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FSC430H5 Seminar in Forensic Science (Capstone Course)

This guide is an inventory of resources for starting research in the course.

Reviewing the literature

Reviewing the literature for your assignment is the first step in participating in the conversation of scholarship. This video from the NCSU Libraries tells you how you add to the story by carrying out a thoughtful review of the literature:

How do you turn a network of articles into a coherent literature review? This UofT Writing Guide can help you get started:

The Literature Review: A Few Tips On Conducting It by Dena Taylor, Health Sciences Writing Centre

As Dr. Taylor noted:

Writing a literature review lets you gain and demonstrate skills in two areas:

  1. information seeking: the ability to scan the literature efficiently
  2. critical appraisal: the ability to apply principles of analysis

A literature review must do these things:

  1. be organized around and related directly to the thesis or research question you are developing
  2. synthesize results into a summary of what is and is not known
  3. identify areas of controversy in the literature
  4. formulate questions that need further research

 

The following organizer may help you to map your research question into searchable terms:

Peer reviewed articles and the process of scholarship

Scholarship is an extended conversation between researchers, and the scholarly literature in each discipline tells the story of of the inquiry that fuels the conversation.

Peer-reviewed journal articles are the main mechanism researchers use to communicate original research and new ideas. While in the sciences, peer-reviewed journal articles featuring original research are primary sources, in the social science s and humanities peer-reviewed journal articles still contribute to the scholarly conversation.

Before publication, research articles usually go through the peer review process.  Peer review starts the conversation of scholarship! To find out how, watch this video from the NCSU Library:

How to Ensure an Article is Peer-Reviewed

Instead of worrying about whether a source is peer-reviewed or not, it is best to check the Ulrich's Periodical Directory, or UlrichsWeb. The process is described in this Ulrichsweb Guide.

The video below can also help you to learn how to use Ulrichsweb:

Here is what you will type into our Catalogue Search box to find Ulrichsweb:

Ulrichsweb search

The Search will return the following at the bottom of the results page, after Articles:

The record will look like this, or you can click on this Ulrichsweb Record Link:

Researchers speak about peer review

While there have been acknowledged abuses and failures of peer review, many researchers still believe it is the best (if flawed) process we have. Take a look at these reflections on peer review as a research tool from scientists and information professionals interviewed during Peer Review Week 2019:

Sources used on this page

Gibson, C., and Jacobson, T. (2014). Framework for information literacy for higher education (Draft). ACRL. Retrieved from: http://acrl.ala.org/ilstandards/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/Framework-for-IL-for-HE-Draft-1-Part-1.pdf

NCSU Libraries. (2009). Anatomy of a scholarly article. Retireved from: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/tutorials/scholarly-articles/

NCSU Libraries. (2014). Citation: A very (brief) overview. Retrieved from: http://youtu.be/IMhMuVvXCVw

NCSU Libraries. (2014). Literature reviews: An overview for graduate students. Retrieved from: http://youtu.be/t2d7y_r65HU

NCSU Libraries. (2014). Peer review in 3 minutes. Retrieved from: http://youtu.be/rOCQZ7QnoN0