MacLellan, F. (2012) Referencing and reading comprehension – research in progress. Lecture presented to: Librarians’ Information Literacy Annual Conference (LILAC 2012), Glasgow Caledonian University, Scotland, 11-13 April 2012.
Whilst undertaking a Post Graduate Certificate for Teaching in Higher Education (PGCTHE) I undertook a project to set up a new referencing system at the University of Northampton. In the external examiner report (Hebditch, 2005) for Fine Art, it was noted that the students were having problems with referencing, and a project was set up to investigate and address the issue. I created an e-tutorial and carried out face to face workshops plus created a comprehensive referencing guide to help support the new referencing system, but the outcomes of the project potentially have wider repercussions for referencing. The referencing system put in place for the Fine Art cohort is a numerical system based upon Kate Turabian’s manual (1996). As part of the research for the project I spoke to many students regarding difficulties with referencing. Most comments related to difficulties in reading comprehension caused by the parentheses used for in-text citations for systems such as Harvard or MLA. Whilst the project focused on the logistics of teaching a new referencing system to large groups of students, further research is required into reading comprehension and referencing systems, particularly for students with extra difficulties such as dyslexia. The purpose of this short paper is to share my findings and to open the topic up to discussion before undertaking further research in the areas of reading comprehension and dyslexia related specifically to referencing. There has been very little research undertaken in this area and I would value the input and experiences of other information professionals before carrying out a large scale research project. The short paper will provide a summary of the discoveries made as part of the PGCTHE project and outline the potential areas of research for a larger research project “Parenthetical Referencing Affecting Comprehension: Timely Investigation Changing Educational Practices” or PRACTICE. References Turabian, K. (1996) A manual for writers of term papers, theses and dissertations. 6th edition. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Hebditch, N. (2005) External examiner annual report form: history of art & design/ design practice. University College Northampton, unpublished