One of the main tasks of an academic library is to guide students in critical evaluation and the ethical use of sources so that they can interpret, evaluate and create information in a correct and proper way. This should be integrated into the subjects, which is a huge challenge.
Many students are told that they can freely select the reference style as long as they are consistent. But it is difficult to be consistent when you barely know what a reference style is. It is not easy for the librarian to answer how one refers to a governmental white paper in a self-designed reference system.
To do this in a simple way, it is desirable to share the task between academic tutors and the library. The recommendation of a reference style should come from the subject department of a faculty and from the sample collections provided by the library. The libraries at the University of Agder (UoA) and Telemark University College (TUC) joined forces to create a survey in which various reference styles were listed, complete with examples. The respondents were asked to choose the style they preferred and would advise their students to use. The response rate among the academic staff at the TUC and the UoA was 40%. We consider this to be a representative sample.
The purpose of the final web resource aims to be as simple as possible. Students who do not know what a reference style is, and students who do not know which style they should choose, are now guided to make a confident choice of style.
Copyright (c) 2012 Hilde Daland, Birgitte Kleivset, Patricia Flor, Siv Holt
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