The citation behaviour of Civil Engineering students

The New Review project investigated how to improve students’ information searching skills and the resulting reference lists through a new approach to teaching the literature review. This paper reports on one element of this study, which analysed reference lists from 47 final-year projects written by Civil & Building Engineering undergraduate students (BEng and MSc). It finds a strong positive correlation between the literature review mark and overall mark for each project, as well as a slightly weaker correlation between the number of references cited and the mark received. An analysis of the number, age, and type of references cited is performed in addition to an investigation into the quality of the bibliographic citations themselves. Finally, this paper makes recommendations as to how Information Literacy (IL) teaching relating to the literature review may be improved.