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Doing Your Literature Search: A Beginners' Guide

For the BA (Hons) PCET Research Project Students at BPC
by

Claire Saunders

on 12 November 2013

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Transcript of Doing Your Literature Search: A Beginners' Guide

A Beginners' Guide
Doing Your Literature Search:
Claire Saunders 2012
What are some of the key principles mentioned here?
How do they help you to think about your own research question?
Watch the video, 'Designing a Research Question'
How will the advice here help you to manage your own literature review?
Now watch 'The Evolving Literature Review'
Identify existing research in your research area
Identify potential areas of disagreement/uncertainty
Identify & define key concepts & terminology
The purpose of the Literature Search is to:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/webwise/guides/boolean-operators
Here's a quick, basic guide to Boolean Logic:
Start with your question
What ideas do you have already?
Initial Search (Boolean Logic)
Selecting sources for detailed reading
Specific?
Reliable?
Academic?
Key words?
Concepts?
Issues?
Library Catalogues
Education Databases
Google Scholar?
Named author
Up to date*
Accurate & unbiased**

Reliable sources
* In most cases you will want to access the most up to date sources possible. Older sources can give context and build the wider picture, but you need the most up to date ones too.
** If there is bias, you need to acknowledge this and give the opposing viewpoint.
Primary Sources: A Rule of thumb...
If you're referring to an expert, try to refer to their original work, rather than someone else's discussion of their work
Peer reviewed (academic journals and academic publishers)
Academic Sources: Use these!
Official Reports
Government Reviews
(Beware Bias)
Non-academic sources: Use with caution!
Newspapers
Magazines
News/TV Channel websites
Trade publications and company websites
Publications/websites of charities, campaign or pressure groups
Student theses/essays
Wikipedia
Pamphlets/brochures
Blogs/wikis

If you think you can justify the use of one of the above, you must acknowledge its potential bias/unreliability.
Non-academic sources: Use with caution!
Identify & locate relevant sources for your research project
Distinguish between academic and non-academic sources
Evaluate the reliability of your sources
By the end of this presentation, you will be able to:
Identify & locate relevant sources for your research project
Distinguish between academic and non-academic sources
Evaluate the reliability of your sources
Now that you have completed this presentation, I hope that you are able to:
Watch this video for guidance on how to use and evaluate internet sources...
What about internet sources?
Good Luck!
Now you've viewed this presentation, make use of the other resources on Moodle to help you with your Literature Review.
Full transcript