Video Link: https://youtu.be/0WfaTpKYZ50
Education Library Research Skills for the Capstone Part III – Dissertations
Kim: Welcome everybody to the Education Library Research Skills for the Capstone. This is the third session that we're doing in the series. Tonight we're going to be talking about dissertations. I'm Kim Burton and Anne Rojas is with me. We are the liaisons to the College of Education. That means that we are your librarians. We are here to help you in all your research needs.
We will talk about why dissertations are a valuable tool and we will do some searching in the databases. Why are dissertations such an important tool for you? Reviewing published dissertations can show you the end result. You can see how they are setup, their organization, and see how all the pieces are working together. You can look at examples of how other researchers have used frameworks or theories, if you're not sure about a methodology or framework, you can see what someone else has used.
I like the reference lists for dissertations. These people have done a comprehensive search of the literature to find the best resources to support their research. Most of those resources are within five years old. You can still use them for your research. If they are a little bit too old, that's okay. We can do citation chaining. You take an older article and find others who have cited it.
Dissertations are not peer reviewed. Faculty have very different opinions about this. If you wanted to cite one, you would need to check with your chair first. Usually, you don't cite dissertations. We have a link right here to a peer review webinar. It's only 30 minutes long. It talks about what peer review is and how to verify if your article is from a peer reviewed journal.
This is what the dissertation page looks like at the Walden Library. We have a link here in the title of this slide. I'm going to jump to the library and show you how to get there. From the library website, we're going to go to the blue button that saws "publications." Then you're going to choose a second button on the lefthand side that says "dissertations and thesis." ScholarWorks is the institutional repository for Walden where you can find all of Walden's journals they publish.
You can also find award winning dissertations here. There's a link here to the Frank Dilley Award for Outstanding Doctoral Study. If you wanted to find examples of an award winning project study, you can look at this. You can get an idea of what it takes to win an award for your dissertation or your project study. Next is the link we will be using to look at the dissertations at Walden.
We do have access to some dissertations outside of Walden. If you're not looking at a dissertation to see how it's organized and you want an example of some theory or methodology, you could check outside of the Walden library. We have a bunch of quick answers here about the database. I'm going to show you how to do this, but if you forget, you can come back here and look at this.
Now we're going to jump into the dissertations here at Walden. I'm going to show you how to find PhD dissertations from the College of Education and EdD dissertations. In the first box I'm going to type in PhD. Over the right I'm going to select "degree." It will only bring back PhDs. There's a lot of PhDs at Walden. We have a lot of schools. The librarians do not catalog the dissertations in the ProQuest database. This is from thousands of universities.
We can tell the database to look for education. We're going to change this to "department." It's not perfect, but it's one of the best ways to limit our results. We always want to look at the most recent dissertations. We're going to look for the last two years. We get 126 results. As I mentioned, it's not a perfect search. We have to verify these are PhDs from the College of Education.
I want to click on the full text pdf underneath the title. We want to look for the College of Education. This would be the search you would use to find a dissertation from the College of Education. Now we're going to look for some EdDs. Now I will put "project study" in the second line in quotes. I want it as a phrase. I'm going to tell the database to search for this document text.
It's going to search the entire resource for this phrase. If that phrase is there and has an EdD degree, it will bring it back in the results. I get 137 results. It's not perfect. We have to double check. I'll go into the full text of the first result. Okay, College of Education and Doctor of Education. The easiest way to make sure it's a project study is to jump down to the table of contents. This is a project study.
Project studies are in sections, not chapters. This is a project study for an EdD. Now we will go back to the advanced search page for EdD dissertations. This is probably going to be the only time I will tell anybody to mess around with this dropdown box. Usually, you will always leave this as "and." You're going to change this to "not." Now it's going to search for EdD degrees, but if the phrase "project study" is in it, it's going to eliminate it from our results.
We have 68. I'm going to jump in the first one and see. This is a Doctor of Philosophy. This is not an EdD. This was probably cataloged wrong. The human that cataloged it mistakenly did this. I can click on this arrow here to look at number 2 in the result list. There it is. Now I want to make sure it's a dissertation.
I can see it is a table of contents organized by chapters. This is a dissertation. Anne, does anybody have any questions?
Anne: No, we're good so far.
Kim: You can also narrow this down a little more. If you wanted EdD project studies and high school teachers is your population, you will add a row and put in "school teachers." It's going to find the project studies that talk about high school teachers. We'll go back to this advanced search. The one different thing with dissertations is if you're looking for the dissertation and you have the "not" this search will not bring back a good result for you.
For some reason, it has to be the last box. You would have to switch these. You would have to put in your concept in the second box and move project study into the third box. If you're looking for EdD dissertations and you want a specific topic, you want to make sure that the "not" project study is the final box.
We will leave EdD and let's say you want to specifically look for project studies to your chair has chaired on. You know what your chair expects of you. You can scroll down for "advisor." We can look up advisors. I recommend doing it this way. In this example we were looking for Dr. Underwood. She's in here 8 times as Vicki and 3 times as Vicki L. You want to add all of these.
