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Applied science research methods


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  • 1. Finding information
    Applied Science
  • 2. Information search
  • 3. Stage 1. Plan
    Think of key concept.
    Define key elements, sub-topics.
    Identify key words, phrases, people
    List associated/alternative words, spellings
    Set limits: time, place
  • 4. Map your ideas
  • 5. Stage 2: Search Library Internet
    Lending/Reference books
    Online resources
    Study space
    Search a variety of online resources on the:
    • surface web
    • 6. deep web
  • Searching the web
    Popular search engines
    The surface web may not present all the results you expect or
    require. Often information is hidden deeper and within special
    The deep web contains information that cannot easily be
    found or retrieved by search engines as the information is
    stored and contained within databases.
  • 7. Access identification
    Open Athens / MyAthens
    Apply for an account
    Login to MyAthens
    Enter Username
    Enter password
    Select resources
    Secure/remote access
  • 8. Library catalogue Virtual Learning
    Student Pages
    Learning Resources Centres
    Online resources
    Useful links
    Heritage Online
    Find links
    • Search by author, title, keyword
    • Try an Advanced Search
    Search term: *
    Field : All fields
    Medium: Web site
  • 9. Databases
    Search some of the databases that follow.
    (All these databases are listed on the library catalogue).
  • 10. Electronic Books
    Search over 3000 titles:
    eg. astronomy, evolution, human biology, polymers
    Browse – all subjects
    select a subject: eg. Science
    then select a sub-category: physics
    select a title & read text on screen
    ***Athens account required to access Bookshelf and highlighter pen**
    Watch the training video:
  • 11. Historic books
    JISC Historic Books
    Sign in as “Stevenson College Edinburgh”
    Then OpenAthens username and password
    View as text or image
    pre 20th century texts eg.
    Darwin, D (1882), Formation of vegetable mould….
    Galilei, Galileo(1730) mathematical discourses concerning 2 new sciences
  • 12. General reference works
    Credo Reference
    - Search, browse, topic pages, find a book,
    - gadgets (Conversions eg. temperature : celsius - fahrenheit
    - concept map
    Oxford Reference Online
    - search, browse, timelines (scientists, inventions)
    - individual books, Visual English Dictionary, etc
    - search & refine, browse eg Dolly the Sheep
    - Social trends, Dictionary of Science & Technology, etc
  • 13. Journals and newspapers
    Gale databases
    Articles from newspapers, magazines
    Full-text articles available.
    eg. Roslin Institute
    Browse subjects eg. radiation
    Browse publications:
    eg. Biochemistry & Cell Biology
    Advanced search:
    renewables(keyword) +
    Scotsman (publication title)
  • 14. Journal archives
    Archives give access to older articles - up until about mid 1990s
    JISC Journal Archives
    Search eg. bunsen burner, Kelvin
    - summary panel offers link to download pdf
    - IoP, RSC, ICE, OUP, Brill, Proquest
    *** Athens username required***
    Periodicals Archive Online
    Search eg. atoms, chemicals, lab experiments
    View article text or article pdf
  • 15. Statistics
    Fact File Online (only available in College)
    select search or browse
    Select a category e.g. Animals
    view pages
    download Excel option
    Issues Online
    Select Issues Online login
    Select a category – Science & health
    Select a topic – eg. genetic modification
    Select topic articles, key facts, key statistics
  • 16. Company information
    Datamonitor 360
    search eg. Ineos, Pfizer
    Or browseindustries
    eg. biotechnology in the UK
    Financial deals
    SWOT analysis (often available)
  • 17. Images
    -search for images, use image to create posters etc.
    - Science pathfinder packs (Fleming, Lister, Watt, Young)
    JISC MediaHub
    -search for video, image & audio resources
  • 18. Ephemera
    The John Johnson Collection
    an archive of 18th, 19th and early 20th century printed ephemera.
