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Criminal Justice

Problems; Errors; Quirks; Latin!

Charles Seale Hayne Library - supporting your learning

Hopefully your list will be perfect and problem free! However, when you try to 'find' the source, be it book or journal article, there are some common errors or problems to look out for:-

  • The wrong volume number / issue number / date might be given for a journal article. If the journal is available online, try checking against the issues listing or an issue's table of contents. If the option is available you may be able to search within a journal title using the author or some title words. If you still cannot find it, why not Google the article title to see if there are alternate details. As a last resort you may have to go back to the reference list provider for help.
  • Different publication dates. For books, sometimes the reference refers to a reprint rather than an original printing, e.g.: 2010 c2006. Reprints are straight-forward reproductions. Sometimes references do not indicate the edition referred to and you will have to try and deduce the correct version from the date. For articles, you are sometimes given the online publication date and not the actual publication date. For content recently digitised from print then you need the print publication date. If the article is 'published' online first before appearing in the print version, you may need to find the print publication date before you can trace the article.
  • Authors' names can be spelt incorrectly. Try variations, e.g. Smith, Smithe, Smyth, Smythe, etc.
  • Journal title abbreviations are sometimes given. You will need to find the full title in order to search for the journal in Primo or the eJournals A-Z.
  • Look out for spelling variations. References in UK lists often give the English spelling even though the original article or journal title uses American spelling. Common ones are ae/e (eg: paediatric/pediatric) s/z (eg, globalisation/globalization) and ou/o (eg: behaviour/behavior).
  • The list or lecture notes give only the author and date (e.g., Smith, J. 2003). Check the whole reading list or notes carefully, as a fuller reference may have been given elsewhere. If not you will need to ask the person responsible for giving the reference!
  • The book or journal isn’t in the library. Use Google or Google Scholar to check the information. Check Primo again and if you are sure it is not held you may be able to obtain it using the Inter-Library Loans service (see How to place an InterLibrary Loan in this guide).

Latin Abbreviations

Finally, here are some common Latin abbreviations you often see in reading lists:

  • Ibid. This is an abbreviation of the Latin word ibidem, meaning "in the same place". If you see this in a reading list, it means "the same as the preceding reference" and is often followed simply by pages.
  • Idem. This means "the same" in Latin. It is used in a reference list in place of an author's name to indicate that the author is the same as in the preceding reference.
  • Op. cit. This is an abbreviation of the Latin phrase opere citato, and means "in the work already cited". Check your reading list for the previous, fully cited, reference to the same work. 

Please note: you never use these in your submissions, unless allowed by the module handbook or school referencing guide!