IR1IMEM YEAR ONE
RESEARCH METHODOLOGYL2: Reviewing Literature, Formulating Research Problem, Variables
DR. JAVED-VASSILIS KHAN, Drs. Allerd Peters, Frank WeissmanBREDA SEP2011
INDEXReviewing the Literature
REVIEWING THE LITERATUREIntegral part of research processIn initial stages it helps to:Establish theoretical rootsClarify ideasDevelop research methodologyLater serves to:Consolidate your knowledgeIntegrate your findings with existing knowledge
LITERATURE REVIEWMost (graduation) proposals suffer from superficial understanding of the issue at stakeIf understanding about a subject does not go beyond common knowledge => research ideas will be superficial and not state-of-the-art
LITERATURE REVIEW HELPS:Clarify your research problem/questionParadox, chicken-egg problemIterative processImprove research methodologyMethodologies used by others, pros/consBroaden knowledge baseWhat are findings around your RQ?What theories have been put forward?What are gaps in existing literature?Contextualize findingsHow do your findings fit into the existing body of knowledge?
LITERATURE REVIEWBefore 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 TOSearch existing literature in your area of interestReview this existing literatureDevelop a theoretical framework for your RQDevelop conceptual framework
ASSESSING LITERATURE QUALITYHow can I see if it is a good source?Plenty of material => even more difficult to assessNot that easy
INDICATORS FOR A GOOD SOURCECarries a titleHas the author/s clearly listedUses sources according to an international standardreference list & in-text referencing according to e.g., APAIs 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 itIf 4-5 are met, the source is of good quality => use it!
INDICATORS FOR A GOOD SOURCECarries a titleHas the author/s clearly listedUses sources according to an international standardreference list & in-text referencing according to e.g., APAIs published at credible publishing houses Is referenced by other researchers tooHas a summary or abstract Is incorporated in electronic library collectionsIs balanced in its word use and uses factual argumentation in stead of rhetoric
WEB SOURCESEasy to find -> hard to assess for qualitySearch engine can find a site but does not evaluate itWeb sources can be published by anybody => no peer review, no editorial boardMany web sources have their own agenda Need to cross-check Download all material found on the Internet
SOURCEShttp://scholar.google.comhttp://portal.acm.orghttp://ieeexplore.ieee.orghttp://sciencedirect.comConference paper => less time to prepare, less time to review, more recent, limited scopeJournal paper => more preparation, strict review process, established knowledge, easier to generalizeBook chapter => even more established knowledge but no peer review
CREDIBLE PUBLISHING HOUSESACM IEEE Elsevier Springer Taylor & Francis SAGEMcGraw Hill Oxford University Press
SEARCHING vs. FINDINGSearch 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 STRATEGIESSearch find - evaluateRQ, general knowledge, literature => derive keywordsUse specialized, credible sources Select sources in comparable contextAfter having compiled a list of articles => evaluate & prioritize
ARTICLE EVALUATIONEvaluate 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