How can we improve Talis Aspire Reading Lists?

Display list in an alternate style

Ability to display lists in a specific citation style - Many of our courses use the Harvard style and although lists can be viewed as a bibliography and exported in specific citation styles, our course organisers would like to be able to provide a consistent approach in the way they are presenting their reading lists. They would like the option to present the list itself in the Harvard style, i.e. by Author first not Title.

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Stephanie (Charlie) Farley shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →


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  • Steve Bowman commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Having just 'launched' the service, this has been the main (almost only) gripe raised by academic staff, along the lines of 'How can we ask the students to produce bibliographies in harvard if we cannot produce online Reading Lists in the same style', a number of my academics refuse to consider using the system until this is possible!

  • Clair Sharpe commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Fab indeed! A colleague just came back from running a workshop for academic staff where someone asked for this very ability to change the list to author first and I see this is now in the pipeline so we can pass on the good news.

  • Mel Chivers commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    This would be fantastic - I've have a lot of academics complaining about this.
    Academics will almost always refer to a reading by the Author, not by the title, so it doesn't make sense to start every reference with the title rather than the author. It means the students have to try that little bit harder to find every reference - without any good reason.
    It doesn't even need to be with full reference style - just starting with Author field would be a great improvement.

  • R Bramley commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Yes, we'd like to be able to re-order lists but I thought this was going to possible in the new Reviews 2.0? By author would be so useful!

  • Clare French commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    This is also an issue here, particularly for our History academics who want to encourage their students to use bibliographic software and understand the correct way to reference. It would encourage them to use it more if it was possible to display the list in a specific citation style.

  • Maria O'Hara commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    We have had a loosely related request from a number of our academics - they want Talis Aspire to have the functionality to automatically arrange their readings in alphabetical order in order to demonstrate good referencing practice to their students.

  • Kevin O'Donovan commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Yes sorry Stephanie I went home later that evening and realised you were talking about the display of the list itself, rather than the display of the formatted bibliography; I'm putting that down to a long day at the office... I meant to come back and delete my post but then forgot about it. Apologies if I misled you.

    Presumably a solution would involve some rearranging of the fields displayed within each bookmark. Off the top of my head for the Harvard format (sorry if this is incorrect, I'm not based in academic liaison), this would read something like

    Author surname, Initials. (Year) Title [in italics]. Edition. Place of publication: Publisher.

    or in MARC terms
    100. (264|c). 245 [in italics]. 264|a: 264|b.

    So all those fields get parsed from catalogue metadata when you create a bookmark, or from other resources, presumably it would be a case of re-ordering them in the bookmark display. (I know the real solution would be more complicated than that! Particulary if it involves customisation options)

  • Hazel Rothera commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Reply to Kevin - I think you're confusing the display of View Bibliography, which is what the link you refer to is talking about, with the display of the main Aspire list itself. Working with the Zotero styles only affects the former; there's currently no customisation of the latter available as far as I'm aware (and I have asked both Keji and Ian Corns!)

  • Hazel Rothera commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Absolutely agree with all those who say this is a barrier to academic adoption. Here at Oxford Brookes we would really like to get academics to agree that their Aspire list is the one, master version of their reading list - ie, no extra PDF or Word versions in module handbooks etc. However, for many of our academics, a key purpose of their reading list is to demonstrate to students what a correctly formatted Harvard bibliography should look like. Until the *list itself* (*not* just the bibliography generated from it) appears in Harvard style, they will therefore continue to generate a separate PDF to put in their handbooks - which immediately runs the risk of getting out of sync with the online list and therefore out of date.

  • Helen Bronleigh commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    This has been requested by our academics as well. Although you can change the output style, this does not apply to the list view, or to your bookmarks.

  • Sarah Pittaway commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I've been talking to academics about this only today. They want the list itself to display in our own Harvard style (which I have to get into the Zotero style repository). They use their lists to model good referencing practice at present and would like to carry on using Aspire to do this.

  • Kevin O'Donovan commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    But you can do this. Just pick your desired output referencing style from the Zotero style repository and ask Talis to upload the CSL file into your version of Aspire. This functionality has been available for more than a year I think.


    Does your university have it's own CSL authored for your version of Harvard?

  • Jennifer commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I agree. This is a barrier for academic engagement here, because I know many use their reading lists as an opportunity to model good referencing. The bibliography function unfortunately does not match up with our referencing style and also loses the best part of Aspire, its interactivity with online resources. Being able to see author first would also match the way academics talk about their books, and would therefore meet their needs more effectively and simplify life for their students. The filter function is great, but is still an extra step and therefore doesn't always get used.

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