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Information Skills For Researchers V3


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Information Skills For Researchers V3

  1. 1. Information skills for dissertation research M.A. Urban design and M.A. International Planning and Sustainable Development Jax Thomas (Tony Lloyd-Jones) Wed 3 rd December 2008
  2. 2. Big Six Skills Task definition Eisenberg, M.B. and Berkowitz, R.E. (1990) Information Problem Solving: The Big Skills Approach to Library and Information Skills Instruction , Norwood, New Jersey, Ablex Publishing Location and access Synthesis Evaluation Task definition Synthesis Task definition Synthesis Location and access Evaluation Task definition Synthesis Location and access Evaluation Information seeking strategies Task definition Use of information Synthesis
  3. 3. Big Six Skills <ul><li>Task definition </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What are you trying to find out? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Describe it in one sentence </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Clarify any parameters. E.g. dates </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Information seeking strategies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Select an appropriate set of resources </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Location and access </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Locate the information in the source/s. (This often involves designing a search strategy) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Access the information. (This may involve overcoming document format or language barriers ) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Use of information </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Apply the information to your problem/issue/question </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Synthesis </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Combine information and data </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Evaluation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Look back at the search strategies, techniques and sources used. Consider what you might do differently next time </li></ul></ul>Source: Eisenberg and Berkowitz (1990) 3
  4. 4. Defining the research task <ul><li>Purpose </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Where are you going with this ? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Scope </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Is the question clear and researchable? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Design/methodology/approach </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Is the proposed method suitable for exploring your question? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Have you the skills to analyse the data? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Is a sample data set required? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can you get access to the data? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Is the data available? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Findings </li></ul><ul><li>Research limitations/Practical implications </li></ul><ul><li>Originality/value </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Have you located your research question within a context of previous study that demonstrates that you have taken account of the background literature? – The literature review </li></ul></ul>“ Keep imagining an audience of individuals who would want to know the results of your work. Even if you can imagine only 25 people who would care, keep that group alive in front of your eyes.” Rudestam et al (2001) p. 21.
  5. 5. Purpose of a literature review <ul><li>Research is guided by a review of the literature already known and published </li></ul><ul><li>Prevents duplication and previous errors ensures an original contribution </li></ul><ul><li>Helps to design methodology by identifying key issues and data collection techniques </li></ul><ul><li>Forms the basis of a PhD </li></ul>
  6. 6. Undertaking a literature review <ul><li>Key Learning outcomes for this session </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How to complete a comprehensive and evaluative report of information found in the literature related to your selected area of study </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How to identify the classic, definitive or most influential pieces of research in your area </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How to evaluate sources within the context of your particular project </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The review should describe, summarise, evaluate and clarify this literature </li></ul><ul><li>Proper citation and inclusion of the sources in your dissertation </li></ul>The literature review is a coherent argument that leads to a description of a proposed study. Rudestam et al. (2001). p. 57.
  7. 7. Questions <ul><li>Comprehensive </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What is already known and published on the subject? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How has the subject developed and in what stages? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can any gaps in the subject knowledge be identified? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Consensus or still an ongoing debate? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Evaluative </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Does the literature show any useful directions for further research? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Is a peer review process in place for the sources you have selected? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Is the selected methodology sound? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Is it up to date enough? </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Peer reviewed journals
  9. 9. Journal of Case Studies
  10. 10. Information seeking strategies <ul><li>You can do clever things with simple resources if you think it through </li></ul><ul><li>Familiarity with the sources for your subject area will help you to choose where to look first </li></ul>“ A precisely stated research question has the benefit of containing the words the reviewer needs to search online for applicable studies.” Fink (2005). P. 22
  11. 11. Sources <ul><li>Books </li></ul><ul><li>Journals </li></ul><ul><li>Conference papers </li></ul><ul><li>Dissertations </li></ul><ul><li>Electronic databases </li></ul><ul><li>Internet </li></ul><ul><li>Government publications </li></ul>Infolinx
  12. 12. Finding the literature - Books <ul><li>Dictionaries and encyclopaedias </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide definitions, synonyms, broad coverage </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Textbooks </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Often written by academics covering broad subject areas. Designed to be accessible </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Monographs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Specialised subject information, often with statistical and tabular data. Conference proceedings </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Finding the literature - Journals <ul><li>General interest/current affairs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Report research in an accessible way, broad subject areas, e.g. New Scientist, Science </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Trade </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Trends, opinions, recent development in professional areas, e.g. Laboratory News </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Academic/Scholarly </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Research articles </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Review and more accessible articles </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Research/ Review articles <ul><li>Research articles </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Focus on very specific subjects. Usually peer-reviewed/refereed. Authors submit work to an editorial board or panel for evaluation. Author(s) may be asked to make changes </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Review articles </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide summaries and critical evaluations of research in particular fields of study giving a good overview. Often appear in peer reviewed titles </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Grey Literature <ul><li>Informally published material not controlled by commercial publishing interests. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Often issued by government, academia, business or industry. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>May be available in both print and electronic formats. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Reports and other publications from professional and other bodies </li></ul>
