Finding and using information when writing assignments

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    Searching online

    There are different places to search for different types of information. Choosing the right one will make your literature searching faster and more successful.

    • Discover is for searching for books, ebooks, journals, individual journal articles, images, and other types of information sources all at the same time. It is a useful place to start your literature searching, though it doesn't search all our resources (some of the databases and online resources are not searched by Discover) and sometimes the number of results Discover gives can be overwhelming.
    • The Library Catalogue is primarily just for searching for books and ebooks, but it also includes all our print journal collection and some of our online journals.
    • Databases and Online Resources contain many different types of information, though journal articles are the main type of information you will find on most databases.

    Searching at the shelf

    A good way to quickly find lots of information on a topic is to 'browse at the shelf'. That means to find out the shelfmark of the books on a particular subject (perhaps by doing a keyword search on the Library Catalogue) and then looking through the books on that shelf and nearby shelves for useful information on the topic you are researching.

    Key shelfmarks for Tourism (Level 2, Zone D of Headington Library):

    The links below will search the Library Catalogue for print books at those shelfmarks

    Key shelfmarks for Hospitality (Level 3, Zone D of Headington Library):

    The links below will search the Library Catalogue for print books at those shelfmarks

    • 647.2 Human Resource Management in the hospitality industry
    • 647.9 The hospitality industry (general)
    • 647.91 Accounting and finance in the hospitality industry
    • 647.92 Marketing in the hospitality industry
    • 647.94 Management in the hospitality industry

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    Whenever you are reading a book, journal article, website, or anything else which will inform your assignments you should be asking yourself questions about the quality and reliability of that source of information. Here are some questions you could ask yourself:

    Author and audience

    Who has written and published this information? Is there a conflict of interest or a possible bias? Are they an expert or an authority on the issue?
    Why are they writing and publishing this information? What is the benefit for them and the intended effect on the audience?
    Who is the author aiming this publication at? It might be an academic audience, a professional audience, a student audience, or a general audience.

    Evidence and age

    What evidence has the author provided to support what they are saying? How reliable and convincing is that evidence? Have they referred to other literature on the topic and have they provided full references so that you can find that literature?
    When does this information date from? How much does the age of the publication matter for the topic that it is written about?

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    Referencing (also called "citing your sources") is telling the person reading your work what books, journal articles, and other sources of information you used to inform your assignment. You can read more about referencing on the library's Referencing and plagiarism page.

    • Referencing style: there are lots of different ways to do referencing, but the referencing style you should use is Brookes Harvard. There is a Brookes Harvard guide that describes how to reference the main information sources, while Cite Them Right Online will show you how to reference more unusual sources of information.
    • Reference managers: lots of tools exist to help you with referencing. Two popular reference managers at Oxford Brookes are the online tools EndNote Web and RefMe (both also have apps).