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Sociology: Referencing & Study Skills

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Support for your studies

There are a number of different people based in the library who can help you to develop your skills in researching, referencing and writing for your assignments and dissertations.

The main contact for library related questions as well as literature searching and referencing is Michelle Newman, your Subject Librarian. You can book a one-to-one appointment via email using the link on the right hand side. Further information about referencing and workshops available as part of the Academic Skills Centre programme are provided below:

Harvard referencing

Sociology at Goldsmiths uses the Harvard style of referencing.  This is a 'name and date' style where you use the author's name and date in parentheses in your in-text citation (Smith, 1989) and then provide a separate list of the sources cited alphabetically by author at the end of your work. 

The sociology department might provide advice on citations and bibliographies, so please check these as well. The most important thing to remember when referencing is to be consistent. You can also attend one of the library run workshops to develop your understanding of referencing and plagiarism. These are listed further down the page.  

A good book that we recommend to help you with referencing is:

Pears, R. & Shields, G. (2016) Cite them right: the essential referencing guide. 10th edn.  Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.  We have this in print and online (available off-campus).

An online version of this guide is also available. Click on the 'Cite Them Right' link below:

Online bibilographic software

Whilst you can keep notes of the sources you use by hand, there is software available that can make managing your references simpler. This is particularly time saving if you're dealing with large numbers of references. We recommend all postgraduate students use online referencing software.

Zotero is free open source software and you don't have to be a student to use it - you don't need to sign in with your Goldsmiths email address and your references are available even after you finish your studies. Once you download the plugin for your Internet browser, you'll be able to directly capture references from catalogues, databases and websites. There is also a plugin for Word that allows you to create in-text citations and bibliographies. If you would like help using Zotero, please contact your subject librarian.

Other software includes EndNote Web and Mendeley, which are somewhat similar to Zotero and perform the same functions. However, we do not provide training for these software. But it is very simple and quick to learn the basics of Zotero. See below for three short videos that the library created with TaLIC. There are also many screencast tutorials available, as well as many videos on Youtube that will demonstrate how to use Zotero.


Zotero tutorials

Library Workshops

The Subject Librarian team deliver a range of information literacy sessions over the academic year as part of the Academic Skills workshops.

  • Discovering Images and Copyright
    Learn where to find good quality images online and how to navigate common Copyright issues
  • Dissertation Search Strategies 
    Plan your search strategy to find resources at Goldsmiths and beyond
  • Exploring E-Resources
    Expanding your search strategies for finding online resources
  • Fake News and Evaluating Academic Quality
    How to debunk fake news and identify academic quality sources
  • Filter Bubbles, Echo Chambers and How to Make the Most of Search Engines
    How to use online tools to burst your filter bubble and find better information
  • Finding Library Resources for Your Academic Study
    An introduction to search skills and using the Library
  • Insider Information
    How to research the inner workings of companies and charities and the markets/industries they operate in
  • Introduction to Archives​
    Research into and use original source material at Goldsmiths.
  • Introduction to Referencing
    Understand the principles of referencing and gain confidence before your next assignment.
  • Presenting with Confidence
    Present your ideas and skills effectively to a variety of audiences
  • Resistance Researching
    Practical approaches to decolonising library research practice over three short sessions
    1. Critical Information Gathering
    2. Inclusive Citation
    3. Dissemination
  • Roaming for Resources
    ​Exploring other libraries across London (and beyond)
  • Searching for business information 
    How to research the inner workings of companies and charities and the markets/industries they operate in
  • Searching within news sources
    Searching effectively from worldwide newspaper sources and TV news
  • Speed Databasing
    A practical introduction to a selection of Library databases containing a wide range of sources such as journal articles, TV and film footage and newspapers.
  • Thinking Creatively to Get Things Done: De Bono's Six Thinking Hats
    How to develop critical thinking techniques
  • Zotero for Reference Management (beginners)
    Learn to use this free tool to help manage your references.
  • Zotero for Reference Management (intermediate)
    Improve your efficiency with Zotero and use advanced features.

Book a place on the Academic Skills Centre webpage



Copyright is an Intellectual Property Right along with Trade Marks, Patents and Designs.  For detailed information, see the IPO's website. UK copyright law is mainly set out in the Copyright, Design and Patents Act (1988), though this has been substantially amended by more recent Acts and European Copyright Directives that aim to harmonise copyright across the EU. 

Copyright gives economic and moral rights to the creators of works, and provides a legal framework for such works to be used fairly by others.

Copyright is infringed where a whole or ‘substantial part’ of a work has been used without permission and no exceptions to copyright apply.  A ‘substantial part’ of a work is not defined in law and may be quite small. 

Copyright for student work

Students at Goldsmiths own copyright in their own work.  Some colleges and universities do make a claim to copyright in student work and ask students to agree to this when they enrol.

MA course work held by the library is non-published work under the CPDA 1988 and no copying is permitted. They are also not available for use by members of the public. MA theses held by the library include a cover sheet which states that no copies can be made and is usually signed by the author. 

PhD theses are made available to both students and members of the public in both print and electronic format, held in the library and on the repositories, Goldsmiths Reasearch Online (GRO) and EThOS. For information on the use of copyright material in PhD theses and the copyright itself of a PhD thesis, see here

Further advice on copyright

Advice can be requested from any organisations that represent copyright holders (many also collect royalties on behalf of members). For example, in the following areas:

Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA) Books, journal articles, etc.
Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT) Illegal recordings and use of film and broadcasts
Motion Picture Licensing Company (MPLC) Public broadcasts of films
Performing Rights Society Public performances of music
PPL/VPL Playing or broadcasting music or music videos in public



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