The Literature Review and
Searching for Information
Sarah Purcell
s.purcell@worc.ac.uk
What is a literature review?
How to conduct a search for information
Advice for managing the search and references
Sea...
Purpose of a literature review
1) Determine what has already been done in relation to your
research problem;
2) Point out ...
The literature review and the literature
A literature review demonstrates to your reader that you are able to:
• Understan...
Starting your literature search
Library Search
(powered by Summon)
Search strategy
Define your topic
Choose your keywords
Identify where you will search
Access and search resource
Locate fu...
The topic and keywords
• Defining your topic – own knowledge, lecture
notes and books
• Keywords – crucial for searching i...
Where will you find sources of info?
http://libguides.worc.ac.uk/education
Sources:
Books, eBooks
Dictionaries, encycloped...
Journals
• Journals list on the LibGuides subject page
• Use Zetoc to set up email alerts for key titles:
1. Click the Zet...
Access and search the resources
(motivation OR engagement) AND (parents OR carers) AND learning
Library Search is availabl...
Evaluate what you find
• Authority – who wrote it
• Audience – who for
• Accuracy – use your knowledge
• Breadth and depth...
Some advice
• Keep records: where you have searched, and the searches
you have tried. Some tools provide a search history ...
Useful References
• Chong Ho Shan, P. (2012) How to read journal articles in the social sciences: a very
practical guide f...
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Literature Reviews and Searching

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Updated July 2014

Published in: Education, Technology
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  • Content
  • Tutors will say a lot more on this - introductory
  • Another view from Reading – common method is to start broad and focus it down. Information searching, evaluation and selection is critical to the process.
  • Don’t Google it – we need a strategy (before you even get as far as Summon)…
  • Suggested strategy – evaluation is key to the process.
  • Start with what you already know about the topic and select some background reading in books. Begin to identify key authors and concepts.
    Keywords – think around the topic and potential focus areas. Knife OR fork OR spoon / cutlery OR utensils – difference additional terms can make to a search!
  • Overview of types of sources and potential places to look.
    We do not cover how to search the tools today.
    Focus on books and articles.
  • There is a (not exhaustive) journal title list on LibGuides, which can be used for field searching Summon or giving you ideas of journals to add to your Zetoc Alerts.

    Zetoc Alert instructions provided
  • Advanced search (most databases) vs one-line search (Summon, Google). LibGuides as start point.
  • The key thing is to think about a source’s suitability for your writing. Is it purposeful, relevant and credible?
  • Many students have learned the hard way!
    Summarising and reflecting on reading, beyond linear notes, are crucial for critical evaluation and discussion.
  • Literature Reviews and Searching

