How to do a literature review



ok so today's lecture is going to cover how to do a literature review and for your projects and providing any academic paper this is the most important part if you get this right you will succeed you get it wrong there's a chance that you might end up repeating what someone else has done in the past and it will not be published alone basically the entire project will be lost so it's very important that you do this correctly and so the method of doing this has been kind of put in detail upon a per pedia on the literature review outline and what I want to do now is sort of walk through how we do literature reviews in our group and how will do it for this class and so we're going to use a poppy dia to post our literature review before we've actually published our paper so that other people can have access to it and use it and possibly even help us complete it and so you start by creating a page in abre pedia the easiest way to create a page maybe I'll do this here is to say I don't know photovoltaic for the to review and search for it it won't find it and then that red link by clicking on this red link I create the page for the literature review can immediately begin typing and so on the top of the literature review you could put the template for most but the most important one is to do the template for the lidded for lit and that will tell other people that it's a literature review on going and you're asking other people to help you when you're doing your literature review you want to keep track of all the search terms that you do and where you started searching and so Google Scholar will be your first kind of primary target to find relevant literature and so you want to say what exact search terms you used now you have to be careful about picking your search terms because different disciplines use different words to mean the exact same thing and so you might miss an entire subset of the literature because you're using say the chemistry term instead of the physics term it's going to be very careful to search for synonyms you want to look at how other people are referring to the terms that are of interest to you in the papers that you're reading and then make sure that you're searching for the term for instance the group that's working on kind of coach n sometimes it's called combined heat and power sometimes it's called CHP sometimes it's called cogeneration there's a bunch of different words to mean the exact same thing and if one person if a group only uses say the term coach n and you're lonely looking for CHP you'll never find their articles the next thing you want to do is make a citation list and that is a list like this one where you have put every single article link to it so that other people can download it and then walk through at least the abstract or a list of the your comments from that article in that in the citations you want to make sure that in the references you want to make sure that you have the complete citation for the article so that you can cut and paste it later into you into your own academic article unless you have a particular target journal you want to make sure that your citation contains all the information about the journal which is author title journal volume number page page range and year if you have all this information you don't ever have to worry about going back and searching for it and in but in general you want to choose a target journal now it's hard to choose a target journal before you've really started your literature review and we'll talk about this in a later class but in general you want to be targeting a journal that covers the material that you're going to write about after you've been in the field a while it's it's easy to know which ones are useful but as you're doing this you'll notice that for instance many of your articles are showing up in the journal say like a solar energy or solar energy materials and solar cells and note that type of journal if it if you are referencing say 25 articles from that journal that's probably your best target journal that's the the journal that you should think to send your article to you want to make sure that you include a hyperlink to your citation to its electronic file so you can go back and get to it later and so that other people can go back and get to it later and the best way to do that is with the DOI the digital object identifier which is a permanent location for that hyperlink sometimes when journal publishers change their database an old League they linked just to their the article directly might be wrong and then it would be something that someone has to go back in this wiki and edit later on so if you use the DOI it will be a permanent then you want to add bulleted points of things that you find of interest that are value to you in that article one of the ways that students many many times do this is they start with the abstract and then as they go through and they're trying to pull out specific details or specific facts that are important to their their their own writing that's when you add in bullet points when you do this you want to make sure that the bullet points themselves do not complete sentences you don't want to end up plagiarizing yourself later and so you just want to put up kind of snippets of information that you found particularly relevant to that article at the same time what this is is doing is because I'm going to be working on writing these papers with you is I allows me to quickly read the literature everyone in this part of this class is going to be reading 50 academic articles on their specific topic and by posting up the abstracts and your summaries of them it allows me to go in and you know for let's say out of the 50 maybe 10 of them are completely irrelevant if you say you know this is a nice paper but this doesn't have anything to do with my topic like I thought it did or you know it's the results of this paper are no longer valid because of you know reference 47 that keeps me from having to go through and read it and the same with with other people that are going to follow on after you might be other students future students it might be your own students if you end up in academic yourself come and finally you want to put the title of the article in between equal signs which remember is the levels within an article so that it automatically creates a table of contents for you so as an example of this for getting it done the facto sustainability pollination invitation at the university level you can see what I would expect as an entry for an individual article so the title of the article is in between sets of equal signs which makes it sort of a sub topic within the total page have the complete citation for the article including a link to the articles that you can read it and then bullet points for or the summary of the article and so when