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CS8942 - Final research paper: Selecting articles

Guide to resources for searching, selecting and synthesizing the articles required for the final research paper in CS8942.

How to select articles

Scan articles before reading in depth, focusing on the elements that will give you the information you need first. This will quickly let you know what the article is about and its relevancy for your research. It will also prepare you to later read the full article, giving you a mental map of its structure and purpose. Reading strategically is a great way to determine whether or not the resources you have found will be worth reading and will be useful for your assignment.

For this specific assignment, you are required to select only original studies that are peer reviewed, current and "best". It's straightforward to apply filters for current and peer-reviewed results, but it's a bit more difficult to determine in something is an original study and "best". Articles based on original studies will always include details about the study - the methodology employed, the population that was studied, the data that was used, the conclusions that were drawn and the implications of what they found. If you don't see that information, chances are you are not looking at an original study and you should not use that article.

Determining if something is "best" is even more difficult, but there are ways. Certain journals are recognized as being very influential in their fields. Look for titles that seem familiar to you or Google the journal title itself and see what you can find out about their editorial board or history. If you can't find much about a journal, chances are it is not very influential. You can always check Google Scholar to see how many times an article is cited (caveat: check to ensure it is a positive cite... articles can be cited for being wrong too!). There is also what is known as an Altmetric which tried to capture the impact an article has had outside of basic citation counts, such as social media mentions, media coverage, etc. These can be found when you use Search Everything. Look for the colourful circles beside an entry, like so: