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Use Boolean Operators to build your search and link your search terms
OR = more
You can use OR to expand a search and combine terms.
This means that any of the terms you specify can appear in your results.
AND = less
AND reduces a search by requiring all terms to appear in our results.
To add topics together use AND between the keywords
- To exclude topics which are irrelevant or not wanted use NOT between the words e.g. Computer games NOT video
- A minus sign (-) can also be used to exclude a term when searching the Internet e.g. to find information on Apple computers and not apples (fruit), enter Apple -fruit
Search for a phrase
To ensure that words always appear together as a phrase, enclose with “quotation marks” e.g. “human computer interaction"
Some databases allow you to broaden your search by using the beginning of a word and an asterisk* to find different endings e.g. Comput* (this will find computers, computer, computing, computerisation, computation etc). This is called a "Wildcard" search. Check the help function of the database you are using to see if it is supported.
Using brackets allows you to perform quite sophisticated searches. This is especially relevant to internet searching. Using brackets allows you to combine a selection of Boolean Operators together.
A quick introduction to keywords
The further you progress in your studies the more you will need to evaluate and critically examine your research.
In a healthy debate, there are different people with different ideas. When carrying out their own research, students are expected to seek out a range of perspectives, to read widely, that is. This is a bit like 'listening' to different participants in a debate.
It is important to 'listen' (or read) with a certain amount of doubt in mind. Do not simply accept what each person writes, instead ask questions in response such as where have the authors got their information, how have they backed it up? where is their proof or evidence? Answering these questions is an important early stage of critical analysis.
Being critical means identifying the advantages of ideas just as much as identifying the limitations.
Critical Thinking Skills for Your Nursing Degree by Critical Thinking Skills for your Nursing Degree provides you with a sound knowledge and understanding of: the nature of critical thinking, and of its relevance and importance in HE how to adopt a critical approach to all aspects of your nursing study the importance of active, critical reading, and how it allows you an efficient, principled, effective assessment of the literature in your field the need to adopt a critical approach to writing, characterised by analytical and evaluative use of sources and the development of your own 'voice' If you are embarking on a university nursing or midwifery degree, the books in this series will help you acquire and develop the knowledge, skills and strategies you need to achieve your goals. They provide support in all areas important for university study, including institutional and disciplinary policy and practice, self-management, and research and communication. Tasks and activities are designed to foster aspects of learning which are valued in higher education, including learner autonomy and critical thinking, and to guide you towards reflective practice in your study and work life.
Publication Date: 2018
Critical Thinking for Psychology by Critical thinking is taught at all universities, often put forward by lecturers as the key skill that can most dramatically improve a student's understanding of a course and transform their writing. It pervades research methods teaching, critical psychology, and a range of other core curriculum elements, in exactly the same way that critical thinking pervades any discipline, and indeed, life generally. But what is it, exactly, and how can we apply it specifically to the field of psychology? In his relaxed and accessible style, Mark Forshaw takes modern real-world examples from psychology and everyday life to lighten the learning of critical thinking, explaining what it entails, why it is important, and how it can be applied to this fascinating field of study.
Publication Date: 2012
A quick introduction to literature searching
Thanks to my colleague Linda Pearson for creating this video and the one on using keywords.
Literature search planning worksheet
Before you start your literature search...
Use the worksheet below to plan your strategy
Planning your literature search in this way should help you work in a more systematic fashion and will provide you with a record of what you have done for when you write up your research methods
A literature search is an in depth comprehensive search for information. This information will inform, underpin and /or shape your research.
A literature search will enable you to find out what has already been written in your subject area and identify the main trends.
The information may be found in books, journal articles, reports, case studies, policy documents, conference proceedings etc.