you've done one of these by reading an article and posting it that's one your first assignment will be to do five and you should be expected you're going to be doing five basically every time and tell you for the next ten classes until you've read of 50 now why do we set it up this way different journals have different reference formatting requirements and this actually gets quite irritating because some of them are radically different from each other and so you can spend significant amounts of time reformatting references if for example the first paper that you write for something like a solar energy which is using off like a Harvard style and then you end up writing for the I Triple E which uses a numbered reference style with very different formatting of how the reference itself looks and so you can spend a lot of time reformatting you want to make sure that you never have to go back to the original database where you pull the article from in order to get the all the information that you need so you want to make sure you start with all the information ideally what a store the actual file itself the PDF on a hard drive of your own computer or at least on a flash drive if you're using a school's computer so you can go back and read it and look at it again if you have more questions later I strongly recommend putting the articles in chronological order so you can kind of see the evolution of your particular sub field and sort of learn how other people learn about things as you reading now I'll double for the this for you in a few minutes but I strongly strongly recommend using Zotero as your kind of bibliography management software sottero is a plugin for firefox and so if you're using firefox you can get to it and what it allows you to do is pull it allows two things that are important one is to be able to scrape the information the bibliographic information from a PDF or from a website that's searching for an article and the second thing that it allows you to do is to reformat it in any format immediately and so it saves you a lot of time and i'll demonstrate this in the second part of class and if for no other reason that's a reason to use firefox alright so how do you find the articles that are relevant to your research and the first place you start is this google scholar it's a it's basically the same thing as doing a normal google search and so you might search for something like photovoltaic and farmville use and you can see that I've been looking up some of the articles for you guys with in class and you can see that it immediately spits out the article hopefully you have an open access link if not hopefully you have a Michigan Tech link if you don't see one of these safer for this article and this is where you need to immediately asked for it interlibrary loan if if the article seems of interest to you normally by clicking on the article you go to the publishers website and you at least can read the abstract you get an idea of how sort of long or important article is by how long it's been published and how important it is by the number of times it's been cited and there's also this nice handy feature that allows you to output the citation in MLA APA in the Chicago style immediately and usually for say copying onda after PT i'd recommend the APA style as it has all of the information contained with it now do be careful because Google Scholar sometimes makes mistakes it's it's all automated and so oftentimes say the pages will be messed up for the pages will be letters instead of numbers or something like that and so you always have to go back through and make sure that the citation that you're pulling down is absolutely correct let me just show you an example of how you can use the terror so this is an article on the balance of systems for a 5-megawatt photovoltaic generating system and let's say that I I found that it was going to be useful for my particular study and it's got this information here but if I had to go and hand type it it would take quite some time and so I've already pre-installed Zotero in Firefox and I get this little a kind of paper button up in the URL thing and so I've just saved this paper to Zotero and if I open it up this was called a balance of systems so here it is highlighted still second but what you can see is it's included all the author information already the abstract the publication the volume and so forth and so on and then if I want to put it in my documents a my my literature review i can say create a bibliography of the item if i know i'm writing for elsevier in the Harvard style it's already pretty selected for me but it also has all the other styles so if you're going to get a nature paper if you're writing for the I Triple E it can do all of them so let's air it let's try the ving through the Vancouver style just as a demonstration and so I've just copied it onto the clipboard and so if i go to say the page that i was creating and i pasted it it's immediately put in the appropriate format and so I've just saved myself hours of typing all of you will have to do this at least 50 times and it's as easy as going to the page where your article exists clicking on it to scrape all the bibliographic information it's then put in your database and then you can you then use it later the second part of this class i'll go and a little bit more detail on what you can do with Zotero but it is a extremely powerful free and open source tool that is that will speed your writing and speed your ability to post up a literature review okay so you start with with google scholar and that is going to get you many of the core papers for your your lit search remember you want to keep track of what your search terms were you can also go into more detail by using parentheses so that you're making sure that that term and there is no let's say maybe this large-scale farm where now I've taken down the number of hits down to 29 because i'm looking for the specific term large-scale farm it that has to show up somewhere in the paper and it has to have something to do with photos headaches and so you want to be careful with the these use of X quotation marks but it allows you to kind of drill down like if you just do a search for okay we'll get almost a million hands recorders in a million hands and that's 40 minute or even a semester now Google Scholar will get you most of the way there and it covers many of the areas but what all of you all wrote many of you are going to be doing is trying to prove something doesn't exist yet you want to make sure that nobody's done your research yet and that's a very hard thing to do and Google Scholar doesn't necessarily get you there it doesn't maintain a database on all the possible information that's been published it doesn't contain all even though even Google itself hasn't spider doesn't searched the entire web and so for instance if the