The Literature Review: Search Skills Workshop for Higher Degree Students
Conducting a literature review is typically the next stage of writing a thesis or dissertation after the research focus is finalised. It may also be the stage where budding researchers can run into unexpected difficulties.
One of those quandaries may be the question of whether the survey of the field is sufficiently comprehensive. Is there an elusive paper out there that has not been cited? Following close behind these questions would be how to find the full-text of the abstracts or summaries of publications that one invariably encounters in the search process.
For one and a half hours, participants learned about this and more in a workshop organised by the NIE Graduate Research and Academic Development (GRAD) Centre on 19 September 2018.
Conducted by Mae Lim, Manager, Learning Services from our library, higher degree students tried their hands at a variety of tools and research information platforms to determine their strengths and suitability for their area of research.
Comprising a mixture of Master’s degree and PhD students, the class was introduced to paid resources, which often cannot be found in open search platforms such as Google Scholar or Researchgate. Participants were especially thrilled to learn about the library tool which allows them to link effortlessly from websites or search results to full-text articles within the library collection, without having to duplicate the search in the library platforms.
Apart from that, students learnt about the ways to stay abreast of the latest research and to access authoritative journals in their field.
The last segment of the workshop on EndNote functionalities generated the most number of questions from the audience. Among them were a number of existing users of EndNote who had come armed with questions on the finer points of using EndNote to cite in APA style. All were invited to attend the weekly EndNote workshops conducted by NIE Library from August to October 2018.
In all, 25 students attended this fully-subscribed workshop.