Evaluating Literature and Asking Research Questions

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Seminar 2: Evaluating Literature and Asking Research Questions (week 3)

Part A: Evaluating Literature

Your task:

For this you will need the three articles obtained for Seminar 1 (alternatively obtain three more but they must be recent high quality peer review journal articles relevant to your special area of interest. Recent means published in 2011 or 2012 or 2013.

Make brief notes on each article following the headings below.

A. The journal and authors:

Is the journal trustworthy? Who edits it? Who reads it? How is it valued by academic agencies and critics, for example the Association of Business Schools? (see http://www.associationofbusinessschools.org/node/1000257 accessed 1/2/12).

Are the authors trustworthy? Which institution are the authors from (e.g. one of the top Universities in the world, see http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/world-university-rankings, accessed 1/2/12)? Are they cited by other authors? Who cites them?

B. Content of the paper

Is it relevant to your purpose? Why?

How up to date is it?

What is the key message of the paper? Is this clear or is it ambiguous or unclear? Is it new?

What is the contribution of the paper? What theory or body of knowledge is it contributing to? (i.e. What theories are referred to in the paper? What theories are the main focus of the argument?)

Is the argument clear (if not clear is it because of the use of technical language or is it weak argument?)

Is the argument internally and externally consistent? (i.e. is it a valid and reliable argument? Are there weak points in the argument?)

What is the quality of the sources used?

What assumptions are made about the nature of reality? (ontology)

What key assumptions are identified? Which are critically analysed and which assumed to be true without discussion?

What methods / techniques (e.g. survey, case study, action research, quantitative modelling) are used? Are these used validly and reliably?...
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