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Marine Science: Post Graduate Resources

Useful Library Guides

Library Postgraduate Sessions via Zoom - 2024, Semester 1

These Library Information Sessions are provided specifically for postgraduate students. All Semester 1 sessions will be held on a Tuesday at 10:30 via Zoom - check below for Semester 1 dates.  For more information and to register book now via this link  ** Check back late June to book for Semester 2 dates*


9 April 10:30 - 11:30 Thesis Information For new thesis students:
covers preparation, copyright
compliance, submitting,
and depositing.
16 April 10:30 - 11:30 Introduction to Effective 
Search Strategies
Learn how to search recommended
databases for relevant
literature, and manage
your results.
23 April 10:30 - 12 Introduction to Research
Data Management
Make sense of the complexity
around data storage, description,
re-use and archiving. 
7 May 10:30 - 12 Introduction to Getting
Practical tips for postgraduates.
Learn how to develop a publishing
strategy and identify the right journals
for submission. 
21 May 10:30 - 11:30 Introduction to Researcher
Building online profiles to promote
your research, and yourself.
11 June 10:30 - 12 Introduction to Research
Impact & Metrics
Understand tools that explain
impact factors and ranking for
what to read, and where to publish. 

Thesis structure support

Consult thesis writing guides, previous theses in your discipline, and your supervisor. There can be variations within disciplines on content and style. You must also consult the following official documents:

Email the Graduate Research School Office if you have questions about how these regulations and guidelines may affect you.

Formatting your thesis requires detailed attention so read the Library's practical guidelines in the Formatting your thesis box.

A prescribed Otago thesis writing template does not exist. Department requirements vary so consult your supervisor or recent departmental theses.

Graduate Research School provides access to an Otago thesis template based on APA Style, in your Blackboard Masters (or PhD) >Academic Writing> section, or use the links below - adapt it for your thesis or dissertation:

If you want your thesis bound, single sided, use the Recto template; if double-sided, customise the gutter margin on mirror pages in Word, or set the Inside and Outside margins based on the templates below:

  • Verso page template binding margins (left hand, even numbered pages)
  • Recto page template binding margins (right hand, odd numbered pages)

OR, set your own margins:


The page binding margin should be at least 30mm - this means that:

  • the right hand pages of your thesis (the recto pages) require a left margin of at least 30mm,
  • the left hand pages (the verso pages) require a right margin of at least 30mm,

In addition, the Library recommends that you keep all other margins uniform and at least 20mm, including for any appendices, tables and figures, photographs, or other illustrations you might include in your thesis. Following these recommendations will ensure that your entire text and page numbers remain intact when your thesis is trimmed during the binding process.

Use word processing software such as Word, Open Office, or Pages. See the IT support tab for more details.

  • Specific title page layout, heading and citation styles may differ within Departments.  Please consult your supervisor.
  • Document set-up, formatting  aligning text - online IT training advice
  • Chapters - keep as separate document files during writing, to retain formatting. Once the thesis is complete merge these files into a new document.
  • Versions of files and regular back-ups of all documents - keep to avoid loss of vital work.
  • LaTeX is a programme for formatting scientific and technical documents.  It is sometimes used by departments such as Computer Science, Information Science, Physical Geography, Mathematics and Physiology.

Effective management of the print and e-resources that you use and create during your research project ensures that you:

  • comply with all internal and external obligations e.g. ethics, funder requirements
  • store this information safely and securely, including large files in Syncplicity
  • can find the information you need, when you need it
  • manage your research, through the many iterations or versions of your work
  • manage your files, so that they can be easily located and identified, by yourself and others.

Your large thesis files and related data will need secure storing, and sharing with your supervisor/s.

ITS offers support with these services here:

Check information on this when attending a Library PG workshop on Research Data Management.

Save time and checking by collecting all the necessary data for each reference, at the time of consulting the works concerned. 

Managing your references - guide to recommended software for in-text and bibliography tasks.

Departments and supervisors vary in their preferred reference management systems - compare products:

Do not store your reference management files in cloud-based services, e.g. iCloud, Syncplicity, Dropbox, etc.

Seek assistance from your Subject Librarian and ITS staff.

Endnote overview videos (PC) and Mac - from Otago IT training

IT self-guided resources include:

Requesting items

Request an item

Useful eBooks

Sage Campus and Research Methods

:SAGE Campus

Has online learning modules created to help students and researchers with their research projects and learn research skills. It has courses on; Searching for information, conducting interviews, analysing data , Practical Data Management with R and many more. You will need to sign up for an account first (but access is free if you are an Otago student or staff member)

SAGE Research Methods

A research methods tool created to help researchers,and students with their research projects. The database links SAGE’s book, journal and reference content with search and discovery tools. Researchers can explore methods concepts to help them design research projects, understand particular methods or identify a new method, conduct their research, and write up their findings.