13 steps to literature review success

CapturestepsIn this blog post I want to outline the process of conducting a literature review on a chosen topic, such as ‘buyer behaviour and ethical purchase intentions’. My main advice whilst carrying out this type of research is to be open-minded and explore ideas as though it’s the first time you have come across this topic.

 

 

 

 

 

Literature searching and the art of reviewing literature 

  1. Allow yourself time to browse the library catalogue (library.lincoln.ac.uk > resources > Library catalogue…) http://catalogue.library.lincoln.ac.uk/ipac20/ipac.jsp?profile=
  2. Search for relevant material on your chosen topic.
  3. Search for ‘BA marketing’ for instance as this will bring up undergraduate dissertations. (282 titles matched)
  4. Search Find it at Lincoln on the Library webpage (on Find it at Lincoln you can ‘add to folder’ which makes it easier to collate your research, and send it via email then save on your student drive, memory stick, et al).
  5. Search the Advertising and Marketing Library subject guide: http://guides.library.lincoln.ac.uk/advertisingandmarketing for relevant databases like Warc.com and ABI Inform using keywords like ‘buyer behaviour and ethical purchase intentions’ (ABI Inform has some 7, 154 results).
  6. Identify key articles, conference papers, quality newspapers (check out the Lexis Library database), and interesting chapters relevant to your topic.
  7. I might amend my searches by adding ‘motivation’ or ‘actual’ to refine my research .
  8. Explore some ideas and focus your reading, BEFORE writing any draft (but be adaptable, open to change as your literature review may veer from its original course).
  9. Critically evaluate what you read; don’t take things at face value, look deeper. It is healthy to question everything but remember to be objective to form a balanced opinion.
  10. Look for ‘chains’ (they will make the structure easier) when you design the essay plan. How does one piece of research or set of ideas influence the next? Use a mind map or flow chart if necessary.
  11. Write brief notes about the development of the research over time
  12. Note the key 5-10 pieces of research that most influenced the subject. Briefly chart how each piece of research influenced others in the chain.
  13. Identify how your research will follow on from previous research. Will it add to knowledge about the topic or methods? Add this to your introduction.

(indebted to Stella Cottrell’s ever popular Study Skills Handbook, 2008). Making study easier. Incidentally, Stella’s now PVC for Learning, Teaching and Student Engagement at the University of East London.

For a more detailed overview of a literature review I found it a pleasure to read the University of Leicester’s Student Learning Development webpage on Doing a Literature Review. http://www2.le.ac.uk/offices/ld/resources/writing/writing-resources/literature-review which contains invaluable advice on structure, editing, remaining focused, amongst other gems. Reviewing literature can be overwhelming and it is a skill in knowing where the boundaries lay (i.e. what to leave in, what to leave out) and is a cause of many a student headache so it’s worth to remember the valuable advice from Rudestam and Newton (1992:49) when they said to ‘build an argument, not a library’.

References

Cottell, S. (2008). Study Skills Handbook. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Rudestam K. & Newton R. (1992). Surviving your dissertation. London:Sage.

 

 

 

New Scoring Model & Credit Limits on Fame

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The scoring model and credit limit system on our database, FAME, is more predictive system which incorporates recent economic data (2010- 2013) and credit scoring analytics. The credit score measures “the likelihood of company insolvency in the next 12 months”  which is then transformed into a credit limit based on the financial strength of the target company. The credit limit recommends “the total amount of credit outstanding at any one time on the target company” that is based on a portfolio of 3,833,672 companies covering:

  • Group, Full accounts and Medium sized companies
  • Small companies
  • Total exemption full
  • Total exemption small
  • Balance sheet

Each development sample was statistically analysed to determine the most predictive parameters to be used in each scorecard. The final credit limit is obtained after adjusting the initial credit limit according to the financial health and default risk of a Company. Scores and limits are market leading based on more recent economic data statistics and analytics so is judged more predictive and accurate than the previous model. New parameters in the scorecard include:

  • Directors history and associate interest performance
  • Auditors qualification
  • Improved CCJ analysis
  • New treatment of negative
  • Shareholders funds
  • Improved financial ratio analysis

There’s also a webinar  from Ray Ruffels (who might sound like an airline pilot making an announcement) who is the Director of Information at Jordans.