  16. 16. Other types of sources <ul><li>Statistics </li></ul><ul><li>Patents/Standards </li></ul><ul><li>Legal information </li></ul><ul><li>Theses and dissertations </li></ul>
  17. 17. Location and access Boolean logic Tall Dark Handsome
  18. 18. Searching effectively 1: Broad search terms – very general - will retrieve a large number of ‘hits ’ Language Linguistics Sociolinguistics Narrower search terms – very focused search - will retrieve even fewer, but more relevant ‘hits ’ Narrow search terms – more focused search - will retrieve fewer ‘hits’
  19. 19. Searching effectively 2: <ul><li>Truncation is useful way of retrieving maximum results where a variety of endings are possible for a keyword. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Example:- </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>vaccin* - retrieves words which start with this stem </li></ul></ul><ul><li>- Vaccine </li></ul><ul><li>- Vaccines </li></ul><ul><li>- Vaccinate </li></ul><ul><li>- Vaccination </li></ul><ul><li>Resources may use different symbols for truncation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Usually *, ?, # </li></ul></ul>
  20. 20. Searching effectively 3: <ul><li>Identify keywords </li></ul><ul><li>Synonyms, alternative terms </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Heart attack/cardiac arrest/myocardial infarction </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>US/UK Spelling </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Encyclopedia/encyclopaedia </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>hematology/haematology </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>organisation/organization </li></ul></ul></ul>
  21. 21. Credo reference concept map
  22. 22. Novak, J.D. and Cañas, A. J. (2008).
  23. 23. Discussion on researching a topic <ul><li>What keywords could be used for your subject? </li></ul>Key words exercise
  24. 24. Summary: Big Six Skills steps 123 <ul><li>Describe the research task in one sentence </li></ul><ul><li>Select appropriate resources </li></ul><ul><ul><li>InfoLinX and library catalogue </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Locate and access the information in the sources </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Prepare a search strategy (linking keywords) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Select keywords, broad/narrow (using dictionaries/encyclopaedias) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Undertake a systematic search </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Access the information using access technologies or translation or file downloads </li></ul></ul>
  25. 25. Use of information <ul><li>Apply the information to your problem/issue/question </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Apply practical screening – </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Content </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Timeliness </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Language </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Setting </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Sample size </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Interventions </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Outcomes studies </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Research design </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Apply methodological quality screen </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Research design </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Sampling </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Data collection </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Interventions </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Data analysis </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Results </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Conclusions </li></ul></ul></ul>Fink, (2005). P. 4
  26. 26. Synthesis <ul><li>Sections in the report </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Abstract </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Keywords </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Paper type </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Author/institution contact </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Introduction </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Background </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Main topic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Sub topic </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Sub topic </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Conclusion </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>References </li></ul></ul>Your department tutor may have specific requirements. Check before you start writing
  27. 27. Avoid plagiarism <ul><li>Avoid paraphrasing other people’s facts or arguments without citation </li></ul><ul><li>Separate an author's evaluation of research from your own. </li></ul><ul><li>Be organised and take scrupulous notes and references. Understand what needs to be referenced </li></ul>
  28. 28. Evaluation <ul><li>Evaluating the process </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Time management </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>For review points </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>For timing </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Data management </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>RefWorks </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>EndNote </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>5x3 index cards </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>My Basket </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Using folders </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Project management </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>For decisions </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>For critical control points </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Evaluating the data </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Effectiveness of research strategies </li></ul></ul>
  29. 29. <ul><li>Use of information </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Apply the information to your problem or question </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Synthesis of information </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Combining information and data and insights </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Evaluation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The data </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The process </li></ul></ul>Summary: Big Six Skills steps 456
  30. 30. Sources <ul><li>How to download IHMC Cmaptools </li></ul><ul><li>Allison, Brian, (1993). A guide to dissertation preparation. 4th edition. Leicester: ARIAD </li></ul><ul><li>Davidson, J. and Gascho Rempel, H. (2008) Providing Information Literacy Instruction to Graduate Students through Literature Review Workshops Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship Winter 2008. </li></ul><ul><li>Fink, Arlene (2005) Conducting research literature reviews: from the Internet to paper. Second edition. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. </li></ul><ul><li>Hart, C., (2005). Doing your masters dissertation. London: Sage. </li></ul><ul><li>Luck, M., (1999) Your research project. London: Gower. </li></ul><ul><li>Novak, J.D. and Cañas, A. J. (2008) The Theory Underlying Concept Maps and How to Construct and Use Them. Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition Pensacola FL. Technical Report IHMC CmapTools 2006-01 Rev 2008 Accessed on 4-11-2008. </li></ul><ul><li>BS 5605:1990 Recommendations for citing and referencing published material </li></ul>