I enjoy searching for information – tracking down obscure citations and rejoicing over finding a related article in a different field. I love a search that goes from online resources to older print materials and back again.
I was asked recently to work with a faculty member to do a literature review for a journal manuscript in science education, and I have been having a lot of fun tracking things down.
I had a starting place – a list of preliminary sources and a rough draft of the paper – to guide my work, but it took off in many directions.
So, what techniques have I pursued?
- Starting from the preliminary bibliography, I can examine the works cited sections of those papers to find additional relevant material.
- In addition, I can use Scopus to track citations forward in time.
- Exploring keywords in multiple databases. Like any search, there isn’t just one way to describe the topic we are searching.
- Using Google and other specialized search engines to explore the web. There is a lot of science education material on the web that has been posted by various educators.
I was working with a topic I found interesting, in a field I am familiar with, with a faculty member who is nice to work with. It all adds up to job satisfaction.