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The literature review


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Week 4 of Psychological Research in Practice.

Week 4 of Psychological Research in Practice.

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  • 1. Psychological Research in Practice (PRIP - 7PS065) Week 4 - The literature review (that precedes your research)
  • 2. Overview
    • What is the Literature Review?
    • Why do a Literature Review?
    • Searching the literature
    • How to access journals using UDo
    • What makes a good literature review and introduction?
  • 3. What is the Literature Review?
    • The literature review precedes the research question and hypothesis formation.
    • You are not required to write-up the literature review on it’s own. It should be considered part of your research methodology.
    • It will help you to formulate your Introduction section when you write-up your research report.
  • 4. Why do a literature review?
    • The literature review helps you to narrow your specific research question.
    • The literature review ascertains what research has already been done.
    • The literature review helps you to structure your Introduction section of your report.
    • The literature review allows you to set-up a rationale for the study and where the gap in the research is.
    • The literature review allows you to refine your practical research methods to collect data.
  • 5. Deciding about the scope of the literature review
    • The scope of the review should be: meaningful and manageable
    • Meaningful : addresses a worthwhile, interesting, or meaningful issue or question
    • Manageable : identifies an area of literature that can be reviewed comprehensively
  • 6. The Introduction (section of your report)
    • Introduces the research question
    • Reviews previous research and literature on the topic
    • Provides a focus
    • Sets the scene
    • Helps to better understand the background of the research
    • Shows what has previously been found on the topic area
    • Allows for a greater understanding of the question at hand
  • 7. The Introduction
    • Convey to the reader why the topic being investigated is interesting and worthy of being researched
    • Provide a clear, concise and critical account of relevant prior research and conceptual issues which you consider to be important
    • When describing previous research you must ensure that it is cited and referenced correctly
    • Explain where there is a gap in current knowledge/understanding of the topic being investigated, and state how the reported study hopes to fill this gap
    • Clearly explain what psychological questions your research was designed to answer, and what predictions or hypotheses you tested
  • 8. Searching the literature
    • Use the UDo Athens gateway
    • Try more than one data base: e.g. PsychInfo, EBSCO Electronic Journals Service, OVID online, Web of Knowledge
    • Literature searches take time – don’t try to do it in a hurry
    • Literature searches take several cycles – don’t try to do it all in one session
  • 9. How to access journals using UDo
    • The following slides show you how to access the electronic versions of the journals. If you have any problems you can contact: David Clark (Subject Librarian : Science & Technology) (Tel: 01332 591203, email: [email_address] )
  • 10. Logon to UDo & select “ Athens – for Library resources” under Quick Links
  • 11. Use Electronic Journals A-Z to find a specific electronic journal
  • 12. Type in the journal title you are looking for or a couple of words from the title & click on Search
  • 13. Click on the publisher’s link under the journal title – i.e. Wiley Online Library
  • 14. As with most electronic journals, because you are “off-campus” you need to find an Athens login link & double click on it (You don’t need to do this when you are on campus.) In the case of Wiley-Blackwell journals, first select “ INSTITUTIONAL LOGIN”
  • 15. Then, again only if you are off-campus, click on “ Go to Athens”. Don’t fill in the Username/ Password boxes
  • 16. If you want to search for articles on a topic in the journal, then type in 1 or 2 keywords/search terms or an author in the Search box. If you use Advanced search, it will search all Wiley-Blackwell titles unless you specify this title If you are looking for a specific article from the journal & know the volume, date & title etc, then select from the dates & volumes.
  • 17. Now select the issue number you need. The unlocked padlock icon indicates you have access to the full journal articles. If you don’t see this for a volume we should have, then you have probably not logged in correctly. Find the Institutional & Athens login links & click on them.
  • 18. Click on Full Article (HTML) or PDF to view the whole journal article.
  • 19. What makes a good literature review and introduction?
    • Has a clear focus and rationale
    • Addresses a meaningful psychological issue
    • Is integrative and critically analytic/evaluative
    • Is usefully structured
    • Arrives at meaningful conclusions that contribute to understanding of the literature (i.e., it adds something to what was known before)