paper is written in a different language or if it uses completely uncommon terms you're going to miss it in Google scholars and so one of the best ways to learn about how to search the infant internet is through search lawyers and this is a kind of a European hacker and this is like old school search technology where you can go through and if you're if you think for instance your papers might be in a different language they can show you how to search the different databases in different languages and you might want to think about doing that automatically in this class for at least the Japanese for the more technical papers and materials you might also want to search the German literature and the Chinese literature depending upon what you're doing and if you're going in if you're looking a specific geographic region for your particular study I was searching that regions native languages and so wherever you go through both essays and search strategies in excruciating detail and I'll leave this for you to look through but what you want to do is sort of go through some of his basic strategies for searching so that you can learn how the internet is set up and this was sort of when the internet was kind of like forming he was one of the top or Abaddon unnecessarily that's a he but this hacker hacker collective was one of the top sources search now now you can also think about installing a Google toolbar which allows you sort of faster searching through a large text document so some of the papers that you'll get our HTML documents and let's say you're looking for a specific term within that document like photovoltaic you can type that into the search bar and then have it highlighted and then rather than kind of going through one at a time where each time the word photovoltaic is used you can see it highlighted so you can just kind of scroll through the page quickly and go to the highlighted portion that is important for you after finding the web pages the powerpoints the PDF files make sure that you're keeping links to those citations in your citation list some of them might not be like standard academic articles that will have us at arrow thing so you're going to have to put it in on your own one of the other kind of new features is to use this Wolfram Alpha to do calculations for you so if you're trying to for instance figure out all the locations in North America with a photovoltaic array that collect data something like Wolfram Alpha might be able to provide you with that solution and so they might they allow you to do things like demographic data analysis in real time that's part of the search and so for some for some of your projects this might be useful we also have our MTU library and all of its collections that you can search through the databases and the electronic journals and it is well worth the time to search for your kind of key search terms within our own database to see if there's anything that you're missing I've linked to the interlibrary loan page anything that you're not getting immediately log in to your new law iso password and this will give you the ability to do interlibrary loans as you mentioned glass class it's probably a good idea to do this in the short term rather than the long term so you might want to do the most of your searching sort of over the next few days and get in your interlibrary loans so that you make sure that you have the papers by the time you need them and maybe you know for the first five and five do the ones that are available on the internet now a long list of MTU databases are the other ones that you might want to search depending upon your specific topic is sciencedirect which is severes kind of and they're the largest scientific publisher EBSCOhost the material research society proceedings database a lot of this is covered in Google scholars but those of you that are working on more materials projects this will be relevant those of you the working on more physics related projects the American Institute of Physics this engineering topics Electrical Engineering in particular are covered by a compendex or engineering village and the I Triple E Explorer which now covers like things like calm proceedings and that kind of thing and then finally in spec and then if you're looking specifically for sustainability related things to your topic you can look on the sspp site last but not least is patents now normally paths without an overly good source of technical information but every once in a while particularly there's sort of introductory matter can be a use of additional references and so if you're looking up a specific thing if you're looking up say a new type of device you might it might be worth looking in the patent literature and then looking in reading the patents in order to discover more literature that's sort of the same idea behind the literature tree in the best case scenario your topic will have had a literature review published on it this year like it just came out in January and that means your job has largely been done by somebody else and you can go read that article in detail they've already got the papers that have been covered and this is somebody that devoting an entire usually a semester at least maybe even a whole year to reading all the literature and writing an article just summarize it at all now you still need to do your own literature search to kind of fill in the holes but you can start with that paper and that literature reviews tend to have many more citations in a normal paper normal paper might have say somewhere between 30 and 50 and a literature review might have 100 or more and so it's a much kind of more meteor paper but it doesn't have any new and it's only summarizing other people have done those are extremely useful for making sure that you're covering the literature because it's somebody else has already put in the effort that said you're very rarely lucky enough to have literature review done on your specific topic which are you know a little bit outside of the mainstream as for the purposes of this class but you might find something similar and you might find something from a few years ago that's still very valuable you'll have to concentrate your search then on the most recent types of articles and then you can kind of cascade down through the paper itself and look for papers that's it cited and then papers when you go to that paper look at papers that it's cited and you kind of go down through the literature back into time to see how things are done one of the other places that you should should look is if you're looking up a specific term you should never use Wikipedia as a primary source but it's very good at providing you with avenues to secondary sources so if you're interested for example like proto crystal and growth of photovoltaic materials you can go to Wikipedia and then use their references to find more