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When RefWorks users who use the APA style login to complete a bibliography, it is now possible to use the latest, 6th edition. To do so, Click on the tab marked Bibliography and next to the drop-down menu marked Output Style select Output Style Manager. Select APA 6th edition and Add to Favorites.

Please beware, though! RefWorks – as you can see from the message below – are still working on a few details:

“APA 6th style is not a major change from APA 5th output style.  The new version does not use the database name with the exception of ERIC documents (reports).  We have removed the database field from all reference types with the exception of reports.

The new edition of APA has changed the manner in which authors are to be listed in the text and in the reference list. The new reference list guidelines state that when there are seven or more authors there should only be seven authors presented. When there are more than seven authors the first six are to be listed, ellipses added after the sixth, and the last author added at the end.  In order for RefWorks to adhere to these changes, we will need to make modifications to our current Output Style Editor which will require program development.  In the short-term, our new APA style will list all authors and will require the user to manually remove the extra authors and add the ellipses.

The new guidelines allow for the inclusion of up to five authors in the first instance of an in-text citation and the use of the first author with ‘et al.’ in all subsequent citations of the same reference. This too, will require APA specific development in RefWorks.”

If you have any comments please pass them on to the RefWorks administrator for Loughborough who is Frank Parry at f.parry@lboro.ac.uk


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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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UK PhD theses are now available to search, order and download using the British Library ‘s Electronic Thesis Online Service (EThOS). A list of participating institutions is available here

You do not need to register or login to search the database, but if you want to order material you will need to register and create a username and password.

Some theses are available to download immediately. Where a thesis has not been digitized, users can expect a delay of approximately ten working days before it is available electronically.

Most theses are available free of charge to the end user as the majority of institutions participating in EThOS have agreed to pay for digitisation of their theses in support of the Open Access initiative. However, some institutions may not have the budget to fund the digitisation and have set charges which appear on EThOS.

If the thesis you want does not appear on EThOS you can complete a request form . Please remember to check that the thesis you require is from a participating institution and that it is listed on that university’s library catalogue before you complete the form. Links to UK higher education library catalogues are available here .

If a you want to consult a thesis from a university that is not participating in EthOS please contact Jane Bramley or Jeanette Machin for advice.

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NSEW logo

National Science and Engineering Week runs from 6-15 March. To celebrate it we’ve set  up a display showcasing some of the research work and textbooks published by members of the Science and Engineering faculties. In addition to books you’ll see artifacts from pots to pillows and from doodles to didgeredoos. You can view the display on Level 3 of the Pilkington Library from now to the end of March.

In addition to the Library display there’s lots going on for NSEW locally personally my family are off to see an exhibition on Bees and complete the Science trail at Brocks Hill Visitor Centre (Google map), Oadby, Leicestershire this weekend. Click the logo to find out more about NSEW and other events.

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Hail all scientists

Tomorrow (12 February) sees the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin. Naturally, (pardon the pun) this event is attracting widespread attention.

Of course it is very appropriate to celebrate great scientists, but what about the equally brilliant but much lesser known variety? Yesterday (10 February) tucked away in the last few minutes of the Today Programme was a short piece about a little known scientist by the name of Paul Dirac.

Paul Dirac was the youngest theoretical physicist ever to win the Nobel Prize for Physics. According to the interview, it was Dirac’s “work that laid the foundations for string theory”.

So, as you go about your business tomorrow, spare a thought not only for the Darwins of this world but also the  Diracs.

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Returning staff and students to Loughborough University will notice big changes when they come into the Library for the first time this academic year.  The entrance to Level 3 has been changed with a new Reception Desk, as you come in, and a streamlined information desk, which faces you as you walk onto the level.  There are also brand new self-service stations on all levels which allow you to borrow, renew and return books, as well as check your library record and pay your fines (as long as you have correct money – they cannot give change!).  To see what they look like, see the photo below.  If you have any questions about the new machines or any library-related issues, please let us know by coming to talk to us at the Information Desks or by sending us an email via ‘Ask a Librarian‘.

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Peer to Patent

The following has recently been announced by the Peer to Patent initiative:


The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has opened the patent examination process for online public participation. With the consent of the inventor, the Peer-to-Patent: Community Patent Review pilot, developed by the New York Law School Institute for Information Law and Policy in cooperation with the USPTO, enables the public to submit prior art and commentary relevant to the claims of 250 pending patent applications in Computer Architecture, Software, and Information Security (TC2100). This historic initiative connects an open network of community input to the legal decision-making process.


Peer-to-Patent involves 1) review and discussion of posted patent applications, 2) research to locate prior art references 3) uploading prior art references relevant to the claims, 4) annotating and evaluating submitted prior art, and 5) top ten references, along with commentary, forwarded to the USPTO. The goal of this pilot is to prove that organized public participation can improve the quality of issued patents.


Anyone in the public can participate as a reviewer, a patent application facilitator, and by sharing information about the pilot with others. Inventors can submit a qualified patent application for open review. Public participation is crucial to demonstrating the value of openness and making the case for greater USPTO accountability to the technical community. A successful pilot will also make a case for expanding to other subject matter.


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