12 Days of SoTL: Day 03


On Day Three of SoTL
We are thinking about the literature review. The tricky bit with this area is, if you are not from a cognate discipline, your usual research databases might not yield many or any relevant results for your question. Education is a multidisciplinary field relating to education, psychology, educational psychology, neuro-and cognition sciences, philosophy, politics, sociology and so forth. The questions you are having might necessitate research across various disciplines.

One of the questions that I am asked most often is: How do we know that a piece of educational research is a good piece of work? If you are for instance used to accept that a randomized control trial is the gold standard in your discipline; there isn’t something like this. Compare the introduction and conclusion first, this is where weaknesses appear in the most obvious manner. Does the conclusion lead back to the introduction and make a concise argument, or are there contradictions? How well justified were the methods? Did they convince you that this was the best way? Did someone use statistics and graphs with a small number of participants? How well did they describe how they derived the codes from qualitative data? Did they write a strong methodology? This is; did they convince you that their plan to undertake the project is strong and coherent? Have they addressed the weaknesses of their research?

You can also ask your librarians to help you identify good quality articles, if you are unsure about your own judgement. Often you can check how often a piece of work was referenced to help you make a decision. Trust your critical thinking and your judgements.


The typical databases we would refer to would be:

This might be the point in time where I ought to highlight that #TeamUofG librarians have ensured that they are happy to support you in identifying the appropriate literature for your SoTL projects, and in a first instance to explore this website: https://www.gla.ac.uk/myglasgow/library/staff/researchsupport

#TeamUofG join next week’s webinars: This time on Introducing research indicators (bibliometrics and altmetrics) to book your space:

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