Interpreting the scope of their literature reviews: significant differences in research student's concerns

Bruce, Christine (2001) Interpreting the scope of their literature reviews: significant differences in research student's concerns. New Library World, 102(4/5), pp. 158-165.

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As librarians have developed a growing concern for fostering the information literacy of library users they have become increasingly involved in teaching many facets of information use. Completing a literature review forms one important context within which people learn to use information effectively, and within this process the need to be able to think critically about the relevance of information is very important. One of the problems that neophyte researchers face in the early stages of their research, is the need to interpret the possible “scope” or “coverage” of their literature review. This article describes eight ways of thinking about scope identified among beginning research students: topicality, comprehensiveness, breadth, exclusion, relevance, currency, availability, and authority. Some of these eight concerns reflect recognised information values. They also suggest strategic directions for librarians and other educators working with beginning researchers. These directions include the need to help students adopt psychological rather than topical views of relevance, and subjective rather than objective views of information. Such strategies are likely to reduce students’ emphasis on comprehensive coverage, and would encourage them to focus on establishing connections and meaning in relation to their own research.

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ID Code: 21681
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: HERN, Librarians, Library services, Literature reviews, Research
DOI: 10.1108/03074800110390653
ISSN: 0307-4803
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Science and Technology
Current > Schools > School of Information Systems
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2001 MCB University Press
Copyright Statement: This article is (c) Emerald Group Publishing and permission has been granted for this version to appear here ( Emerald does not grant permission for this article to be further copied/distributed or hosted elsewhere without the express permission from Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
Deposited On: 17 Jun 2009 12:56
Last Modified: 22 Sep 2013 23:10

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