While designing experiment number three I bumped into the complexity of doing proper research. I realised I lacked some information literacy skills. Luckily the Open University (where I study psychology) offers free master classes. Last week one started on information literacy for researchers.
This has been very helpful for me to get a grip on the research process. Eye-openers for me were ways to clarify the research questions/tasks. All though I did have quite a clear view of what I want to research there are quite a few issues that need clarification. I’ve used a mind map to create an overview of the main and sub search questions at hand.
From that I’ve formulated clear search questions to streamline my search.
I also made a log of the key words I searched on and the results they generated. From that I can go on to studying and evaluating the relevant articles. I’ve got a template to fill in items like: Type of publication, research goal, theoretical focus and method. That way I get a nice overview of the articles I’ve studied.
I’ve been using Mendeley to collect my articles. You can organise them and mark important sections for easy summary. All content is stored in the cloud so I can read and highlight on any device.
But it becomes more and more clear to me why scientific research is so time consuming…