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by unloveablesteve cc licence Flickr

by unloveablesteve cc licence Flickr

I have some sympathies with the article by Alec Gill in the Times Higher advocating a reduction in the number of citation styles available.  He says “Generally, students cannot see the logic behind the petty rules and the permutation of punctuation (brackets, underlinings, single quotation marks, italics, and commas dotted here and there).”

He proposes a  method building on the traditional author-year system to include a material type. Thus a newspaper reference would appear like this:

Cavendish, C. 2009 eNewspaper: Insane Spendaholics are Mortgaging our Future, The Times, 20 March

If this leads to some simplification then I’m all for it! You’ll find help with referencing and citation styles here.

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 CC licenced photo - "Speech"

If you could change ONE THING about the Library, what would it be?

If the Library had more space, how should we use it?

Now’s your chance to have your say about the Library. Please take a few minutes to visit our survey at: http://picture-box.lboro.ac.uk/Public/UCCASS/survey.php?sid=76 before 15 May 2009.

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The Maths, Stats & OR Network of the Higher Education Academy is inviting entries into its Plus new writers award.

If you can explain a mathematical topic or application in an engaging way for a general audience, then you could win an iPod, a subscription to the journal Nature, and signed copies of popular maths books.

Entries are open to school students, undergraduates and postgraduates as well as the general public. The closing date is 31 March 2009.

Good luck!

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One of our readers has reported problems accessing the Web of Science following the recent upgrade. A note from the provider advises the following: “For any users who experience problems with access to service since the upgrade we advise clearing cookies”.

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Science: so what?

What do Bill Bryson, Charley Boorman and Hugh Fearnley-Wittingstall have in common?

They are part of a government campaign to improve the public’s perception of science. The aim is to shift public opinion away from science being “remote, elitist and irrelevant” to why science is important to all of us in our everyday lives.

Why is science important to you?

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Cath O’Driscoll writing in the Chemistry & Industry magazine has produced a pick of the chemical science stories for 2008. These include the potential for a Harry Potter-style invisibility cloak and the finding of iron-based superconductors. For more top stories of 2008 see the 12 January issue of the magazine.

Aside from chemical science, what research stands out for you?

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2008 is a good year to get in to (or rediscover) science reading. Earlier in the year the Royal Society continued its traditional Science Books prize. In recognition of this the Science Team mounted a display in the Library, some of which is captured below.

More recently the Big Science Read campaign has been launched allowing the public to vote for its favourite science reads – whether they are science fact or science fiction. So why not post a vote for your favourite?

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