Your Psychology Project Handbook by Your Psychology Project Handbook is the complete guide to preparing, carrying out and writing up a psychology research project or dissertation. Designed to supportnbsp;you through every stage of the project process, this second edition has been updated to include new chapters on doing online research and employability. The text offers you advice and practical guidance on each aspect of the project including ethics, choosing a research question, working with a supervisor and more. Whether it#146;s qualitative or quantitative, the handbook providesnbsp;you with all the supportnbsp;you need to carry out your project with confidence.nbsp;
Publication Date: 2012
Doing Your Qualitative Psychology Project by Thanks to this new book, psychology students now have a trustworthy and practical guide that takes them through all stages of qualitative research with rich examples and different paradigmatic perspectives.′ Svend Brinkmann, Aalborg University, Denmark ′A well thought-out, accessible and engaging guide to conducting qualitative research projects. This is a must-read for any student beginning the qualitative journey.′ Abigail Locke, University of Huddersfield, UK This book is for students who are embarking on a qualitative research project in psychology or a related discipline. While focusing mainly on undergraduate dissertations, this book will also be useful for postgraduate students. It takes you through planning a qualitative project, stage by stage, addressing key issues and concerns along the way. The focus throughout is on how to make your project excellent! Packed full of examples from student projects to help you to put theory into practice, the book guides you through: * designing your research * ethical considerations * collecting your data * analysing your data * writing your report or dissertation. ; In addition, the book will help you with time management and working with your supervisor, as well as providing guidance on how you can use your project as the basis for publication or further study.
Publication Date: 2012
The Literature Review by From daunting to doable in six steps The process of literature search and composing a formal literature review can be intimidating. But masters and doctoral candidates in Education and related fields have found academic argumentation to be seamlessly intuitive with the six-step process pioneered by this book. This updated third edition features a wealth of all-new content including: A flowchart that graphically illustrates Machi and McEvoy's process. Reflective Oversight boxes in each chapter, prompting readers to direct metacognitive activities. Links to online guides and resources. Expanded examples illustrating theoretical concepts.
Publication Date: 2016
How to Read a Paper by How to Read a Paper describes the different types of clinical research reporting, and explains how to critically appraise the publications. The book provides the tools to find and evaluate the literature, and implement the findings in an evidence-based, patient-centered way. Written for anyone in the health care professions who has little or no knowledge of evidence-based medicine, it provides a clear understanding of the concepts and how to put them into practice at the basic, clinical level. Changes for the 4th edition The fourth edition will include two new chapters on important developments in health care research and delivery, but otherwise retains its original style, size, and scope. New chapter on quality improvement - describing papers on quality improvement projects using ebm methods; this will extend the readership to non clinical health care professionals working in hospitals and family practice, and to nurse specialists and practice nurses working in this field New chapter on complex interventions - how to set up research projects involving both qualitative and quantitative methodology (known as mixed methods) Thorough revision and updating of existing chapters and references New illustrations - diagrammatic representations of ebm concepts
Publication Date: 2010
Evaluating Research by The Second Edition offers readers a straightforward presentation of the key components of research and the skills they need to read and evaluate it. The book covers a range of research that students are most likely to encounter, from experimental to field research, and archival to evaluation research. The Second Edition features updated examples of research across disciplines, new and updated content on qualitative research and conceptual statistics, and a streamlined organization that better aligns with the order of information in a research article.
Publication Date: 2018
Research Methodology by Designed with students, for students and now shortlisted for the British Book Design and Production Awards 2019! Eight steps, two pathways, one book. The Fifth Edition of the bestseller Research Methodology has reimagined, redesigned, and fully renovated how a textbook can help students achieve success in their methods course or research project. Eight steps: Foolproof for any beginner researcher, the book breaks the process of designing and doing a research project into achievable stages. It delivers students from research problem to their written research report at the pace they need, with clear explanations, DIY tasks and study skills support. In a new landscape format it presents figures, models and visualizations elegantly, so they don′t break over a page, making even complex concepts easier to understand. Two pathways: With an innovative, beautiful design, regular progress checkpoints have been built into the book and its online resources. As students proceed through the 8 steps, each chapter provides regular opportunities for students to check understanding or give themselves a challenge. Each pathway then gives them the resources they need. Confused? Stop, practise with quizzes and flashcards, or use a video to look at a concept a different way. Up for a challenge? Access a wealth of additional material including research articles, readings, case studies, activities, bibliography tools and inspiration to pursue your curiosity, impress your lecturer, and nail your assignments. With this one book, every student gets what they need to succeed. It is the perfect essential text for students and beginner researchers across the social sciences.