We have two project studies. I'm going to go back to the advanced search. How about we go back to PhDs from education. We will do department. Now we're looking for PhD dissertations. Let's say your topic is about stress or burnout and we'll do high school teachers again. Let me remove this right here. Here we have our results.
I'll pick the second one. We have the College of Education, Doctor of Philosophy. Let's see how this is set up and organized. They have chapters. You can see how long the chapters are and the conceptual framework they used. If you're not sure what type of framework you want, you can see how they used it. You can look at the research design. If you're looking for an instrument or survey to use, you can find those in dissertations.
You may also be able to find the appendix, the correspondence they sent to the creator and the creator's letter back. These are great resources for you. When you're going through and looking at how things are set up, if you're finding resources being referenced, you might want to look those up too. You can access the reference tab at the top. It automatically defaults to show the most recent first. You can switch it to sort by author name.
For tonight we're just going to leave it. It's still running. While that's going, Anne, were there any questions?
Anne: At some point maybe you want to circle back to whether you search "high school teachers" in full text.
Kim: I'm going to go back cause this is not working. I searched for this anywhere. The databases have key terms that they tag to resources. They could be assigned a subject term. It will also search in the subject terms if you're searching anywhere. The reason we were searching project study anywhere inside is because ProQuest doesn't have a subject heading for project study. Let me see if I can get in here.
If the reference list loads . . . there's something wrong here with the database. We're live and this was working half an hour ago. Let's try one more time.
Anne: Murphy's Law.
Kim: This one worked. The reference tab at the top lists the most recent first. It's not always perfect. This citation is a little different so it's not the most recent. To access these resources you look for the full text pdf. I like to open a new window. It didn't bring it up. We click on the "find at Walden." It's going to bring you to a bunch of databases where you can find this article.
Access the database with the best coverage. These are both the same so it doesn't matter which one we choose. If you're going through here and you notice that there is an article without any links, that's a book, so, let's use this as an example. You can copy the title of the article, go back to the Walden library, go to Ask a Librarian and email it to us. We have ways of finding articles.
You never want to purchase anything without talking to a librarian first. Let's say your favorite article you need is just a little too old. There's a couple things you can do there. This is from 2013. It's perfect for your study. You can copy the title and then go back to the library. This banner goes across the top of every page in the Walden library. There is a link to Google Scholar. If I use this search box, it's automatically linked with the Walden databases.
If Scholar finds an article we have, the link for "find at Walden" will show up. This pulls it up right away. You can see it is available at Walden. We want to look at this link here. Google Scholar found 191 researchers that cite this article. All of these articles had to have been published more recently. It's not perfect. We can narrow this down a little more.
We can click on "search within citing articles." Let's say you're interested in STEM teachers. Now we have 37 articles that not only cite this original article, but they talk about STEM. We can also limit to date. We can put in 2017. It will automatically search through the present. Now I have 17 articles that talk about STEM and they have been published after 2017.
I want to look on the righthand side. A pdf means this article was found online. The best thing to do is to find at Walden. That way you know you're accessing it legitimately. If you see an Edu, most likely it's a dissertation but not peer reviewed. The one thing you need to remember is that Google Scholar does not limit to peer review. You have to take that extra step and confirm that if you need peer reviewed journals, you're getting them.
Peer review is depending on the journal, not the title of the article. It's the journal we want to look at. If it's a peer reviewed journal then any scholarly article it publishes is considered peer review. A quick and easy way to find out the title of the journal, you can see it's here but there's some dots, is to click on the little quotation icon here.
This is going to give you some ideas of how you may want to cite this resource. Again, it's only as good as the human that put it in there. This title text capitalization is incorrect. I copied the title and I'm going to "start your research." There's a link that says "Ulrich's Verify Peer Review." Ulrich's is a directory of journals. There's no articles. It's just a directory with information about journals.
They are the standard for peer review. If it says it's peer reviewed, then any article they publish is considered peer review. This article is in here three times. There's also another journal here that's kind of like it but it's a little different. Lots of journals have similar names. If you have questions, look up the publisher or ask a librarian. I know this is the journal in that reference. We want to look in this column. This looks like an umpire jersey and it says "refereed." This would be considered a peer reviewed article and appropriate for you to use.
In the slide deck I have a link to Google scholar and how to verify peer review. We are doing one more session on April 15th. This will be on theories and theorists. We have links here for Quick Answers and Ask a Librarian. This is always on the top banner. You can send us an email.
If you need a more in depth session you can make a doctoral research appointment. You can set up an appointment with myself or Anne. You click the time that works for you and it will be a 30 minute appointment. We will talk about your research, anything we can do to help you with that research. Anne, was there any questions?
Anne: No, people found it very helpful so that's great. Just a reminder that in the chat box is a link to where the slide deck lives. You will be emailed a recording link along with your follow up email in a day or two.
Kim: I'm going to go ahead and stop the recording but we will hang out a little bit in case anybody has something come up.
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