The research project: how to write it.
|Mauch, J. and
Park, N. (2003)
Guide to successful thesis and dissertation: a handbook for
students and faculty. 5th ed.
||New York: M.
Surviving your dissertation: a comprehensive guide to
content and process. 3rd ed.
Writing your dissertation: how to plan, prepare and present
successful work. 3rd ed.
Doing a Literature Search: a comprehensive guide for the
|Cryer, P. (2006)
The Research Student's Guide
||Buckingham: Open University
P.& Walker, M. (2010)
Routledge doctoral student's companion : getting to grips
with research in education and the social sciences
Dunleavy, P. (2003)
Authoring a PhD
: how to plan, draft, write and finish
a doctoral thesis or dissertation
There are also a number of internet
sites which will help you with the process of undertaking research.
BUBL link to Research Methods and
INTUTE Social Sciences for a wide range of sources. The
University of Surrey's
Researcher's Companion also provides a helpful overview of the
ensure your search is as comprehensive and efficient as possible, it
is worth considering the following:
- Be systematic in your
- An outline of the aims of
your project will help you to define the extent of your search
- Decide upon suitable search terms
bearing in mind synonyms, spelling variants etc.
- Write out the search terms you have
selected. Be flexible and add new terms as you progress
- Remember: a little lateral
thinking goes a long way.
- Establish the scope of
your search, perhaps you want to limit by date, by language or
country of publication.
- Remember to record all
references fully, accurately and consistently: save, email or
print them off
Failure to do this may give you problems later on when you come
to compile your bibliography.
- Use Refworks for your bibliography
- it will
save you a lot of time.
Below are some ways you can keep up to date in
your area of interest.
||Many online booksellers
and publishers provide an
alerting service which emails you details of new books in a
specified field. Many major journal publishers also permit you to
register for notification of journal content pages
Amazon offers a free alerting service though you will
need to register. For details go to
One of the most effective ways to keep up
to date in journal literature is to save and re-run searches on the
most relevant databases for your subject.
Most library databases will allow you to
do this through the Saved Search/Search History options. You usually
have to set up an additional personal profile or login. We recommend you
use your student ID number and network password for this to avoid the
need to recall multiple sets of login details for difference databases.
This is a table of contents alerting service which will email
you the contents pages of your chosen journals every time a new
issue is loaded into the database. It is updated daily so you
may be emailed within 72 hours of publication
Index to Theses
Covers all research theses completed in the UK & Ireland since 1716.
Abstracts are included from 1986. Bibliographic details only for
non-doctoral theses from early 1990's.
The British Library has a growing collection of dissertations from
universities within the UK. A significant and growing number of these
are available full-text for free download.
CSA Illumina collection of databases, include
entries from the Dissertation Abstracts International which
covers US dissertations. The Dissertation tab in the results
listing will allow you to limit search results to this
document type only.
Proquest Digital Dissertations
Permits searching of the Dissertations Abstracts database for this
current year and the previous year.
British Library Integrated Catalogue: choose Catalogue
Subset Search and then choose Document Supply Conferences.
There is a Conference Alerts service which includes a searchable
database of forthcoming academic conferences and a free alerting
service. For details go to
ZETOC: gives details of 16,000 conference proceedings per
ChangeDetection monitors URLs for
change and alerts you by email when a change occurs.
Intute - register on My
Intute to set up email alerts.
Social Care Online keeps a 'What's New' section for
information added within the previous 7 days. You can also
sign up for email updates for a selected number of topic
Childlink also maintains a current awareness service -
again you need to sign up for it on the ChildLink webpage
JISC mailing list service for UK Higher and Further Education.
Internet discussion and information lists.
Research blog at the Library
Information on new conferences, training events or
recommended sources of information for research students. Why not pass
on information about a new piece of research or another interesting
source of information - let others know.
OF INTERNET SOURCES
There are several concerns about the quality of
information found on the Internet.
anyone can "publish" information on the
Internet - you may access a campaigning or
issues site which may be biased in its
coverage; a site trying to sell you
something; a page which has not been revised
in a considerable time and therefore the
information may no longer be valid.
difficult to trace credentials of authors
misinformation or incomplete information can
be easily spread
is good practice to "evaluate" information you
find on the web. Below are a few suggestions on
how you might evaluate an Internet source.
How did you discover the resource?
Using a "subject gateway" rather than a
search engine such as Google should lead to
quality reviewed sites.
What information does the resource reveal?
Is there an authors name?
Are there contact details i.e. e-mail
Is there a date?
Are there links to & from other sites,
especially a homepage?
Check the URL - it can give clues to the
origin of a page?
Commercial - .co.uk
Academic - .ac.uk .
Government - .gov.uk
Non-profit organisation - .org.uk
Personal homepage - ~jsmith
Work back through a URL to discover its
The Library Training page contains good links
Any of the INTUTE Virtual Training Suite guides contain
sections of evaluation of internet resources.
Evaluating Web Pages: techniques to apply and
questions to ask (UC Berkeley Library)
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: or Why it's a
Good Idea to Evaluate Web Resources, by Susan E. Beck
WRITING AND CITING
If you are planning to
submit your research for publication, it is
vital to know which publications are 'best' for
your subject area. The Web of Knowledge database
contains the Journal Citation Reports. Using it,
one can find out:
Which are the largest
journals by circulation
Which journals are
the most frequently used?
Which journals have
the highest impact?
Which are the
publications does a journal cite –
and which cite it?
All coursework including dissertations,
projects, essays and seminar papers must be your own work.
Sources of information must be acknowledged and a piece of work
consisting substantially of passages copied from publications,
books or from other sources including work of other students,
with only minor variations or without quotation marks and
acknowledgements, will not be accepted. Your supervisor/tutor
will show you how to reference properly e.g. (Harvard method)
and produce a bibliography correctly. Ensure that whatever
referencing style you select that this procedure is adhered to
Most research methods or style
books will cover the principles of correct
citation. A selection are listed below.
The Library Training page also provides links to
guidance on several standard referencing
Plagiarism is the unattributed copying of the work
of another person, either from published work or the work of another
student. It is a form of literary theft and is not permitted under
Plagiarism is regarded by University
Course Committees as a very serious offence and it will be
subject to formal disciplinary proceedings under University
Ordinance 1985/87 (Student Discipline). There are a
number of online resources available to help you
avoid accusations of plagiarism, through
appropriate referencing skills and
acknowledgement of sources. See the
Cardiff University Literacy Resource Bank website. For more detailed
information on plagiarism and the steps being
taken to control it, see the JISC Plagiarism Advisory Service pages.
reference management tool
enables you to keep track of useful sources by allowing you to
export your search results from most database searches directly
to your personal space in RefWorks. You can also manually add
other references found elsewhere. You can
organise and sort references into topic folders as necessary or
share these references between other users if appropriate, e.g.
your supervisor. There is also
a plug in called Write -N-Cite, which can be installed on your
PC to allow linking between your word processed document and
your reference list.
- Finally, you
can use these references to automatically create a bibliography
in the citation style of your choice. It is an extremely
quick way to produce an extensive bibliography.
The Library also runs regular
training sessions for Refworks which are
advertised on the Library homepage and on the Learning Resources tab in
Portal. Keep an eye
open for these and sign up using the online
form. Alternatively, contact one of the Social
Science staff who will be happy to assist you.