.), Managing tourism and hospitality services: theory and international applications, CABI International, Wallingford, pp. 104-114.

Tinker, Hugh. 1967, 'Is there an Indian nation?' in P.Mason (ed.), India and Ceylon: Unity and Diversity: a Symposium. Oxford Univ. Pr., London, pp. 260-296.

The part of the reference that tells you it's a chapter or part of a book is the word in, followed by the other details of the book. Like references to books, they also have a publisher and place.

Finding it

Usually you will need to search for the book in the catalogue. Individual chapters aren't listed separately in the catalogue unless a copy has been scanned and placed in the e-reserve section.


Items on reserve and e-reserve

Understanding the reference

Many items on your reading list will be marked as having been placed in the reserve collection (in the Robertson Library this is on level 2) or placed online in e-reserve. Items in the reserve collection are available for short loan while the e-reserve collection can be accessed from any computer with an Internet connection.

Finding it

You can search for items on reserve and e-reserve using the library catalogue. You can search reserve and e-reserve using the normal catalogue search or by searching from within the reserve collection section of the catalogue. Here, in addition to the normal search criteria (author, title, etc), you can browse by unit name, unit number or lecturer's name.


Learn more: Reserve and e-reserve FAQ


Journal articles

Understanding the reference

Here's two examples of references to journal articles:

Coghlan, A. 2006, 'Whales get emotional', NewScientist, vol. 192, no.2580, pp. 6-7.

Dewhirst, C. 1986, 'Hot air over the Himalayas', World Geographic, vol. 1, Oct.- Dec., pp. 44-55.

The parts of the reference that tell you it's a journal article are the volume number, the issue number or month and the page numbers.

Finding it

The easiest way to find a journal article when you know its title is to search for the journal title. For other ways to find journal articles (for instance, by browsing databases), visit the journals page.


Papers from conferences or seminars

Understanding the reference

A reference to a conference or seminar paper will often have the words "proceedings of …", "conference …" or "papers from …" in the title, followed by the name of the organisation or the conference.

Bogduk, N. 1997, 'Musculoskeletal pain: toward precision diagnosis'. Proceedings of the 8th World Congress on Pain, International Association for the Study of Pain, Seattle, pp 507-25.

Soils '94: proceedings of the third triennial Western Australian Soil Science Conference, Broadwater Resort, Busselton, W.A. 1994, Australian Society of Soil Science, WA Branch, Wembley, W.A.

Finding it

You can search for conference and seminar papers from the catalogue.