Reading the literature and
keeping up to date
Sarah Purcell
s.purcell@worc.ac.uk
Where is all this ‘literature’?
How do you choose and read an academic
textbook?
How do you select and read journal art...
Where will you find sources of info?
http://libguides.worc.ac.uk/education or http://libguides.worc.ac.uk/earlychildhood
S...
How to choose and read a textbook
• Title, contents, index (keywords?), authors,
date of publication
• Introductory chapte...
Journals
• Journals list on the LibGuides subject page
• Use Zetoc to set up email alerts for key titles:
1. Click the Zet...
How to choose a journal article
• Who are the
authors?
• Where are they
from?
• When was the
article
published?
(Does it
m...
Another abstract example
– research study
Background (sometimes with references); methods; analysis;
findings; conclusions...
• Are the reference
details on the
article itself?
(Note down
WHERE you
accessed it too)
• Title: ’review’
what’s to come
...
• Look for
related
articles
where
available
• Use the
reference
list to find
out about
new
sources
Intro: signposting for the
reader – read this first
Conclusions – particularly
for research studies – will
this be of rele...
Evaluate
(all sources but particularly website information)
• Authority – who wrote it and who are they?
• Audience – who ...
Notes and records
• Be discerning: Your time is precious. Evaluate books and
articles before borrowing or printing. Know w...
A Few Useful References
• Chong Ho Shan, P. (2012) How to read journal articles in the
social sciences: a very practical g...
Reading the literature and keeping up to date
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Reading the literature and keeping up to date

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  • Content
  • 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.
  • *Relevance of titles and contents.
    *Use the index to locate keywords and sections of use – is there anything worth your time?
    *Who are the authors? Find out about their background (often in the book itself). Have you heard of them?
    *Skim first page or two of a chapter – is it readable and accessible? Level?

    Textbooks are rarely meant to be read cover to cover – dip in
    Read and digest, then make your notes. Helps to focus on what you actually want to know or find useful. Incorporate your own thoughts and understandings.
    Short summaries of chapters or sections can help to capture your initial thoughts which may eventually end up informing a chunk of your essay.

    Library books are BORROWED. You should never assume that once you have the book, you can keep it for as long as you like. Library books are to be shared. Borrow it, read what you need to, return it for the next person. All the above tips especially * should help with this – evaluate the book before you borrow it.
  • 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
  • Zetoc alert – once set up
  • Several slides for this – this one from SAGE journals

    Authors – who, background, location
    Publication date – is currency an issue? Policy vs historical development (for example)
    Abstract – summary. Summon often shows this if you hover the mouse cursor over the title.
    Keywords – categorise the article content
  • Research study abstract – what is usually included.
  • First page of an article taken from Wiley

    Make sure you have the reference details – all of them
    Title gives a clue as to nature of article – case study, review, response etc
    Author again – what else might they have written? (Gary Thomas has written various books and articles)
    Keywords again
  • Screen from taylor & francis journals

    ‘Users also read’, cited articles, reference lists – all valuable for following up related sources
  • Introduction – lots of signposting of what’s to come. Often similar to or expands on the abstract.

    Conclusions – skip to these next? What has gone before, summing up, further work needed. For research, this may give overview of findings and recommendations. Is the rest of the article worth reading?

    Citations – it can help to understand how you can include the work of others in your own writing – look at how experienced authors do this
  • 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.
  • Reading the literature and keeping up to date

    1. 1. Reading the literature and keeping up to date Sarah Purcell s.purcell@worc.ac.uk
    2. 2. Where is all this ‘literature’? How do you choose and read an academic textbook? How do you select and read journal articles? How can you keep up to date with the latest research in your area? Creating notes and keeping records
    3. 3. Where will you find sources of info? http://libguides.worc.ac.uk/education or http://libguides.worc.ac.uk/earlychildhood 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
    4. 4. How to choose and read a textbook • Title, contents, index (keywords?), authors, date of publication • Introductory chapter – what’s it all about? • Skip to and skim a chapter – readability? • Don’t expect to read from cover to cover • Read first, create notes later • Summarise your understanding • Use it in those 2 weeks and expect to return it
    5. 5. 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 UKFed’ 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.)
    6. 6. How to choose a journal article • Who are the authors? • Where are they from? • When was the article published? (Does it matter?) • Abstract and keywords
    7. 7. Another abstract example – research study Background (sometimes with references); methods; analysis; findings; conclusions; further research or work needed
    8. 8. • Are the reference details on the article itself? (Note down WHERE you accessed it too) • Title: ’review’ what’s to come • Author – known? Background? What else have they written? • Keywords to describe the article
    9. 9. • Look for related articles where available • Use the reference list to find out about new sources
    10. 10. Intro: signposting for the reader – read this first Conclusions – particularly for research studies – will this be of relevance? Is it worth reading the whole article? (As an aside – notice how citations are included in the writing…)
    11. 11. Evaluate (all sources but particularly website information) • Authority – who wrote it and who are they? • Audience – who was it written for? • Accuracy – use your own knowledge • Breadth and depth, references – validity and reliability • Bias – why was it written and by who (role) • Currency – date (does it matter?) • Comparison with other sources – primary sources and further reading  Purpose and relevance: Remember that you are writing for an academic purpose and audience
    12. 12. Notes and records • Be discerning: Your time is precious. Evaluate books and articles before borrowing or printing. Know what you want to read and get from them. • 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. This will inform your eventual essay structure. • 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 an essay.
    13. 13. A Few 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) • Richardson, L. & McBryde-Wilding, H. (2009) Information skills for education students. Exeter, Learning Matters. (025.524/RIC) • Wyse, D. (2012) The good writing guide for education students. 3rd edition. London, SAGE. (808.042/WYS)

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