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Search Success

Getting started with the basics

After working through this page, you will be able to:

  • access the key resources the library provides,
  • identify the most appropriate resource for your information needs,
  • use evaluation techniques to establish what the information is trying to say, and why, and
  • know where to find the guidance you need to reference resources and therefore avoid plagiarism.


Reading lists, and your librarians
How to find a book
How to find a journal
Understanding referencing

Reading lists, and your librarians

Each course's modules have assigned reading lists, with essential and further reading chosen by your tutors – this is a great starting point for your research, as the contents will have been evaluated as being useful for the topics you need to research.

You can find your module reading lists in Moodle or through the library web pages. Search by the module's code or title. Library & Learning Services will buy all essential texts as e-books, if the publisher has provided it in this format for libraries. You may also find scans of key chapters in your reading list, which you can download and save or print. Again, this is dependent on the necessary permissions from individual publishers.

Reading lists

Each reading list is monitored by your Academic Liaison Librarian. You can find out the most appropriate librarian to contact for your subject area and book a tutorial with them online.

Academic Liaison Librarians

How to find a book

It is likely that one of the first resources you will need is a book. Follow our help and guidance below to find books either online or in the library.

E-books (online)

Accessing e-books

Print books (in the library)

We're currently updating our guidance to help you find print books and other physical items. For guidance in the meantime, please email the Academic Liaison Librarians.

How to find journals

Journals are publications which come out on a regular basis, like magazines and newspapers, but the articles they contain are pieces of research. So, they have short, in-depth accounts of specific pieces of research. Library & Learning Services subscribes to titles linked to your courses for you. The vast majority of these are available online so you will be able to access them wherever you are at a time that suits you.

How to access and search for journals, e-journals and articles

Understanding referencing

Why reference?

There are lots of reasons for referencing, but they include:

  • To ensure credit is given to the author/creator of a book/image/video etc.;
  • To show the person reading your work how much you have read;
  • To link evidence to your arguments;
  • To enable the reader to follow up on the texts you have used, if they are interested in the ideas;
  • To show the reader the types of resource you have used.

Referencing styles

There are many different referencing styles. At York St John University we use five; which one you use will depend upon your course.

Learn about referencing

Plagiarism and academic integrity

Be wise to the ethical issues surrounding the use of information, and how to avoid unintentional plagiarism, by using the dedicated module available on Moodle:

Academic integrity

Search Success is based on SMILE by Imperial College, Loughborough University and the University of Worcester, modified by Library & Learning Services at York St John University. It is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
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