How do I make sense of my reading lists?

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

The guide below explains how to understand the references in the reading lists so that you can find the readings in print in the university and college libraries or online quickly and easily through the library catalogue, SOLO.


Here is an example reference for a book.

Citation from a book

Enter the authors' surnames and some or all of the words from the title into the search box in SOLO.

Tip: when searching for books, use the "All libraries/collections" filter in SOLO to exclude articles.

Book Chapters

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

Citation of a chapter from a book

To find the book containing the chapter you have been asked to read, search SOLO using words from the title of the source text and the name(s) of its author(s) or editor(s) (not the name of the chapter author or chapter title). SOLO very rarely contains details of each individual chapter in a book.

Journal articles

Here is an example reference for a journal article. You can tell it is a journal article because the citation includes a volume number and issue number of the specific issue of this journal in which the article was published.

Journals are sometimes known as "serials" or "periodicals".

Citation of a journal article

To search for a journal article, go to SOLO and enter the author's name and words from the article title in the search box. To exclude books from your search, choose the "Articles" filter from the drop-down box.

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