study skills

Diagram showing how citations work

How to make citations work harder for you

A fundamental component of scholarly research is reading, and citing, other people’s work. One effective way to get more context and a deeper understanding of a subject is to look at the citations to, and from, an article. Science is one long trail of citations. Apart from the very first academic article, published in January 1665, every article has had earlier papers to draw on, to agree with, or to refute. And even the first article must have been based [...]

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Making content accessible

Making published research more accessible

Accessibility has been a consideration of web design for almost as long as the web has existed. Accessibility guidelines are arguably well understood, and relatively straightforward to implement when it comes to websites and apps. Academic books and articles, however, predate the internet by many years, and it may seem that academic articles are the most unlikely starting points for accessible text. At first sight, articles can look very daunting – full of technical abbreviations, and demanding considerable prior [...]

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Image of man reading outside

How to evaluate the quality and veracity of an article

Analysing how a study builds on, confirms or contrasts with previous work is key to appraising its reliability So you’ve got a literature review to write and the deadline is approaching. Perhaps you don’t know how to begin. Or maybe you’ve started and got stuck. Perhaps you’ve used one of the many discovery tools out there to find relevant papers, but now you have to read and filter them all. You’ve got a folder full of articles, and you’re learning [...]

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Six elements a research summary should include

Summarizing a research paper (or papers) sounds like it should be a pretty quick, easy task. After all, how hard can writing 200 words be?! But whether you’re writing a summary to include in your essay or dissertation, or you need to draft a compelling abstract for your own paper, distilling complex research into an informative, easy-to-read snapshot can be one of the most daunting parts of the research process. For that reason, it’s often the activity that gets [...]

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