Publication Date: 2018
Qualitative Inquiry and Research Design by In the Fourth Edition of this bestselling book, John W Creswell and new co-author Cheryl N Poth explore the philosophical underpinnings, history and key elements of each of five qualitative inquiry traditions: narrative research, phenomenology, grounded theory, ethnography and case study - putting them side by side, so that we can see the differences. The authors relate research designs to each of the traditions of enquiry. They compare theoretical frameworks and ways to employ standards of quality, as well as strategies for writing introductions to studies, collecting data, analyzing data, writing a narrative and verifying results. New in this edition: Updated materials on each tradition More on interpretive frameworks and ethics More visual depictions of the five approaches Two new topical articles in Chapter 5, reproduced in full in the appendices.
Publication Date: 2018
A Guide to Research Methodology by Research Methodology is meant to provide a broad guideline to facilitate and steer the whole of a research activity in any discipline. With the ambit and amount of research increasing by the day, the need for Research Methodology is being widely appreciated. Against this backdrop, we notice the dearth of well-written books on the subject. A Guide to Research Methodology attempts a balance between the generic approach to research in any domain and the wide array of research methods which are to be used in carrying out different tasks in any research. Discussions on these research methods appropriate in various disciplines have focused on the research tasks, keeping in mind the fact that a single such task like a comparison among alternatives may involve several methods from seemingly distinct areas. Unique features of this volume, as will be evident to a discerning reader, include: A detailed discussion on problem areas for research in several domains An illustrative and ampliated list of research problems drawn from different disciplines which can be pursued by interested research workers A comprehensive delineation of Research Design supported by illustrations An elaborate engagement with models with a note on model uncertainty Focus on recent and emerging models, methods and techniques A novel treatment of data analysis where the nature of data and the objective(s) of analysis justify drawing upon a variety of techniques for analysis This book will serve the purpose of a pre-PhD or a Master-level course-work for students of any discipline with a basic knowledge of quantitative analysis. In fact, anyone aspiring to take up meaningful research work will find the content useful and interesting.
Publication Date: 2020
10 Tips for literature searching
Doing a Systematic Review by Written in a friendly, accessible style by an expert team of authors with years of experience in both conducting and supervising systematic reviews, this is the perfect guide to using systematic review methodology in a research project. It provides clear answers to all review-related questions, including: How do I formulate an appropriate review question? What's the best way to manage my review? How do I develop my search strategy? How do I get started with data extraction? How do I assess the quality of a study? How can I analyse and synthesize my data? How should I write up the discussion and conclusion sections of my dissertation or thesis?
Publication Date: 2017
An Introduction to Systematic Reviews by Focused on actively using systematic review as method, An Introduction to Systematic Reviews provides clear, step-by-step advice on the logic and processes of systematic reviewing. Stressing the importance of precision and accuracy, this practical text carefully balances a need for insightful theory with real-world pragmatism. The Second Edition features a new chapter on statistical synthesis and introduces a wide range of cutting-edge approaches to research synthesis, including text mining, living reviews, and new ideas in mixed methods reviews, such as qualitative comparative analysis. Packed with examples from across the social sciences, this book helps students and researchers alike in turning systematic reviews into recommendations for policy and practice. Available with Perusall--an eBook that makes it easier to prepare for class Perusall is an award-winning eBook platform featuring social annotation tools that allow students and instructors to collaboratively mark up and discuss their SAGE textbook. Backed by research and supported by technological innovations developed at Harvard University, this process of learning through collaborative annotation keeps your students engaged and makes teaching easier and more effective. Learn more.
