Friday, 14 April 2017

Using a key word diagram

I recently read an article by Aussie research supervisor, Inger Mewburn (aka the Thesis Whisperer).

Based on work done by Dr Jonathan Downie in Kristin Luker's book, "Salsa dancing into the social sciences" (good book, by the way), Kristin cross-tabs key words visually using the ‘bedraggled daisy’ diagram. 

Inger was talking about her process in starting to find out about a topic area, and suggested first making a list of sub-areas - key words - within our topic.

Inger explained that, we should "search each one of these [key words] separately", but that the power lies in creating the bedraggled daisy diagram of them, like the image above. Our brains may then make connections differently, add in other areas, see different connections.

In the middle of the image is where our topics will converge, and where we will create our own area of expertise.

The idea is that we search out unusual combinations of key words: for example, searching digital literacy + anxiety will return us very different sources in GoogleScholar from information overload + procrastination.

Then we mine the bibliography lists of the papers which have some relevance to the area we are working on.

We end up with lots of information in no time flat.


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