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Jennifer Kelley's blog

Faculty: Cut Your Students Some Citation Slack

From one instructor to another: can you consider cutting your students some slack when it comes to citations?

Recently, the APA published a new edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association and just a couple years ago, the 8th edition of the MLA Handbook replaced the long-standing 7th edition. With each new edition comes changes - some significant, some minor. Regardless of these changes and regardless of various formats, all citations serve the same purpose and contain the same information - they point the reader to a source of information with as much information as needed to locate that source.

citationneeded.jpgWhile exacting rules may be required for scholarly publication, the inclusion or exclusion of a punctuation symbol, the italicization or lack-thereof of a word or two, the addition or subtraction of a retrieval date do not, in the long run, matter much. The differences between APA 6th and APA 7th are, as they say, academic. Ultimately, they are designed to make the citation process more straightforward. However, if a student uses the 6th edition as a reference instead of the 7th (or vice-versa), has the student made an error? And is this error worth points?

In the Library we provide guidance on citing sources in all their complexity, but many librarians also take the position that at the college-level, formal citation styles are needlessly complicated and a distraction from the research and writing process. We try to provide up-to-date examples on our much-used Citing Source Guide, but recognize that we can't cover all the possibilities. Many of the Library's resources (catalog, databases) provide formatted citations for students - a welcome shortcut that we happily promote - but these citations may not reflect the most recent changes to the various styles.

Recently, we discovered that our updated APA style guide style declared that it was providing examples from the 6th edition, even though we had updated everything to reflect the changes in the 7th. This caused some confusion with students and much consternation among our librarians who are worried that our error will have negative repercussions on students who had sought our help and intended to follow their assignment instructions to the letter. We apologize for the error and hope that no matter who your students are, no matter what format you ask your students to use in citing their sources, you will consider the true purpose of citations and ask yourself: "Can I locate this source based on the information provided?" If so, you've got yourself a successfully cited source.

image credit: Randall Munroe. "Wikipedian Protestor" available under CC BY-NC license

APA References: What's Changed in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Seventh Edition

The Library's APA Citing Sources Guide is now updated to reflect changes in the 7th Edition!

APAmanual.jpgThe Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association is the guide for APA Style, offering guidance on everything from citing sources to formatting headings. Used in the social and behavioral sciences, natural sciences, health sciences, communications, education, business, engineering, and other fields, the APA Manual guides both writers and educators.
The 7th edition brings a number of changes to the Manual. Features include:

  • Full-color illustrations with coding to highlight formatting elements
  • Accessibility guidelines
  • Journal article reporting standards
  • Bias-free language guidelines, including the adoption of the singular "they"
  • Expanded guidance on ethical writing and publishing practices

Of particular interest here in the library are changes to formatting and reference guidelines. The Faculty Focus newsletter highlighted some of these changes in September, prior to the publication of the 7th edition.
Of note for students, instructors, writing center coaches, and reference staff:

  • Website URLs no longer need to be preceded with “Retrieved from:”.
  • Ebooks no longer require the type of ebook to be listed (e.g. PDF, Kindle etc)
  • Journal DOIs are now displayed as a URL instead of with the “DOI:” prefix. For example: “DOI: 10.1109/5.771073” becomes “https⁚//”
  • The publisher location is no longer required. This means “New York: Macmillan” is now just “Macmillan”.
  • The running head rules are “simplified,” and running heads are not required for student papers
  • The first in-text citation of a work by more than two authors may list only the first author, followed by “et al.”
  • The reference section lists up to 20 authors for a single work

For more in-depth information about the features and changes in the 7th edition, you can watch the CHOICE Media webinar "What’s New in APA Style—Inside the Seventh Edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association or visit APA Style and Grammar Guidelines."

And of course, you can also see the Manual for yourself in the Library! We have copies available for check out in the General Collection (BF76.7 .P83 2020), as well as copies in the Reference and Ready Reference Collections.


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Visit the Library’s newest special collection!

ell.jpgThe English Language Collection (located on the upper level of the Library) is a focused mini-library of resources for learners at all levels.
Designed to support reluctant readers, English language learners, GED- and college-prep students, the collection offers a variety of books, multimedia, and workbooks including:

  • Grammar and mechanics
  • English for academic purposes
  • Speaking and pronunciation
  • College writing
  • Vocational English
  • Graded readers
  • Quick reads
  • Dover Classics
  • Abridged classics
  • High interest-low literacy graphic novels

Encourage your students to take advantage of this unique and growing collection!

Best in New Black Literature

books-1245690_640.jpgAt the end of last year, Hope Wabuke posted a Year in Review of the best books by Black authors on The Root. As we come up on Black History Month, it seemed only right to highlight some of those books and let you know which are in the COD Library's collection.

This list includes stories, novels, poetry, and nonfiction. You'll find many in print on the New Book shelves, but others are also available as e-books and audiobooks via Overdrive. And for those we don't yet have, you can use I-Share to request the title from one of our neighboring Illinois academic libraries.

Protect Your Work & Prevent Cheating with a DMCA Takedown Notice

You've found your course materials on Course Hero - now what?

courseherocopyright.pngSites like Course Hero make it easy for students to share study guides, class notes, practice problems and more, but are also platforms for distributing tests, worksheets and other course materials. Contending with Course Hero from an academic integrity perspective is challenging, but you do have recourse via the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

Materials you create for your classes - tests, worksheets, PowerPoint presentations, study guides - are your intellectual property, which means that copyright laws grant you exclusive rights over this work. You alone have the right to copy and distribute your material: unless you publish your work under a Creative Commons license or grant permission otherwise, anyone sharing your work is violating your copyright.

If you find course materials that YOU created on websites that do not have your permission, request that they are taken down.

In order to avoid liability, websites must "act expeditiously to remove, or disable access to" any allegedly infringing materials upon being properly notified of the infringement. As a result, sites like Course Hero will generally make the takedown notice process fairly simple for you. In Course Hero's case, simply visit their Copyright Infringement Notification at and fill in the form they provide. For more information on Course Hero and its copyright policies, visit

For sites that do not provide a form, you may be asked to submit a formal DMCA takedown request via email. For more information, see our Sample Takedown Letter.

Additional questions? Contact COD's copyright liaison librarian, Jennifer Kelley at

What IS cheating?

CollegeExam.pngStudents don't agree on what constitutes cheating behaviors - we've seen that here at COD after five semesters of surveying ALP English students on their perceptions of cheating. How can instructors ensure that everyone in their classrooms are on the same page when it comes to Googling answers, collaborating with friends, and recycling papers?

Take a look at this recent Faculty Focus post for ideas that range from discussion questions, quizzes and a cheating behavior survey that you can run in your own class:
Activities that Promote Awareness of What Is and Isn’t Cheating

"Exam" by Gerald Wildmosser is licensed under CC BY 3.0

A semester's worth of research topics

Event.pngAt a loss for a research topic? Look no further than your calendar for ideas and inspiration.
Current event databases like Issues and Controversies and CQ Researcher offer timely topics in their extensive reports which feature compelling research questions, pro & con perspectives, and thorough bibliographies.


African American History Month:
Affirmative Action: Are affirmative action programs necessary to make up for past discrimination?
Slavery Reparations: Should the government provide reparations to the descendants of slaves?
Confederate Monuments: Is it appropriate for states to display monuments to the Confederacy?

National Entrepreneurship Week:
Manufacturing Jobs: Should the U.S. government bolster the manufacturing sector?
The Gig Economy: Is the trend toward non-staff employees good for workers?


Women's History Month:
Women's Rights and Sexual Harassment: Are Further Steps Necessary to Ensure Gender Equality?
Women in Leadership: Can women achieve true equality?
#MeToo: Will the latest charges lead to a shift in corporate culture?,

Dominican Baseball Academies: Do Dominican baseball academies provide young players a path out of poverty?


World Health Day (April 7):
Health Care Reform: Has the Affordable Care Act improved health care in the United States?
Heart Screening for High School Athletes: Should all high school athletes undergo heart screening?
Obesity: Is it a disease or a lifestyle problem?

Earth Day (April 22):
Climate Change: Should the U.S. government take aggressive steps to address climate change?
Climate Change and National Security: Will extreme weather lead to more global conflict?
Autism Awareness Month: Diagnosing Autism: Should autism be diagnosed in children under the age of three?


International Workers' Day (May 1):
Unions and Labor Law: Are labor unions still necessary safeguards against worker exploitation?
Federal Minimum Wage: Is the federal minimum wage good for the economy?

Choose Privacy Week:
High-Tech Policing: Are new surveillance technologies effective and legal?
Social Networking and Privacy: Should the U.S. government mandate privacy rules for social networking sites?
Privacy and the Internet: Should Americans have a “right to be forgotten”?

Five Strategies That Will Make You a College Success

BOSSsuccess.jpgThe Learning Commons is offering a Beginning of Semester Success (BOSS) workshop called Control Your College Destiny. In this 50-minute session you will learn about:

  • Learning organization techniques
  • Studying like a pro
  • Maximizing benefits in interactions with peers and professors
  • Setting a positive mindset to success
  • Achieving your goals

Call or stop by now to register for this free workshop!
Student Resource Center (SRC), Room 2102, (630) 942-3941
Control Your College Destiny
Thursday, February 1, 2018
1-1:50 pm in the Learning Commons

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ For semester long assistance, bookmark the Library's guide to College Success Skills ! Here you'll find resources for managing the college experience, achieving academic success and understanding your personal learning style. And don't forget to check out the Library's Assignment Calculator - an indispensable tool for keeping you on track during research projects! AssignCalc.jpg

Cheat with a Tweet

File under: "Be Careful What You Wish For" - complaining about (or even mentioning) that upcoming paper on Twitter could set off an avalanche of responses offering to "help."

"It used to be that if students wanted someone to write an essay for them, they had to track someone down themselves. But these days an overwhelmed or desperate student can unintentionally summon legions of eager essay ghostwriters by merely venting frustration on Twitter."

via How Twitter Hooks Up Students With Ghostwriters


"I may have a Ph.D., but I’m not perfect" - Profs share their own cheating stories


"There’s definitely students that are lazy and are just cheating for the fun of it, but I think a huge part of it is how we’re teaching,"

Sam Hosington writes about three college professors who cheated as students and how those experiences have impacted their reactions to and understanding of cheating behaviors in their own students.

Read more online [no login necessary]

Hosington, S. (2017, October 10). They once cheated in class. Now they teach. The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved from


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