PhD Note 11/2014

This week I have mostly been:

Attending the final lecture of my first Doctoral Training Programme module – Research Designs in Health. As I have already studied research methods and design at a Masters level this course was a handy refresher. I also have an assignment to submit as part of the module, a research proposal. I have decided to use this assignment as a way to get further feedback on the proposal I am currently writing for my ethical approval.

Completing the RDP module in literature searching, through a final face-to-face component. Again the session was a useful recap of the search strategies I have learnt in the past, but it also introduced me to a number of tools that may come in handy over the next few years:

Library Search – a new service on the DMU library website that allows you to search all content in the library by keywords in one search. This could be used for testing out my search terms and also to give an indication of the amount of content available in my area of research.

Copac – identifies which universities hold the texts that you search for. As I have SCONUL membership I can use other university libraries but I hadn’t been sure how to know where else to look before.

Scopus and Web of Knowledge – both of these sites are citation trackers. This service can be used to check the quality of the paper you are reading and also look for later publications which refer to it that might be relevant to your study.

Zetoc – allows you to set up an alert for certain journals and keywords, this way whenever something new is published you are alerted to it – helping you to keep up to date with the literature in your field, throughout your thesis.

Getting inspired by this blog post from Dr Catherine Flick – discussing a new method she has developed for managing her notes, quotes and references from papers and chapters she has read. In my last supervisors meeting it was suggested that I look into management tools for helping me to do this (I’ve always manually typed out citations) and I have to admit I’m not familiar with the tools. I found this post quite interesting and I am definitely going to look into trying this method as I think it could be a really useful way of managing all my reading notes and citations.

Reading for my literature review. I am currently looking at texts which focus on teachers, their professional identity and the role of professional development.

Next week, I will be focusing mainly on more reading for my literature review, further writing of my proposal and I will also be volunteering some time to the graduate school to help trial a new service for postgrads that makes submitting of all our forms a little easier to manage.

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