Preliminary literature review/discussions to get research ideas
Searching the existing literature, Page 108
- Start with references in bibliographies from books and preferably journal articles, and then move on to searching and using online sources for your literature review
- In some areas of research, there are very many references
- try to identify the major ones and work outwards from there. It is a worthwhile practice to look at the reference list at the end of each journal article and follow up any leads.
- Take good notes, including the details of the material you read
- it is infuriating to find that you forgot to record the volume number of an article you need to include in your bibliography and it is useful to familiarize yourself with reference management software early on. Please see here for a guide on reference managers.
- You will be able to revise and refine your research questions in the process of reviewing the literature
- A competent critical review of the literature can affirm your credibility as someone who is knowledgeable in your chosen area, and especially so with your research participants
Issues to Identify in the existing literature, Page 91-2
- What is already known about this area?
- What concepts and theories are relevant or used in this area?
- What research methods and research strategies have been employed in studying this area?
- Are there any significant controversies?
- Are there any inconsistencies in findings relating to this area?
- Are there any unanswered research questions in this area?
To see video clips of students talking about conducting a preliminary literature review, click here
Exercise: Sources of research ideas