7: Background research


Good background research enables researchers to clarify their thinking regarding their research question and its context in the work of others. It can support the importance, necessity, or relevance of research and enables researchers to find and develop their own standpoint. After a brief introduction, this chapter describes the similarities and differences between document reviews for workplace research and literature reviews for academic research. The importance of good record-keeping is discussed and advice on when and how to read critically or strategically is provided. Ways to find useful academic journal articles are outlined and information is given about how to conduct document reviews and literature reviews. This is followed by information on finding open access materials, using libraries, making notes and knowing when to stop! The chapter concludes with an update of the case studies followed by exercises, discussion questions and a debate topic.

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