Use this research journal to keep track of and sort the secondary literature that you find. This may consist of scholarship that you will incorporate into your literature review or reports and news coverage that will help provide context for your investigation.
When working with scholarship, the research journal will help identify a few key aspects of an article beyond simply what is says. You want to keep track of the authors' discipline; take note of the key concepts/phrases it employs that you can then use for finding additional articles; show how you found this article and how this article helped you find additional articles ("forward and backward citation searching"); and identify the data/evidence the authors' analyze and present.
Use the Literature and Data Tracking spreadsheet to track sources you come across as you work on your literature review and search for data.
TIP: take advantage of full text databases and the ability to limit searches to abstracts to search for words used to talk about data sources. For example: "wind energy" and (data or datasets).
Another tool you might consider is a "Synthesis Matrix." This simple handout allows you to organize your research by theme, thereby providing the building blocks of your Lit Review.
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