CMNS 201: Finding empirical research literature SYLVIA ROBERTS Communication Librarian firstname.lastname@example.org
At end of today’s tutorial: • In Canvas, submit a citation for an empirical research article that relates to your topic
Tutorial overview • What is a literature review and how does it contribute to research planning • How to find articles on your topic • How to recognize empirical research articles • How to extend your search results
If I can see further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants. (Isaac Newton, 1676)
Academic literature is important at both the beginning and the end of the empirical research life cycle
A Literature Review is a systematic and comprehensive analysis of books, scholarly articles and other sources relevant to a specific topic providing a base of knowledge on a topic. Literature reviews are designed to identify and critique the existing literature on a topic to justify your research by exposing gaps in current research.
Why begin with a literature review? • Situates your research topic within the discipline, showing what has been done previously • Academic practice of citing influential studies (references) helps identify related research • Demonstrates how other researchers have framed their questions & defined their concepts • Provides models of effective research methodology • Peer-review process acts as quality control
An empirical research article reports the results of a study that uses data derived from actual observation or experimentation.
Your research topic “…attitudes and practices related to the ethics and to etiquette in social media use in communication.”
Starting research question • USE the handout or download the file from the CMNS 201 guide to make notes • Write one sentence to summarize your research interests, ideally, in the form of a question • For example: How do adults experience friendship in Facebook, compared to friends made in real life?
Key concepts = search terms • Identify the key concepts in your research question • For example:How do adults experience friendship in Facebook, compared to friends made in real life? • Key concepts: friendsfacebook TIP: it’s helpful to use nouns, plural forms as search terms
Search term alternatives • Research questionHow do adults experience friendship in Facebook, compared to friends made in real life? • Key concepts (best to use nouns, plural forms)friendsfacebook • Identify related terminology for each of your concepts:friends: friendship, relationshipsfacebook: social media, social networks
Search and evaluate • Search Communication & Mass Media Complete • Use your search terms, limit to scholarly articles • Review results list for promising articles • Modify search if necessary (try related terms) • Click on promising titles to get detailed record with abstract • Use the checklist on the handout to determine it meets the criteria for an empirical research article from a peer-reviewed journal • Email/download & capture promising citations for bibliography
Assignment support after this class • Ask a Librarian (research help) • Citation style guides • Undergraduate Writing and Learning(Student Learning Commons)