    Search, browse, login to Lightbox to store
    images, read responses (essays)
    - dentistry
    - fuel
    - gas appliances
    - patent instruments
    - scientific instruments
    Document images in pdf
    Citation guide
  • 19. Cartoons
    British Cartoon Archive
    Artwork, files, related documents
    Biographies of cartoonists
    Special collection for Carl Giles
    View cartoon groups –
    set up as teaching aids
    Read copyright info
    Search eg. chemical giles
  • 20. Sound recordings
    BL Archival Sound recordings
    (***Athens login required***)
    Browse: oral history
    then History of common cold unit
    then A-Z by interviewee
    Browse: environment & nature
    then amphibians, wildlife or soundscapes
  • 21. Other
    Creative Commons
    information on cc licences and search option.
  • 22. Stage 3. Evaluate
    Think carefully about the information retrieved:
    Is information up-to-date, relevant, objective?
    Who supplied the information?
    Apply the PROMPT framework to assess information retrieved from your search.
  • 23. Part 2Academic writing issues
  • 24. Problems often arise from:
    Poor organisation of notes during research stage
    Excessive use of copy and paste (Ctrl-C, Ctrl-V)
    Non- acknowledgment, non attribution of sources
    Lack of understanding of referencing systems
    As a result:
    Academic integrity weakened
    Academic misconduct occurs
    Disciplinary procedures may be applied
    Research & academic writing
  • 25. 1. Copyright
    protects the owner of the original creative work
    check or seek permission to re-use content in projects
    Reasons for copying
    Commercial use
    Non commercial use
    Educational licence
    Some materials are licensed especially for use in education
  • 26. 2. Plagiarism
    What does plagiarism mean to you?
    Watch the following video to discover what some other students think.
    • Plagiarism: student views [video & transcript]
    Running time: approx. 5 min.
    Or at:
  • 27. Doing the right thing
    There are several ways to avoid plagiarising the work of others.
    useful to highlight main points, support arguments made in your work
    place exact quote word for word in quotation marks and list source eg.
    “plagiarism is a notion specific to a particular culture and epoch” (Ashworth, Freewood and Macdonald, 2003)
    But - don’t use too many quotes in one piece of work
    read quote and rephrase into your own words to give an overview
    it is not enough to just change one word in the quote
    Remember to attribute the broad ideas to the original author.
    Instead of using multi quotes, take the main background ideas from each and present an overview of them all.
  • 28. More information on plagiarism is available from:
    PLATO: Plagiarism teaching online
    available on D2L
    Student pages – Learning & Study Skills – Avoiding plagiarism/how to reference
    Student pages – Preparing for University - Study skills for university – Plagiarism
    Little book of plagiarism (Leeds Metropolitan University)
    Plagiarism – additional advice
  • 29. 3. Citations
    Why list citations?
    • a record of the information you researched and consulted
    Citation styles
    • Various styles including: APA, Harvard, MLA, Turabian
    Adding citations to academic writing
    • In-text citations
    • 30. End of text – list of references
    • 31. Footnotes (but these not always used with Harvard system)
    Type of resource cited include
    • book, journal article, online resources
    Elements recorded in citations may include
    • author, year published, title, title of article/journal, page number
    • 32. type of electronic resource, web address, date/place accessed
    • Some faculties may issue specific guidelines
    • 33. Whatever system used, use consistently
  • How to make citations
    Harvard Reference system tutorial
    • PLATO: Plagiarism teaching online
    available on D2L
    Student pages
    Learning & Study Skills
    Avoiding plagiarism/how to reference
  • 34. 4. Reference Lists
    Free tools to help you organise citations and
    references include:
    Cite u Like
  • 35. Reference List
    What is a reference list?
    Found at end of assignment
    A list of all sources referred to in the main body of the assignment
    Listed A-Z by author’s surname
    What does it include?
    List of sources from which quotes have been taken
    List of sources which have been paraphrased
    What does it not include?
    any resources used only for background reading
  • 36. 5. Bibliography
    What is a bibliography?
    A complete list of all the resources consulted during research.
    Not just a reference list.
    Contains all items whether or not you referred to them in the final project
  • 37. Microsoft Office Word 7
    • Select references tab then citations & bibliography tools
    • 38. Styles – APA, Chicago, GB7714, GOST, ISO 690, MLA, SIST02, Turabian
    • 39. Manages sources, insert citation, bibliography
    • 40. More info: Create a bibliography