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IR1IMEM YEAR ONE. RESEARCH METHODOLOGY L2: Reviewing Literature, Formulating Research Problem, Variables DR. JAVED-VASSILIS KHAN, Drs. Allerd Peters, Frank Weissman BREDA SEP2011. INDEX. Reviewing the Literature. REVIEWING THE LITERATURE. Integral part of research process

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ir1imem year one
IR1IMEM YEAR ONE

RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

L2: Reviewing Literature, Formulating Research Problem, Variables

DR. JAVED-VASSILIS KHAN, Drs. Allerd Peters, Frank Weissman

BREDASEP2011

index
INDEX
  • Reviewing the Literature
reviewing the literature
REVIEWING THE LITERATURE
  • Integral part of research process
  • In initial stages it helps to:
    • Establish theoretical roots
    • Clarify ideas
    • Develop research methodology
  • Later serves to:
    • Consolidate your knowledge
    • Integrate your findings with existing knowledge
literature review
LITERATURE REVIEW
  • Most (graduation) proposals suffer from superficial understanding of the issue at stake
  • If understanding about a subject does not go beyond ‘common knowledge’ => research ideas will be superficial and not state-of-the-art
literature review helps
LITERATURE REVIEW HELPS:
  • Clarify your research problem/question
    • Paradox, chicken-egg problem
    • Iterative process
  • Improve research methodology
    • Methodologies used by others, pros/cons
  • Broaden knowledge base
    • What are findings around your RQ?
    • What theories have been put forward?
    • What are gaps in existing literature?
  • Contextualize findings
    • How do your findings fit into the existing body of knowledge?
literature review1
LITERATURE REVIEW
  • Before writing a research proposal you are able to give at least an informed answer to:
    • What is already known with respect to my subject?
    • What theories and concepts are relevant?
    • What research strategies and methods have been employed by others performing similar research?
    • What questions have remained unanswered/ what suggestions for further research have been done?
    • What researchers are important with respect to this topic?
literature review how to
LITERATURE REVIEW: HOW TO
  • Search existing literature in your area of interest
  • Review this existing literature
  • Develop a theoretical framework for your RQ
  • Develop conceptual framework
assessing literature quality
ASSESSING LITERATURE QUALITY
  • How can I see if it is a good source?
  • Plenty of material => even more difficult to assess
  • Not that easy
indicators for a good source
INDICATORS FOR A GOOD SOURCE
  • Carries a title
  • Has the author/s clearly listed
  • Uses sources according to an international standard
    • reference list & in-text referencing according to e.g., APA
  • Is published at credible publishing houses
  • Is referenced by other researchers too
  • If 1-3 are not met, the source is of questionable quality => refrain from using it
  • If 4-5 are met, the source is of good quality => use it!
indicators for a good source1
INDICATORS FOR A GOOD SOURCE
  • Carries a title
  • Has the author/s clearly listed
  • Uses sources according to an international standard
    • reference list & in-text referencing according to e.g., APA
  • Is published at credible publishing houses
  • Is referenced by other researchers too
  • Has a summary or abstract
  • Is incorporated in electronic library collections
  • Is balanced in its word use and uses factual argumentation in stead of rhetoric
web sources
WEB SOURCES
  • Easy to find -> hard to assess for quality
  • Search engine can find a site but does not evaluate it
  • Web sources can be published by anybody => no peer review, no editorial board
  • Many web sources have their own agenda
  • Need to cross-check
  • Download all material found on the Internet
sources
SOURCES
  • http://scholar.google.com
  • http://portal.acm.org
  • http://ieeexplore.ieee.org
  • http://sciencedirect.com
  • Conference paper => less time to prepare, less time to review, more recent, limited scope
  • Journal paper => more preparation, strict review process, established knowledge, easier to generalize
  • Book chapter => even more established knowledge but no peer review
credible publishing houses
CREDIBLE PUBLISHING HOUSES
  • ACM
  • IEEE
  • Elsevier
  • Springer
  • Taylor & Francis
  • SAGE
  • McGraw Hill
  • Oxford University Press
searching vs finding
SEARCHING vs. FINDING
  • Search easy but Find not easy Main problems:
    • Sticking to the obvious
    • Using tutor cited literature
    • Inefficient search strategies
    • Content is not possible to be accessed
efficient literature review strategies
EFFICIENT LITERATURE REVIEW STRATEGIES
  • Search – find - evaluate
  • RQ, general knowledge, literature => derive keywords
  • Use specialized, credible sources Select sources in comparable context
  • After having compiled a list of articles => evaluate & prioritize
article evaluation
ARTICLE EVALUATION
  • Evaluate quality based on the afore mentioned indicators => how many indicators does it satisfy?
  • Read abstract => is it interesting for my RQ? If yes => read conclusions => still interesting?
  • Answer the question: ‘This source I can use for my research, because it gives the following information:...’
  • Only now you read the whole article
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