to find that like the original references that you can go back and then add to your literature search last two things that you're you might have a problem and that's that for some of the most valuable papers and it always seems to happen this way for whatever reason our library doesn't have them and you do the interlibrary loan and after a couple weeks you hear back and they don't have them one of the quickest ways to get access to an article is just to simply contact the authors and if it's a paper that's been published and say the last 10 years there's a very good chance that author is still alive and would be happy to send you that paper and so you can just contact them directly usually there's a contact author on the paper that has an email address and you can just email them and say you know a student of Michigan Tech and I'm interested in your work when you please send me a copy and in the other relevant literature that you've just published or considering publishing and that in that case you can get really lucky and they might even send you a pretty print something that you can cite and maybe you are citing it in you know to be published or in press and so you can get sort of the latest and greatest before it's even gone into print the other thing that you can do as many authors publish preprints of their work and open access repositories and they're doing this to try to get their ideas out there faster and so you can use the site like academia.edu or researchgate where you type in the name of the concept that you're looking for and see if any open access articles have been written and if you're looking for a specific paper even after you say found it on google scholar looks like a lot of these we've got okay so say this one we don't appear to have access to it and we can copy that and just do a normal google search for it and see if you can find any and this is this would be good enough and so here's a direct link within sciencedirect and we should have acted on't have access to it for whatever reason this would be something you need to do an interlibrary loan for and you can use that trick because sometimes well this is so perfect there's academia.edu and he has a published article so you can request that he publishes the preprint for it so you can get to it so this academia.edu is a website where academics poster preprints and so far there's 16 million researchers that have signed up millions millions of papers so it's a very good site for getting open access and so it looks like we might be not getting lucky on this particular article somebody's got in one of those Otero things let's see if it's on research date should be the other main repository of open access stuff and now it hasn't been posted either so you can request it and ask them to either send you a copy but this is a pretty old article 1986 and so there's a good chance that this professor is is retired or no longer working in the field okay all right so if you're working off campus you can also use michigan tax proxy in order to be able to get on and have it treated you as if you're on campus so you don't need to go through the library for each and every article sort of get the same things as this so you can immediately do that the Husky fetch for it and then last but not least this is how to use Zotero in detail the general idea is go to the Zotero website within Firefox click download now install it on your computer and you should see a little Z button that you can then use to get into your own database you can do searches within your database you can annotate your PDF files here you keep notes you can tag things there's it's enormously powerful and useful and but the thing that the primary thing that you're going to use it for in this class is just being able to create a bibliography from the item so that you can immediately put it into your op-ed page and kind of build up that lit search I cannot stress enough how important it is to make sure you do your literature search correct for examples of literature searches in the past you can kind of see these let me give you an example of a quite good one so this was a literature review for a literature review on the levelized cost of electricity for photovoltaics which actually came from one of the predecessors to this class and you get an idea of sort of what I expect from you so this was the paper that it generated these are the the background and the type of searchers that were done the core journals that had the information regarding it basic definitions of sort of what the levelized cost of electricity is some definitions of what the key terms are now the first article that you read is going to take you much much longer than the 50th it's because you probably don't know all the terms yet you just haven't been exposed to the field and so as you're learning those terms and looking them up on Wikipedia or looking them up in other articles or taking them from definitions within the paper put them there so that you can go back to in reference and quickly and other people that are reading your work can do the same and then you can see that this can get quite extensive and this you know is a good example of how you have the title of the article within the equal signs in order to set it apart bullet points for the main concepts and ideas the assumptions that are done within it how they do the methodology everything is included here so this represents sort of an excellent literature view and if you scroll the way to the bottom you can see that these things are used quite a bit and so this literature review has been accessed more than 39,000 times that is a lot compared to remember that average academic articles only cited once they've read a few dozen times and so this is represents a major benefit to the photovoltaic community people are now using this method and they're using this this literature view to do their own work so if they're interested say in the levelized cost of electricity in a specific place i'll unquestionably it's somewhere in this literature review included in this because you need it for the cost analysis also involves some of the work on the lifespan of solar photovoltaics which some of you may find usefulness and so there's a nice list of all the literature reviews that are put in the literature review category in a per pedia and so some of these might be useful to you as sort of a starting point or a kind of a foundation for your own literature review if you do find something that's particularly relevant let's say you're doing a PBT or scientific funding forward or I don't know something on if your mechanical engineer doing structural analysis of little bearing systems you can build off of existing on attributes take what's there and just continue on for your own project all right I think we'll stop here

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