Our last post explained how to optimise your literature searches and how to remain up to date with the most recent publications. Once you’ve found a bunch of texts of your interest, you should also take care to make sure you organise them well so you can find them with little trouble, this will ensure a smoother writing process. Here are some tips:
Regardless of whether you’re writing a short course paper or your thesis, you’re expected to have an overview of pretty much everything published in that particular field. The internet is vast and there are several databases and search engines to find literature. Still, how to reach the right articles and books and to be sure not to miss out on something relevant? Here’s what you can do to ensure you know the most important and recent findings in your field.
One of the first skills we learn at the beginning of our university career is how to search properly for psychological literature. It reflects one of the first steps we employ conducting a psychological study and follows us throughout the entire research procedure when looking for additional knowledge.
The longest journey starts with a single step. A researcher would rather state: The longest research starts with a multiple literature search. Have you wandered from one database to the other desperately looking for a place to start with? Or do you never know when to end your search?
Imagine the following: you are doing a literature search on a topic, but have really hard time discovering enough background information in traditional sources such as books and journal articles. Then, you miraculously find a web page that contains all the information you need. Just go ahead and cite it? Think again! How do you know if it’s accurate and trustworthy?
When considering a research idea, we are bound to rely on previous findings on the topic. Work done in the field constructs the foundation for our research and determines its course and value. Inaccurate findings may lead to imprecise applications and end in further fallacies in your own new scientific knowledge that you construct. In order to set a solid basis for research on any topic and to prevent multiplication of misinformation, it is crucial to to critically evaluate existing scientific evidence. It is important to know which information can be regarded as plausible.
So what’s the criteria to determine whether a result can be trusted? As it is taught in the first classes in psychology, errors may emerge from any phase of the research process. Therefore, it all boils down to how the research has been conducted and the results presented.
Meltzoff (2007) emphasizes the key issues that can produce flawed results and interpretations and should therefore be carefully considered when reading articles. Here is a reminder on what to bear in mind when reading a research article:
When writing research articles, most students feel confident enough to make a good paper out of the research they have conducted. But when it comes to writing literature review articles, this confidence may quickly evaporate if one doesn’t have much experience with them. So, what exactly is a literature review article, and how to avoid the most common pitfall on the road to writing one?
It’s a common knowledge that a good topic is not a very extensively studied one – research should bring new information to science. Still, how to find out what topics are worth to study and what not? Check out the tips by Dr. Konrad Janowski from Department of Clinical Psychology in Lublin, Poland.
Imagine this: you have a reference to an article you have decided to read. How can you access it within the next 5 seconds? Welcome to the world of DOIs! DOI is short from Digital Object Identifier and if you ask me, it’s a brilliant invention.
Doing literature research can be a pain if you can’t access the sources you need. You type in dozens of keywords to retrieve relevant articles from electronic journal databases, only to conclude, the article that you really want to have, is unavailable to you. Your university simply does not have a subscription to that journal. How to bypass this agonising restriction?