How do I make sense of my reading list?

Reading lists are provided by your college tutor, course convenor, or in some cases electronically via Weblearn, the University of Oxford's Virtual Learning Environment.

The references on each reading list will give you the details of books, journals and other material that your tutor would like you to read.

Book references

Here is an example reference for a book.

Example reading list reference for a book

The author's name is R. Smith.  The book title is Money & Power. The book was published in London by the publisher Routledge in 2012.

Here is an example of a reference for a specific chapter in a book.

Example reading list reference showing a book chapter

The chapter's author is A. Jones. The chapter title is Chemistry. The chapter is in a book edited by R. Kay. The book title is Sciences.

To find a book on your list in a library, search SOLO (see: 'How do I find my books and journals') using the book's author or editor name and book title (not the name of the chapter author or chapter title).

Journal article references

Here is an example reference for a journal article.

Example reading list reference - journal article

The author's name is D. Baldwin, and the title of the article is Power Analysis. The article was published in 1979 in the journal World Politics in issue 2 of volume 31.

To search for a journal article, go to SOLO and choose the tab 'Articles and more'.  Then search using the article title (in this case Power Analysis and the author's surname (in this case Baldwin).  Alternatively, you can search the 'Oxford collections' tab in SOLO by entering the journal title (in this case World Politics). Note: If you use the 'Oxford Collections' tab to search for a journal article you must search by journal title (not article title or author surname).  If you prefer to search using the article title use the 'Articles & more' tab instead. 

Sometimes journal titles on reading list will be abbreviated. For example, 'Gen Pharmacol' is the abbreviated title for the journal 'General Pharmacology'. If you need help looking up the full title of a journal from the abbreviation, ask a librarian for assistance. 

Other types of references

Some reading lists will have more complex references (for example for law reports, music or maps).  Library staff can help you find these items. 

Online Reading List Tutorial

If you would like more help and some practice with getting to grips with reading lists and using SOLO, you can use our interactive online reading list tutorial. Please follow this link to reach the tutorial (external link: Interactive Reading List Tutorial)