Form Letters5 - Computer Science

The University of Birmingham
School of Computer Science
06-02545 Research Skills
Theme: referencing
The consequences of incorrect referencing
Purpose
Scholarly writing should include references to literature to support its arguments, provide
background context, direct the reader in extending their understanding of what they are
reading and probably many other reasons. This sheet assumes this to be true and seeks to
show you what happens when the irresponsible author doesn’t provide accurate information.
Background
Scholarly papers (conference papers, journal articles, books, PhD theses, MSc project and
mini-project reports) should all include lists of other papers:
• in a reference list – that is, giving a list of papers to which the author has explicitly
referred in their writing;
• in a bibliography – that is, a list of papers which are relevant to the author’s work. A
bibliography can include not only those papers to which the author has referred but
will usually also include papers which the author has found relevant but has not made
reference to.
It is extremely important that papers listed in reference lists and bibliographies are listed
accurately. If you are not accurate, then your readers will not be able to verify your work,
assess its significance and, indeed, may believe that your work is of a poor quality.
Method
As the purpose of this exercise is to show you what happens when information is inaccurate,
you have the task of finding four items in the School Library. References are given for each
item but each reference is faulty in some way. All the faults are common ones made by poor
or lazy authors. After this exercise, they are not the kinds of errors you will make.
You should work with one partner to pool ideas, then attempt to find the items in the School
Library. It would be useful to calculate the average of how long it takes for you to find each
of the four items.
Please remember: the School Library is also being used by students for private study.
Please make as little noise as possible and cause as little disturbance as possible.
\PTO
Key: 11-22-33-41
Task 1
Find the following paper. (Hint: the author and journal title are correct.)
Nipkow, T. Winskel is (almost) right: towards a mechanized semantics textbook. Formal
Aspects of Computing 19(2) 1998 p 186.
Record the following information:
Volume number:
Part number:
Page numbers (both start and finish):
Year:
Task 2
Find the following paper. (Hint: the journal title has been abbreviated and one other data
item is incorrect.)
Miguel, Ian & Qiang, Shen. Solution techniques for constraint satisfaction problems:
advanced approaches. AI Rev 15, pp 296-329.
Record the following information:
Name of the journal:
What is the other incorrect data item and what should it be?
Task 3
Find the following technical reports.
Bellin, G. Mechnizing proof theory: resurce-aware logics and proof-tranformtions to extract
implicit information. Unpublished PhD thesis, Stanford University, 1990. [Hint: think of
Edinburgh.]
Record the following information:
The technical report number (or numbers):
Task 4
The following is a “real” reference given in a paper by an author. Can you find it?
U. Martin. How to choose weights in the Knuth-Bendix ordering. In Proc. 2nd RTA, LNCS
256, Bordeaux, France, 1987.
Record the following information:
Page numbers: