Research and Referencing Skills

The expanding range of electronic information sources (in particular the Internet) has provided a challenge for academic staff to keep plagiarism to a minimum.

However, often the plagiarism is unintentional and is directly linked to teaching and learning issues. As students start on their journey to become independent researchers, it is crucial for them to be confident in creating their own notes and trusting their ability to decide what information is useful for their task. They often inadvertently plagiarise because they have:

  • limited knowledge of citation and referencing conventions
  • limited knowledge of key academic skills, including summarising, paraphrasing and critical analysis
  • limited skills in reading/interpreting assignment tasks
  • limited research skills, particularly with the ever-changing electronic information environment
  • limited understanding of how to cite electronic sources.There is a tendency to view materials on the Internet as being in the public domain and therefore not requiring referencing. Conventions for many popular online formats can be found in the Library's Referencing guides.

By inviting your Faculty Librarian and/or LTSU staff into your class to teach information literacy skills and academic writing skills, you can assist students to gain the knowledge and confidence to locate a wide variety of resources, to evaluate their sources and to correctly cite them.

To ensure all students are aware of the required level of research and referencing processes, follow the suggestions listed in Referencing and Research Skills to Minimise Plagiarism.