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ELISE | Informing your studies: Understanding your reading list


Quiz question There may be a quiz question related to the information on this page.

Where is it?

Your lecturer will provide you with a link to your course resources in Moodle:

  • link to online items directly from the list of course resources
  • come to the Library to find print items
  • use the item number to find the item on Library shelves

Tip  the item number tells you where print copies are located, e.g.

  Available at Course Readings Collection (QC 174.12 .G741 1988 )

Using my course reading list

Your reading list has been created online by your lecturer and is accessible on any device. You can comment on readings, make recommendations and build a personal collection of materials.

This list is on a system called Leganto. Using it you can:

Add items

  • from your course lists to your personal collection
  • from the Library collection
  • from the internet when you add the Cite it! button to your browser
  • from a RefWorks or Zotero account


  • like your favourite resources
  • discuss items with your classmates and lecturers
  • make recommendations

Get help

  • for help accessing your Moodle course contact the IT Service Centre 
  • for help with Library resources contact the Library via AskUs

Recognising citations

Your courses will usually have reading lists that are compiled by your lecturers. They provide you with introductory information required for the course.
Learning to recognise the different types of resources that are included on your reading list will make finding them easier:


Academic or scholarly books provide in-depth coverage of a topic. They are:

  • written for an academic audience including university students
  • can often be recognised by their extensive footnoting and referencing
  • may not provide up-to-date information on a topic

For current information on a topic, journal articles may include more recent research.

Book chapters

Some books are made up of a collection of chapter or articles, each written by a different author, and usually compiled by an editor.

Your reading list may include a reference to a particular chapter in a book. See the reading list below.

Journal articles

Academic journals are important because they publish the results of current research on very specialised topics.

Scholarly journals are published for an academic audience:

  • they are often peer-reviewed
  • they often contain articles on very specific subjects, and
  • may be the primary source of information on new developments

Journals are likely to be more up-to-date and relevant to current issues. Books generally take longer to be published.

Journals are also called magazines, periodicals or serials. They are published on a recurring basis.


A report may be produced by a government body, a private organisation or it may be a working paper on a topic.

Conference papers

Papers presented at a conference or seminar are collectively known as conference proceedings.

A conference paper could be published in a collection of conference proceedings or as an individual publication. See the reading list below.

Reading list

Tip Roll your mouse over this example of a reading list to see the different elements of each citation:
   (Citations are in APA 6th style)



Format Citation example Identifying features
Books Barnosky, A. D. (2016). Tipping point for planet Earth: how close are we to the edge? New York, N.Y. : Saint Martin's Press.
  • place of publication
  • publisher
Ebooks McLeman, R. A. (2016). Environmental migration and social inequality.  doi:10.1007/978-3-319-25796-9
  • doi or digital object identifier - a unique alphanumeric string which provides a persistent link to the article
Book chapters McHughen, A. (2016). Fighting Mother Nature with biotechnology. In R. Herring (ed.), The Oxford handbook of food, politics, and society (1st ed.). New York: Oxford University Press.
  • usually compiled by an editor
  • chapters are written by different authors
  • 'in' indicates a citation for a book chapter
Journal articles Oosthoek, S. (2016). Murky waters. New Scientist, 229(3055), 34-35.
  • volume number, issue number or date
  • page numbers of article
Ejournal articles Liston, G., Perham, C. Shideler, R., & Cheuvront, A. (2016). Modeling snowdrift habitat for polar bear dens.  Ecological Modelling, 320,114-134. doi:10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2015.09.010
  • doi or digital object identifier - a unique alphanumeric string which provides a persistent link to the article
Conference papers Lach, D., Cushing, J. (2015). Engaging researchers and decision makers to develop usable climate information. Paper presented at the 16th Annual International Conference on Digital Government Research, 27-30 May, 2015, (pp. 301-303). doi:10.1145/2757401.2757445
  • includes words like conference, proceedings, symposium, congress, papers presented at, etc
Technical reports May, A. (2016).Biological data on cod from the summer fishery on the north shore Strait of Belle Isle. Technical report (Fisheries Research Board of Canada), no. 27. Ottawa: Fisheries and Oceans Canada.
  • includes report title and report series title and number
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