More Books update

Now that we are well into the new academic year it’s a good time to send out the first review of More Books for the period of August to October.

More Books for Undergraduates was re-opened on 28th September 2015 and has already experienced its most popular period so far. In the period September-October 2015, we have received 142 requests from 86 Undergraduates. Of these, we ordered 123 in print and 19 in eBook format. Already this academic year, we have spent in the region of £4,800. This is a huge increase on last year’s spend at this time for 65 requests from 40 individual Undergraduates of just under £2,000. There are a lot more requests from a wider range of students rather than more requests by the same few students is a positive indication that the Service is becoming more effectively far-reaching.

More Books for Research

More Books for Research has continued steadily throughout the summer and into the new academic year. Since August 2015, we have received 112 requests from 48 Researchers, both students and staff. 100 of these were ordered in print and 12 in ebook format. We have spent in the region of £4,600 on our Researchers’ requests so far. This is compared to just under £2,000 which we spent on 58 requests for 21 Researchers for the same time period last year. October 2015 has been our busiest month yet with a spend of just over £7,000. This illustrates a much higher response to the service than ever before, which is obvious in the charts below:

August – October 2014                                                                                                                                  August – October 2015

 CaptureGraphsStatistics from last year showed that the most popular months were November and February so we look forward to seeing whether this trend repeats this year.

 

 

Meet the dean: Maury Peiperl, Cranfield School of Management

As part of a series about how Business schools operate in the modern economy, The Financial Times site (library.lincoln.ac.uk > resources > databases > FT) publishes many interesting interviews. In this video, Pro-Vice Chancellor Maury Peiperl from the Cranfield School of Management talks about the need to create entrepreneurial space, with business schools working with owners of small businesses, how work meshes with the curriculum. He discusses his experience of executives and their ongoing ‘need to learn’, how blended learning supports those in business still able to study.  It’s also worth checking out the MBA blog too for further insight.

Business Librarian drop-in

Owing to student demand for a more flexible service, Martin and I are splitting the Wednesday morning drop-in service to one-hour slots from 10-11 every Wednesday and Thursday mornings (the original drop-in session was 9.30-11.30 on Wednesdays). They will still take place on the ground floor of the Business & Law building near the Book & Latte cafe, but with me leading the Wednesday session, and Martin the Thursday session.

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Business School drop-ins 2B twice a week

Owing to student demand for greater flexibility around our drop-in sessions taking place at the Business School building, Martin and I will be delivering separate 1 hr sessions on the ground floor, opposite Starbucks (the Book & Latte) from 10-11am on Wednesday (Daren) and 10-11am on Thursday (Martin). Although we support different subjects we are keen to meet any student in the Business School with a library-related query such as researching the library databases, Harvard referencing and essay writing (such as essay planning, how considerate research relates to structuring and assignment, etc).

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Library induction news

  • New entry gates which will make access a lot easier;
  • New improved thin client PCs with updated software and much better processing power so they can handle video at full screen;
  • Twelve replacement Macs;
  • Increased budget – additional £30k for Reading List books;
  • More 24/7 opening – starting 5th October;
  • A better organised and more up-to-date stock (thanks to extensive weeding and stock moves);
  • Permanent display case on the Ground Floor – coming soon ‘Steampunks’;
  • Online 3D Maps – currently under development;
  • Better water fountain on the Ground Floor (+ possibility of water on upper floors too);
  • Office 2016  (the mac version of 365) has already been rolled out to the Macs on the 1st floor;
  • More ‘user friendly’ Eating and Drinking policy.

2015 Library induction video with narration

Courtesy of the on-screen recording software Camtasia, I’ve recorded a presentation with an embedded video which includes my overdubbed narration. This presentation will be rolled out during the Freshers’ Week in a few days’ time to various subjects I support.

