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MSc Dissertation Preparation Session 2. Literature review The literature review is the means by which we establish what is already known and recorded.

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Presentation on theme: "MSc Dissertation Preparation Session 2. Literature review The literature review is the means by which we establish what is already known and recorded."— Presentation transcript:

1 MSc Dissertation Preparation Session 2

2 Literature review The literature review is the means by which we establish what is already known and recorded about our chosen research topic

3 Relationship to the research evidence base The literature review is part of your evidence base It will inform your choice of research approach so should be initially undertaken early in the research process It should continue until the dissertation is complete, especially in fast moving fields It sits alongside evidence which you generate via research methodologies Your research findings must be matched back to the theory

4 Resources available to you We will demonstrate the following: Web of Knowledge Expanded Academic Index Index to Theses Newsbank Covered in previous session ACM Computer Abstracts Swetswise (e-journals) NetLibrary (e-books)

5 Internet Vast resource but no review/referee system Factors to consider when evaluating internet sources The target audience Purpose of web page Completeness & accuracy of links & information

6 Internet (2) Who is the author/producer are they reliable? What authority & expertise do they carry? Any evidence of bias? When was the site produced, it it kept up to date? Always keep a hard copy of the page as evidence of its existence & contents

7 Where to start? Search engines Subject gateways Hope LRD web pages subject pages

8 Identifying materials relevant for your research Identify your topic area and key search terms Identify research and information sources Formulate search strategy accordingly Undertake search Too much retrievalInsufficient retrieval Refiine/ Make the search more specificRefine, i.e. Make the search wider Search again Document fully Sift, sort, and weight ExcludeInclude

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10 Obtaining Journal Articles

11 Overview

12 Time management and expectations The process of literature searching takes time – usually more time than people expect When you have identified material it may not be immediately available No one information provider can possess everything that a researcher requires

13 Latest information, expectations and support The Hope LRD web pages provide the latest information on opening times, personnel, services Help slots

14 Access questions to consider at the outset Who or what are you going to research? A group of people/individuals A company/organisation (workplace/external) A product/program Who are the key individuals/gatekeepers who you will need to contact for permission? What commitment do you require from participants? Time (days, hours) Duration (one-off/ongoing) Are they fully aware of what they are committing themselves to?

15 How to increase your chances of gaining access? Ask for advice Limit your request to what you can handle Use your contacts Offer something back Choose the right time to make your request Be clear what you need ‘Sell’ your research Remember this is a continuous process

16 What do you do if access is refused? Approach other individuals Approach another institution Approach another individual within the institution Try again later Change your research strategy and data collection methods

17 Ethical Issues Balancing ethical concerns & research goals Conflict Consideration at various stages Careful planning can resolve/avoid these issues before data is collected

18 Participation Voluntary/never coercion Informed documented consent Participant, manager, organisation Awareness of aims: how might this affect outcomes How will you treat your participants? Empathise De-brief Anonymity Confidentiality Data entry & analysis How results are published

19 Legislation & Dilemmas Legislation Data Protection Copyright Specific legislation e.g. re children, medical records Dilemmas

20 Work Based Research Can be problematic Employer may try to persuade or influence This is your research, are you interested enough? Bias Consequences of your results

21 Working with your Supervisor Supervisor allocation Time allowed - 20 hours (6-7 hours reading final draft) Stay in touch Responsibilities Warning signs Re-submission arrangements You’re never alone

22 Research can be Rewarding Now you have the chance to: build on what you have achieved in the taught modules research an area of interest in depth decide on your own aims and research questions design your own research project

23 What to do for next session Speak to tutors about potential topics Mind map your topic Start your literature review


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