    1. 1. The Literature Review and Searching for Information Sarah Purcell s.purcell@worc.ac.uk
    2. 2. What is a literature review? How to conduct a search for information Advice for managing the search and references Search tools and journals
    3. 3. Purpose of a literature review 1) Determine what has already been done in relation to your research problem; 2) Point out research strategies which are productive in investigating your topic In addition it can enable you to: a) Avoid reinventing the wheel; b) Identify seminal works; c) Define and measure key concepts; d) Increase breadth and depth of your knowledge; e) Position your project and identify relationships; f) Identify opposing views g) Show you can conduct the research Notar, C.E. & Cole, V. (2010) Literature Review Organizer. International Journal of Education. [Online] 2 (2), 1-17. Available from: http://www.macrothink.org/journal/index.php/ije/article/view/319/368 [Accessed 17 February 2014].
    4. 4. The literature review and the literature A literature review demonstrates to your reader that you are able to: • Understand and critically analyse the background research (select, read, compare) • Select and source the information that is necessary to develop a context for your research (evaluate, relevance) • A longer literature review may have headings to help group the relevant research into themes or topics. This gives a focus to your analysis, as you can group similar studies together and compare and contrast their approaches, any weaknesses or strengths in their methods, and their findings (relate, synthesis, critical analysis/critique) University of Reading (2012) Starting a literature review. [Online] Available from: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/studyadvice/StudyResources/Essays/sta-startinglitreview.aspx [Accessed 17 February 2014].
    5. 5. Starting your literature search Library Search (powered by Summon)
    6. 6. Search strategy Define your topic Choose your keywords Identify where you will search Access and search resource Locate full text (book, article etc) Assess quality and relevance Adapt your search
    7. 7. The topic and keywords • Defining your topic – own knowledge, lecture notes and books • Keywords – crucial for searching in Summon and databases (and Google).
    8. 8. Where will you find sources of info? http://libguides.worc.ac.uk/education Sources: Books, eBooks Dictionaries, encyclopedias Newspapers Magazines Academic journals Conference papers Television Radio Speeches Debates Standards Legislation Policy, consultation documents (green/white papers) Theses, Dissertations Blogs Library (Hive) and Library Search Academic Search Complete, British Education Index; WRaP*; EPPI-Centre Teachersmedia; Box of Broadcasts; on demand; You Tube; TED Talks Hansard (parliament.uk); organisations and charities News websites;TES; Lexis Library legislation.gov.uk; Education in England website; Childlink; Digital Education Resource Archive (DERA); Department for Education Dissertations and Theses; Level 4 (Hive) Try www.google.co.uk/blogsearch *WRaP: http://eprints.worc.ac.uk/ For websites see http://libguides.worc.ac.uk/education/websites My iLibrary, Dawson Era
    9. 9. Journals • Journals list on the LibGuides subject page • Use Zetoc to set up email alerts for key titles: 1. Click the Zetoc link on your LibGuide 2. Click Zetoc Alert for emails 3. Find and select ‘University of Worcester’ 4. Log in as normal 5. Enter your preferred email address for receiving the alerts, and give it a name (optional) 6. Alerts have an expiry date so you can come back to change or add alerts. 7. Click ‘Add Journals’ to search for titles, or ‘Add Searches’ to add authors or keywords. (You can switch between these on the next page.) 8. (Use Library Search to access the full articles – just search by article title.)
    10. 10. Access and search the resources (motivation OR engagement) AND (parents OR carers) AND learning Library Search is available from your student portal page Academic Search Complete, British Education Index, My iLibrary, Dawson Era and other individual resources are available through http://libguides.worc.ac.uk/education. Recommended websites and Google searches are at http://libguides.worc.ac.uk/education/websites
    11. 11. Evaluate what you find • Authority – who wrote it • Audience – who for • Accuracy – use your knowledge • Breadth and depth, references – validity and reliability • Bias – why was it written, by who and who for • Currency – date (does it matter?) • Comparison with other sources – primary sources and further reading  Purpose and relevance: Remember that you are writing up your academic research
    12. 12. Some advice • Keep records: where you have searched, and the searches you have tried. Some tools provide a search history which you can save/email/print. • Keep references: index cards or a Word document of all references you’ve consulted and read – in Harvard format. • Note creation: include your thoughts and reflections on what you’ve read, alongside ‘typical’ notes of quotes, paraphrases and page numbers • Summarise: your own short summaries of chapters and articles are easier to refer back to than whole documents in folders, especially when you want to find something quickly, compare sources and plan the essay structure. • Start now if you haven’t already.
    13. 13. Useful References • Chong Ho Shan, P. (2012) How to read journal articles in the social sciences: a very practical guide for students. London, SAGE. (300/SHO) • Judge, B., Jones, P. & McCreery, E. (2009) Critical thinking skills for education students. Exeter, Learning Matters. (370.7/JUD, ebook available) • Notar, C.E. & Cole, V. (2010) Literature Review Organizer. International Journal of Education. [Online] 2 (2), 1-17. Available from: http://www.macrothink.org/journal/index.php/ije/article/view/319/368 [Accessed 17 February 2014]. • Oliver, P. (2012) Succeeding with your literature review. Maidenhead, Open University Press. (ebook available) • Richardson, L. & McBryde-Wilding, H. (2009) Information skills for education students. Exeter, Learning Matters. (025.524/RIC) • Ridley, D. (2012) The literature review: a step-by-step guide for students. 2nd edition. London, SAGE. (001.4/RID) • University of Reading (2012) Starting a literature review. [Online] Available from: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/studyadvice/StudyResources/Essays/sta- startinglitreview.aspx [Accessed 17 February 2014]. • Wyse, D. (2012) The good writing guide for education students. 3rd edition. London, SAGE. (808.042/WYS)
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