Publication Date: 2017
Research Synthesis and Meta-Analysis by Providing researchers with a practical and accessible advice, the Fourth Edition of the lauded Research Synthesis and Meta-Analysis offers thoroughly updated information. Author Harris M. Cooper draws on more than 30 years of experience to show readers how to conduct a comprehensive synthesis of past research. Key Updates of the Fourth Edition: - Presents an updated version of Cooper′s easy-to-follow seven-step research synthesis process - Highlights the critical questions to ask about synthesis methodology at each step and the identification of "best practices" - Contains two new chapters giving expanded treatments of gathering information from studies and interpreting the evidence from a research synthesis - Provides completely updated material on techniques for searching the literature with an emphasis on new technologies and the Internet - Includes a discussion of recent advances and issues in meta-analysis statistical techniques - Offers new standards for reporting meta-analyses results - Incorporates new research syntheses drawn from the fields of education, social/developmental psychology, and health throughout the book The book is written in plain language with numerous examples. Each chapter concludes with exercises for use as class projects. Readers who are engaged in their first research synthesis will find ample guidance to help them through the process. Experienced research synthesists will find lucid discussions of complex problems.
Publication Date: 2010
Reviewing Research Evidence for Nursing Practice by Reviewing research evidence for nursing practice: systematic reviews highlights the key issues involved in conducting different types of systematic reviews - encompassing qualitative studies, quantitative studies and combining quantitative and qualitative studies. It enables nurses and researchers to understand the key principles involved in preparing systematic reviews and to critically appraise the reviews they read and evaluate their usefulness in developing their own practice. Each section starts with an overview of the methodology, followed by a selection of systematic reviews carried out in specialist areas of nursing practice. Part 1 explores systematic reviews and meta-analysis of quantitative research, part 2 explores meta-synthesis and meta-study of qualitative research and part 3 addresses integrative reviews that combine both qualitative and quantitative evidence. The final part explores the use of systematic reviews in service and practice development.
Publication Date: 2007-09-24
SRs are used in evidence based medicine to ensure that practitioners have the best available evidence in order to decide how to treat patients. SRs are now applied to other disciplines.
Within the health discipline there may be lots of research being carried out, but not necessarily a summary of what has been done. There is a need to bring the research together to see if there is consensus of evidence from trials. Therefore a systematic approach is used to ensure that all research is found and evaluated.
•Clearly defined research question
•Aims for comprehensive, exhaustive searching
•Transparent methods – SR are explicit about how the search has been carried out i.e. transparent about method i.e. same filters, terms etc so that search can be replicated. e.g. only looks at research that looks at experimental trials in England etc.
•Pre-specified eligibility criteria to determine what’s included
•May include a meta-analysis – statistical analysis of the combined results of quantitative studies i.e. pool all the data from different studies to get an overall answer.
•Seeks to systematically search for, appraise and synthesise research evidence, often adhering to guidelines on how to conduct a review (e.g. PRISMA)
The PRISMA Statement
was developed by an international group with the aim of transparent reporting of systematic reviews and meta-analyses. The PRISMA Statement consists of a checklist and a flow diagram. The latter is useful for recording the flow of information through the different phases of a systematic review.
PRISMA Flow Diagram Generators
This is an updated version of the original PRISMA flow generator. Includes a downloadable PDF version.
Contains both PDF & Word versions. From PRISMA.
Critical Appraisal is the process of assessing and interpreting evidence by systematically considering its validity, results and relevance. The following resources provide a useful introduction to this process:
Understanding Research Methodologies
Critical appraisal of the evidence
Critical appraisal is the process of evaluating and interpreting evidence by systematically considering its validity, results and relevance. The following resources should provide a useful introduction to this process:
Articles about critiquing research:
A beginner’s guide to appraising a qualitative research paper
Astin, F. (2009) ‘A beginner’s guide to appraising a qualitative research paper’, British Journal of Cardiac Nursing, 4 (11), pp 530-533.
Quantitative research: An overview
Holt, J. (2009) ‘Quantitative research: An overview’, British Journal of Cardiac Nursing, 4 (5), pp 234-236.
Mixed methods studies: A guide to critical appraisal
MacInnes, J. (2009) ‘Mixed methods studies: A guide to critical appraisal’, British Journal of Cardiac Nursing, 4 (12), pp 588-591.