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Literature Search Techniques 2

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Literature Search Techniques 2 Strategic searching In this lecture you will learn: The function of a literature search The structure of academic literature – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Literature Search Techniques 2


1
Literature Search Techniques 2
  • Strategic searching
  • In this lecture you will learn
  • The function of a literature search
  • The structure of academic literature
  • Revision of the previous lecture
  • An overview of search strategies

2
1. The function of a literature search
3
What is the Purpose of a Literature
Search/Review? (1 Cognitive)
  • To avoid reinventing the wheel
  • To find out what other scholars are writing about
    your topic
  • To learn methods and approaches that are
    appropriate for your study
  • To learn appropriate theory to underpin your work

4
What is the purpose of a Literature
Search/Review? (2 social)
  • To demonstrate to your audience that your
    contribution is new different from everyone
    elses
  • Nobody will believe you unless you can
    demonstrate through the literature review that
    you know what everyone else has done
  • In an MSc to demonstrate to your teachers that
    you can do an effective literature review
  • Because literature reviews are an accepted part
    of university projects/research and your project
    will not look like a good project without one

5
What Information Should You Look For?
  • Publications that cover the same or a similar
    topic to yours
  • Publications that support your methods
  • E.g. Stats, Systems Analysis, Database
    Normalisation, Project Management, OO programming
  • Background information books
  • E.g. The Web, The JAVA programming language,
    electronic security

6
2. The structure of academic literature
7
Overall Structure
Research Topic
Specialist sub-area
Relevant Primary research
Your research question
8
Advanced literature search
Topic 1
5
10
5
Specialist area
50
5
10
Topic 3
10
5
Topic 2
9
A field structure
10
3. Revision of the previous lecture
11
Sources for Literature Reviews
  • The Library
  • Look through the list of journals and browse the
    books on the shelves to find relevant ones
  • Digital Libraries
  • Need to use keyword searches to identify relevant
    articles
  • The Web
  • Use keyword searches in Google (which indexes PDF
    and PostScript academic publications)

12
The Strengths and Weaknesses of the Different
Sources
  • Books vs. journal articles vs conference
    proceedings vs. the web
  • Which tend to be the best for
  • Currency
  • Authority
  • Understandability?
  • Which types of task would each source be best
    for?
  • Academic papers are quality controlled many are
    rejected as being incorrect or uninteresting

13
Literature search techniques
  • Keyword search
  • To find topically relevant information from
    digital libraries, databases, or the web
  • Good in most cases
  • Browsing
  • To sift through collections of potentially
    relevant text
  • Good where there are many relevant
    books/articles, but only a few can be selected
  • Chaining
  • Tracking references and citations to find
    articles relevant to a topic
  • Good where the topic is very small

14
Example search engines
  1. Look for web page on search engines read page
  2. Look for book on search engines read
    introduction, contents list, look for subtopic
  3. Start keyword searching for subtopic in digital
    libraries
  4. Chain key authors and papers for subtopic
  5. Read the likely papers and pick one as your main
    paper

15
Exercise
  • Class vote on answers

16
(No Transcript)
17
4. Overview of search strategies
18
Literature search strategy
19
Literature search -real?
20
Alternative literature search strategy
  • A practical strategy?
  • Do general searches until you find a paper that
    you think you could understand use it as the
    basis for your research
  • Author/reference/citation chain from this paper
  • Keyword searches to get papers relevant to
    subtopic

21
Alternative literature search strategy
22
Your progress
  • The following should occur as you progress
  • Increase in knowledge of the subject
  • Increase in general knowledge of the specialist
    topic
  • Increase in your specialist vocabulary
  • Increase in confidence that you can complete the
    task

23
Homework Task
  • Conduct a literature search for your chosen
    sub-area for the second assessment
  • Report
  • The searches conducted (digital libraries, OPAC
    etc)
  • The titles found from each search
  • Discuss which types of publication (books,
    journal articles, Web, conference papers) should
    be used to give the different types of
    information needed
  • Make a list of problems/issues that arose with
    your search
  • You do not need to print out all the articles you
    found
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