Project Summary: Managing Different Perspectives in the Literature Consider this scenario: A researcher is looking for the best way to conduct a process. Published Author A offers one point of view, whereas Author B offers a conflicting point of view. Which author should the researcher believe? Both authors are top names in their discipline and are widely published and referenced. Is this an "either/or situation where the researcher must choose one point of view over the other, or can the researcher come to terms with how to manage different points of view in the published literature? One of the main challenges a researcher faces is coming to terms with authors of textbooks and journal articles who have different points of view on a topic and may even use different terminology. In this Discussion, you will examine divergent views on qualitative research. To prepare for this Discussion: Review the readings for this week. Consider the differences or conflicts among and between the textbook authors for this course. For example, Maxwell uses the concept of research hypotheses for qualitative research when generally hypotheses are associated with quantitative research. And at times, Creswell seems to be offering a different qualitative research process than the other authors. How does a researcher reconcile differences in points of view between and among authors? What strategies would you recommend to a researcher for working with various points of view? With these thoughts in mind: QUESTION: Post a 2- to 3-paragraph recommendation of strategies for working with various authors points of view in the literature. Provide an example of different points of view with relation to your topic and describe how you plan to work with these discrepancies. When appropriate, be sure to support your postings and responses with specific references to the reading(s) and/or video program(s), using APA format. ____________________________________________________________________________________ Managing and Synthesizing Perspectives in the Literature Introduction In order to select a topic for which research will advance the knowledge, you first need to determine what is known in the literature about your area of interest. Gathering and synthesizing the research literature will help you as you continue to search for an aspect of your area that is not yet known. As you continue to research, you will then be able to position your research question within the gaps of what is known about your topic. Learning Outcomes By the end of this week, you will be able to: Recommend strategies for working with various authors' points of view Summarize and then synthesize a variety of authors' perspectives from the literature ____________________________________________________________________________________ Required Resources This page contains the Learning Resources for this week. Be sure to scroll down the page to see all of this week's assigned Learning Resources. To access select media resources, please use the media player below. Course Text: American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). Washington, DC: Author. o Chapter 2, "Manuscript Structure and Content" Reviewing this chapter will assist you with starting your literature review assignment. Writing Center Handout: Zuckerman, J. (2009). Commentary on a literature review. Retrieved fromhttp://writingcenter.waldenu.edu/Documents/Scholarly-Writing/LiteratureReviewCommentary.pdf This commentary reproduces 2 pages of a literature review, highlighting useful transitional and summary elements. Journal Articles o Locate at least 5 articles on the topic of your area of research interest in the Walden University library. You begin research for your Final Project in this week's Application. Ask yourself the following questions as you analyze and select articles: o What research have others done on this topic? You are looking for a gap to fill to contribute to the body of knowledge in your discipline. Based on the gap you find, how do the research questions you proposed last week need to be refined? What theories are being used? What qualitative approaches are being used? What methodologies are being used? As you find articles, consider making a concept map to help you organize your thoughts (software to assist with concept mapping is listed in the Research Toolkit for this week). Media Video: Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2010d). Doctoral research: Why critique research? Baltimore, MD: Author. Note: The approximate length of this media piece is 9 minutes. Dr. Gary Burkholder of Walden University explains the value of critiquing research at all stages of your academic career. To view this video program, use the media player located at the top of this page. Accessible player TRANSCRIPT OF THE MINUTE VIDEO Doctoral Research: Why Critique Research Program Transcript [MUSIC PLAYING] DR. GARY BURKHOLDER: I'm Dr. Gary Burkholder. I'm a faculty member for the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences and for the College of Health Sciences. I've been with Walden for about nine years now. And I mentor doctoral students. Before coming to Walden, I spent several years working as a biostatistician and a research design expert on a couple of community-based research organization grants. The most important reason that you need to be able to understand and critique research is in support of completing your dissertation or doctoral study. When you complete the literature review for your dissertation or doctoral study, you're going to have to read an enormous amount of literature. And that literature is going to have to be an exhaustive understanding of what we know in the field. Being able to critique the literature for your dissertation or doctoral study is really important because you need to understand what the limitations are of studies, what the strengths of those studies are, and also think about if you were to redesign that study to make it stronger, how would you do that? Being able to do that really helps you to understand how you could design your own research to be much stronger. And also being able to understand what the limitations are in previous studies might provide a gap that you could fill in your own research. Critiquing research is extremely important if you go to publish or present results of any research studies that you might do. It's an expectation in the field and in your discipline that you be able to provide an exhaustive literature review and to be able to critique that literature in order to make a contribution. Whenever any journal articles or journal publishers look at work, they are looking for that unique contribution to the field, and they're looking for people who have put that critical eye, if you will, on the literature review in order to make sure that it captures what we know in the field and what the limitations are on the research. So publishing and presenting really is key and requires you to have those skills. It's also important to understand literature critique in the context of peer review. Peer review is an extremely important process and a part of our disciplines. Peer review comes in a number of different forms. One of those is when