New videos added: sourcing of information

Every research project requires the sourcing of information in the form of literature and/or empirical data. Different types of literature, each with individual characteristics, can be used in academic research. It is important to understand the specific categories of literature, such as monographs and textbooks, articles in academic journals, concise dictionaries, edited works, working papers, conference proceedings, white papers and green papers, technical papers, consultation papers, manuals as well as legal sources and documents. Given the variety of literature sources, an academic appraisal of references with respect to their citability and credibility is essential. The existence of a peer review process can signify the academic quality of journal articles. Furthermore, the consultation of citation indices and journal rankings may help to identify acceptable references. Grey literature in particular, which is literature that is not commercially published and distributed, needs to be appraised with respect to its citability. Information access and retrieval can take place via the Internet or in a library. Library catalogues and databases allow for a literature search that uses individual search logic in order to identify adequate references.

Link to e-learning videos: Overview of chapter 6

New videos added: identification of a topic

Every research project addresses an underlying research topic. The research topic is the subject matter of the research to be performed. All researchers need to be able to translate their research problems into appropriate research topics. The motivation and qualification of a (student) researcher play a major role while identifying a suitable research topic. Moreover, potential problems of limited information access have to be considered before deciding for a research topic. The aim of a research project can be of an abstract or a problem-based nature. Both types of aims have different characteristics in terms of practicality, independence, creativity and inherent challenges. A number of proven techniques can be applied in order to identify a potential aim and ultimately a research topic. Six idealised process steps with corresponding actions can help to refine the chosen research topic. The differences between research topic and research title and possible forms of their interaction have to be kept in mind. Clarity while verbalising a research topic can be achieved by following the principles of clearness and proper composition.

Link to e-learning videos: Overview of chapter 5