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6.8.1 A note on Referencing vs. Accessing

It is important to differentiate between Reference and Access (although sometimes these overlap). To Reference something is not always to provide a route of Access, but in many cases it is desirable (or necessary) to do both. This particularly applies to referencing Web pages, where it would be normal practice to include a URL for the web page within the reference.

This is particularly important as references are moved between different environments – the link that the OU provides with a reference within the VLE is likely to be a route of access, as opposed to the authoritative link for the reference. As an example if referencing the BBC homepage you would expect a reference to be something like:

BBC (14th August 2009) BBC, Available from http://www.bbc.co.uk/ (Accessed August 2009)

However, current good practice would lead the course team to request a persistent URL for the resource from the library. Using ROUTES to provide a persistent link would result in the reference being transformed to:

BBC (14th August 2009) BBC, Available from http://routes.open.ac.uk/ixbin/hixclient.exe?_IXDB_=routes&_IXSPFX_=g&submit-button=summary&%24+with+res_id+is+res9377 (Accessed August 2009)

This latter reference only makes sense within the context of the OU, and even then the former is the preferable form for a reference.

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