you submit an article for publication in a journal, that particular article is going to be reviewed by at least two, and probably more, reviewers who are experts in your discipline. So they're going to be utilizing the skills that you're learning to critique your articles. So the more that you know in advance and what the other reviewers are going to be expecting, will help you to be able to put in a better product, but also to understand that 2012 Laureate Education, Inc. 1 critique and peer review is also going to mean that you're going to get feedback that you may not always want to hear. But you need to understand that this is really important and will help you to develop as a scholar. In your dissertation or doctoral study process, you're going to have a committee of three people. And those three people are in a sense peer reviewers. And they are going to be critiquing your work. They're going to be looking at your work in the lens of their particular specialties, but also making sure that what you're doing is sound and that it reflects the best study that you could possibly provide. And then the other is in your professions, you may be asked to critique the work for other people for promotions. It's very common in academia for faculty members, when they go up for tenure promotion, to be critiqued by other members of the faculty and students. And this is all part of a larger peer review process. It's also important to understand that when you are critically analyzing literature of other people, other people are also going to be critically analyzing the work that you're doing. And just understand that this is an important part of the discipline and the academic process. I've been critiquing research literature for several years. And it started in my doctoral program when I did an exercise like you're going to be doing in this course. You're going to be going through and doing a journal article critique. And my professor asked us to do that. And I was a brand new doctoral student, and I thought, I don't know enough to be able to critique that. But one thing that I found out really quickly was by doing the process, I came to understand really how scientific studies are designed and how journal articles are presented in a way that's clear and understandable to the reader. And so that assignment I felt was extremely invaluable. And of course when I wrote my Master's thesis and my dissertation, I used the skills that I learned from that assignment to critique literature that I incorporated into my research. And I think two other things were really helpful for me. One of them was, when I was in graduate school after I got my Master's degree, my major professor delegated to me a peer review for a journal that somebody had sent her an article and asked if she would review it. She didn't have time, so she got permission to let me do it. So as a graduate student, I was reviewing literature for peer reviewed journals. And that was extremely helpful, because I was able to get the raw material, if you will, from people who were trying to publish their work, and to use my skills and my expertise to be able to provide the best feedback that I could. And my major professor was great because she mentored me through that process. I was able to pass the results that I had come up with to her to make sure that it was OK. And 2012 Laureate Education, Inc. 2 that really launched a series of other reviews. And to this day, I still do peer reviews for journals. And I consider it to be one of my best contributions to the field that I can do. There are two myths, really, that a lot of graduate and undergraduate students have related to critiquing peer reviewed literature. The first one is that I'm only an undergraduate student, or I'm a brand new graduate student, and what do I know? How can I possibly critique something when I have just minimal skills? And one of the things that I would suggest in response to that is that you've already come through your foundational research design and analysis course. You've had your introductory course in theory. And even those courses provide you a solid foundation for being able to understand what is working and what is not working in the literature. And it's really important to look over that. When you go through, studies are not perfect. And you should be able to go in and using those skills of things that you already know to look at the literature and say, yes, this is strong. This works. No, this is probably not quite right. It's not the best study that could be. And it's not necessarily to say that the study is bad or that the authors are bad or anything like that. It's really, you are offering an objective analysis of a study. And as authors of research studies, we understand that what we're doing is not perfect. So use what you know, and use that as a launching point for understanding, how you can use your skills and your knowledge to at least conceptualize a study that could even be stronger. And that's really the important part of being a good critique of literature. The other myth goes something like this. If a study's already been published in a peer reviewed journal, then what could I possibly contribute to it? And what I would say to that is that studies that are published in peer reviewed journals are not perfect studies. There is no study out there that is a perfect study. There are well-designed and well executed studies. And one of the aspects of critique really also is to be able to identify what a good study is and what makes it a good study. It's really not that there's a subjectivity to the research, but there is a certain subjectivity to the people who are reviewing the research. So reviewer A, for example, would look at that, and maybe that person is an expert in design and analysis, but is not an expert in HIV, which might be the content of that article. Reviewer B might have some expertise in HIV, but maybe not in international, which is the content of the article and maybe doesn't have any expertise in the methods or design. So you've got two reviewers who are looking at this through very different expertise bases and very different lenses. And they're going to miss stuff. Not all of the areas that are in that article are necessarily covered the way that they need to. And maybe you as the reviewer have an interest or an expertise in international health, and you're looking at that through a lens that's very different from what the reviewers did, and you can see things that the reviewers missed. And that's a good thing. And that's using good critique skills. Research Toolkit Websites o Inspiration Software http://www.inspiration.com/ o MindJet http://www.mindjet.com/ o Microsoft Office Online: Visio http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/visio/ These websites provide software that will help you develop concept maps. Handouts o Walden Dissertation Rubric Available from http://researchcenter.waldenu.edu/ The Dissertation Rubric is a Word document linked in the section for PhD Dissertation Process and Documents. o Walden Qualitative Dissertations This document directs you to dissertations in the Walden Library that use a variety of qualitative approaches and disciplines.