Becoming an avid blogger: blogging tips from a Subject Librarian

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Back from hols now! This is a post I wrote for the CILIP blog and was published on the 20th July. In my opinion blogging does include choosing a style, not taking yourself too seriously and so forth, but the main driving principle is to simply do it. Practising the art is not about making everything perfect (for that is the charm of blogging), but it’s about regularly maintaining a social media presence and overcoming fear. It can be scary entering such a huge forum, but after a while you’re looking at notifications, feedback, comments to prove that it’s actually working and promoting whatever you’re writing about. In my case I am keen to promote the University Library and its resources for research. My best hope is that this CILIP piece may encourage some to start blogging or at least get others to post more frequently and find their voice in the blogosphere.

http://www.cilip.org.uk/cilip/blog/becoming-avid-blogger-blogging-tips-subject-librarian#comment-2148001684

 

 

Definitions & models of information literacy

I spotted this interesting feature about information literacy this morning so decided to tweet and blog. That is the pure immediacy of  social media – finding something interesting and share it within minutes. There are multiple information literacy communities out there and joining them is easy, just by following them on Twitter or choosing another social medium. The Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals Information Literacy Group defines a compilation of  What is Information Literacy? When, where and how would you apply it to practice, and how does it relate to other literacies and skills sets? According to UNESCO, the Prague declaration of 2003 defines information literacy as encompassing:

“knowledge of one’s information concerns and needs, and the ability to identify, locate, evaluate, organize and effectively create, use and communicate information to address issues or problems at hand; it is a prerequisite for participating effectively in the Information Society, and is part of the basic human right of life long learning.”

While SCONUL (The Society of College, National and University Libraries) famously developed the Seven Pillars of Information Literacy model in 1999, with the most recent version published in 2011. The latest version recognises that becoming information literate “is not a linear process”, rather, individuals can take different paths to become information literate and may learn different skills at different points.

The following ‘lenses’ have been created which take the seven pillars and observe them through the eyes of individuals engaged in the following types of activities:

For anyone who is interested The Information and Literacy Group has a good website and blog which contains useful links, articles and suggested further reading.

Luxury insights from Euromonitor

The Euromonitor International blog is a veritable feast of contributions, videos and presentations that I find is worthwhile to examine on a regular basis for anyone interested in marketing, investment and strategic management. Today I was interested in luxury goods and was interested to find that an expert analyst, Rob Walker, had written a blog post on luxury spirits. You can find other categories on the right hand side of the blog and identify related posts.  Correct me if I’m wrong, but no other database offers this kind of informative blog that is updated so regularly. It also gives me loads of information to blog about!

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Slow Reading in the Digital Age anyone?

In many areas of society the Slow Movement is making (steady) progress in cooking, travel, and even design.  Now I propose Slow Reading in the Digital Age. As I was completing the Teaching and Learning in a Digital Age course at the University a few months ago, I realised the strong benefits of closer reading. This may seem obvious, particularly as I’m an eternal student passionate about studying and I support students in the Library with Academic Writing, but my epiphany happened after reading Michael Peter’s (2005) wonderfully insightful The new prudentialism in education: Actuarial rationality and the entrepreneurial self in the journal Educational Theory. Then it occurred to me that students undertaking a dissertation proposal did not need to collate a mountain of research to hone in on an idea, but rather focus on what a really interesting article is saying and get some ideas for a possible title, before considering a working structure. It is a problem in the Digital Age when 24/7 access to thousands and thousands of articles means that there is a natural tendency to accumulate material that is not going to be read. In other words, amassing journal articles looks good but nothing is actually learned. Blame strategic learning which may encourage superficial reading. Nothing is demonstrated. I found Peter’s article about risk aversion in corporate governance so engaging that everything needed to be slowed down to concentrate effectively. Find yourself away from distractions, away from the laptop, and journey into a closer inspection of one article to let the author’s ideas sink in.

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