During the Research Proposal lecture this week one of the university’s librarians hosted a presentation about research strategies and methodologies. We learnt how to look for library resources effectively.
Some steps to help researching sources and texts are:
— Finding functional keywords (trying also synonyms, antonyms, broader and narrower terms, ideas to be included or excluded, using truncation or wild cards, AND/OR/NOT boolean operators);
— Recording your searches on a spreadsheet or suitable software (Evernote, for instance);
— Taking appropriate breaks.
It might be useful to take advantage of online databases as well. An example is Statista, which could turn out useful for a data visualisation project.
An important strategy to evaluate resources is called CRAAP
: Currency, Relevance, Authority, Accuracy, Purpose.
The Currency of the publication should be taken into consideration. The information can’t be outdated and unreliable. The information should also be applicable to the case study and Relevant to the purpose of your essay or proposal. The authors, creators and publishers of the source should be Authoritative: the writers should be experts in their field and/or specialists. Determining the reliability, truthfulness and correctness of the source will also result in Accurate results. Finally, determining why the information exists and why the particular source was created is a good way of measuring its Purpose.