The literature review


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Week 4 of Psychological Research in Practice.

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The literature review

  1. 1. Psychological Research in Practice (PRIP - 7PS065) Week 4 - The literature review (that precedes your research)
  2. 2. Overview <ul><li>What is the Literature Review? </li></ul><ul><li>Why do a Literature Review? </li></ul><ul><li>Searching the literature </li></ul><ul><li>How to access journals using UDo </li></ul><ul><li>What makes a good literature review and introduction? </li></ul>
  3. 3. What is the Literature Review? <ul><li>The literature review precedes the research question and hypothesis formation. </li></ul><ul><li>You are not required to write-up the literature review on it’s own. It should be considered part of your research methodology. </li></ul><ul><li>It will help you to formulate your Introduction section when you write-up your research report. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Why do a literature review? <ul><li>The literature review helps you to narrow your specific research question. </li></ul><ul><li>The literature review ascertains what research has already been done. </li></ul><ul><li>The literature review helps you to structure your Introduction section of your report. </li></ul><ul><li>The literature review allows you to set-up a rationale for the study and where the gap in the research is. </li></ul><ul><li>The literature review allows you to refine your practical research methods to collect data. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Deciding about the scope of the literature review <ul><li>The scope of the review should be: meaningful and manageable </li></ul><ul><li>Meaningful : addresses a worthwhile, interesting, or meaningful issue or question </li></ul><ul><li>Manageable : identifies an area of literature that can be reviewed comprehensively </li></ul>
  6. 6. The Introduction (section of your report) <ul><li>Introduces the research question </li></ul><ul><li>Reviews previous research and literature on the topic </li></ul><ul><li>Provides a focus </li></ul><ul><li>Sets the scene </li></ul><ul><li>Helps to better understand the background of the research </li></ul><ul><li>Shows what has previously been found on the topic area </li></ul><ul><li>Allows for a greater understanding of the question at hand </li></ul>
  7. 7. The Introduction <ul><li>Convey to the reader why the topic being investigated is interesting and worthy of being researched </li></ul><ul><li>Provide a clear, concise and critical account of relevant prior research and conceptual issues which you consider to be important </li></ul><ul><li>When describing previous research you must ensure that it is cited and referenced correctly </li></ul><ul><li>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 </li></ul><ul><li>Clearly explain what psychological questions your research was designed to answer, and what predictions or hypotheses you tested </li></ul>
  8. 8. Searching the literature <ul><li>Use the UDo Athens gateway </li></ul><ul><li>Try more than one data base: e.g. PsychInfo, EBSCO Electronic Journals Service, OVID online, Web of Knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Literature searches take time – don’t try to do it in a hurry </li></ul><ul><li>Literature searches take several cycles – don’t try to do it all in one session </li></ul>
  9. 9. How to access journals using UDo <ul><li>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] ) </li></ul>
  10. 10. Logon to UDo & select “ Athens – for Library resources” under Quick Links
  11. 11. Use Electronic Journals A-Z to find a specific electronic journal
  12. 12. Type in the journal title you are looking for or a couple of words from the title & click on Search
  13. 13. Click on the publisher’s link under the journal title – i.e. Wiley Online Library
  14. 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. 15. Then, again only if you are off-campus, click on “ Go to Athens”. Don’t fill in the Username/ Password boxes
  16. 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. 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. 18. Click on Full Article (HTML) or PDF to view the whole journal article.
  19. 19. What makes a good literature review and introduction? <ul><li>Has a clear focus and rationale </li></ul><ul><li>Addresses a meaningful psychological issue </li></ul><ul><li>Is integrative and critically analytic/evaluative </li></ul><ul><li>Is usefully structured </li></ul><ul><li>Arrives at meaningful conclusions that contribute to understanding of the literature (i.e., it adds something to what was known before) </li></ul>