Methodology

 

These guides work as a toolbox and equips you with everything you need to get started with, organize and carry out your information research – as well as advices on how to cite your sources (see campus-specific guides). If you need help, don’t hesitate to ask your librarians!

Organize and carry out your research

Zotero is a free, easy to use, reference management tool that we recommend you to use throughout your research. Use it:

  • While you’re searching: to save and store references
  • While you’re reading: to make folders, take notes and add keywords
  • When you’re writing: to format and insert references into your paper
  • At the end of your paper: to generate a bibliography

Go to Zotero

First of all: make sure that you understand the instructions and what's asked of you. Verify how much time you have to complete your assignment! Define your context, your topic and your research questions! Develop your keywords and search terms! To get a good start, we recommend you to use these techniques:

  • Brainstorming: to come up with, improve and map down your ideas!
  • Concept mapping: to organize your ideas into concepts and give structure to your research. What information do you need? Where can you find it? Which keywords to use?

Aim for a multitude and a diversity of sources! The library subscribes to a variety of databases with relevant and pertinent information that you can access via our website: books, ebooks, newspapers, specialized magazines, trade journals, research reviews, financial data, market research (company, industry reports & analyses..)..

To find the best one, consult the library’s research and programme-specific guides.

Make sure you’re using the best source for your information need:

  • Starting a project? Look in our press databases for newspapers, magazines and professional press to get the latest news, current trends and follow important issues!
  • Making a SWOT or PESTLE analysis? Look for market research in our market studies databases to get strategic experts’ reports on countries, industry, companies and consumers!
  • Writing a literature review? Look for academic, peer-reviewed articles in our research databases.

Evaluate your sources to make sure that you are using high-quality information:

  • Currency: How recent is the information? Is it current enough for your topic?
  • Reliability: What kind of information is included in the resource? Is content of the resource primarily opinion? Is it balanced? Does the creator provide references or sources for data or quotations?
  • Authority: Who is the creator or author? What are the credentials? Who is the published or sponsor? Are they reputable? What is the publisher’s interest (if any) in this information? Are there advertisements on the website?
  • Purpose / Point of view: Is this fact or opinion? Is it biased? Is the creator/author trying to sell you something?

Search techniques you can use when you’re constructing your research:

  • Truncation (*): To search for several possibilities at once, ex. wom* = womEN, womAN, womANYTHING
  • Quotation marks (".."): To search for exact phrases, ex. "Corporate Social Responsibility"
  • Boolean operators (AND/OR/NOT): To combine keywords, ex. "Corporate social Responsibility" AND innovation
  • Synonyms, related terms: To expand your vocabulary, ex. CSR, Corporate Social Responsibility, Sustainable Development

Search strategies you can use after your research to go further:

  • Too many results? Refine your research, ex. limit by date, geography, source type, subject...
  • Too few results? Broaden your research, ex. milk > dairy products...
  • You found document X and it’s a great source! Find related info: other documents written by the same author, published in the same journal, part of the same book series, references and bibliography, cited by...

Plagiarism is the practice of using someone else’s work or ideas and passing them off as your own. You can easily avoid it by citing your sources (correctly)! When you are citing, the main idea is to show where the information comes from and how you’ve used it.

You do this both in your text (to indicate WHEN you use a source and WHY) and at the end of your work in the bibliography (to indicate WHAT source you’ve used and WHERE to find it). Everything you cite in text will appear in your bibliography; and everything you include in your bibliography will appear in your text.

How you format your citations depends on the reference style you’re using: ask your professors or look at the advices specific for each campus!

How to cite? Either you summarize or paraphrase the info by using your own words (indirect citation) or you put the info between quotation marks and cite word by word (direct citation). In either case, the source do not change, only how you refer to it.

In-text, you add the key elements between brackets: the name of the author, organization or company, the publication year and possibly the page number (obligatory if direct citation).

In the bibliography, you list the complete references to all sources you’ve cited in your text. Always organize the list alphabetically. What to include may vary depending on source type (book, report, article, internet…).

Construct a literature review:

Cite your sources:

Learn more about plagiarism:

Evaluate the quality of your sources:

Campus-specific citation guide

When you cite your sources at Atlantic Campus we recommend that you use the style American Psychological Association 6th edition (no DOIs, no issue numbers) if nothing else is indicated by your professors.

You'll find a comprehensive guide to this style here:

For your large research project we recommend you to use the free reference management tool Zotero to save, organize, format and cite your sources. To get started, follow these five steps:

  1. Download Zotero and the Zotero connector: https://www.zotero.org/download/
  2. Register your Zotero account: https://www.zotero.org/user/register/
  3. Open Zotero and click on Edit and then Preferences. In the tab Sync, enter the username and password you've registered and set up the syncing.
  4. Download the citation style American Psychological Association 6th edition (no DOIs, no issue numbers): https://www.zotero.org/styles
  5. Open Zotero and click on Edit and then Preferences. In the tab Export, select APA American Psychological Association 6th edition (no DOIs, no issue numbers) as your Default Format.

When you are citing, the main idea is to show where the information comes from and how you’ve used it. You do this both in your text (to indicate WHEN you use a source and WHY) and at the end of your work in the bibliography (to indicate WHAT source you’ve used and WHERE to find it). Everything you cite in text will appear in your bibliography; and everything you include in your bibliography will appear in your text.

How to cite? Either you summarize or paraphrase the info by using your own words (indirect citation) or you put the info between quotation marks and cite word by word (direct citation). In either case, the source do not change, only how you refer to it.

Example:

Direct citation"Credit must be given when quoting or citing other's work" (Saunders, Thornhill, & Lewis, 2009, p. 573).
Indirect citationYou cannot use someone’s work without acknowledging it (Saunders, Thornhill, & Lewis, 2009, p. 573).

In-text, you add the key elements between brackets: the name of the author(s), organization or company, the publication year and possibly the page number (obligatory if direct citation).

In the bibliography, you list the complete references to all sources you’ve cited in your text. Always organize the list alphabetically. What to include may vary depending on source type (book, report, article, web…).

Example article, report, web, book :

Bibliography

Edmondson, A. C. (2016). Wicked problem solvers: lessons from successful cross-industry teams. Harvard Business Review, 94, 52.

Euromonitor International. (2017). Beer in Sweden. Retrieved from www.portal.euromonitor.com

L’Oréal Group. (2017, August 27). Infographics: Beauty Attitudes. Retrieved October 17, 2017, from http://www.loreal.com/media/news/2017/september/beauty-in-france-infographics

Saunders, M., Thornhill, A., & Lewis, P. (2009). Research Methods for Business Students (5th ed.). Harlow: Prentice Hall.

Ex. Books available in the library (catalog) or ebooks (on the platform ScholarVox).

  • Information to include: Author’s surname, initials. (Year). Title (Edition). Place: Publisher.
  • Corresponding fields in Zotero: Title; Author; Edition; Place; Publisher; Date

Example citing a book:

In-text(Saunders, Thornhill, & Lewis, 2009)
BibliographySaunders, M., Thornhill, A., & Lewis, P. (2009). Research Methods for Business Students (5th ed.). Harlow: Prentice Hall.

Ex. Articles published in scholarly journals (in databases such as Emerald, Sage, ScienceDirect…), professional trade or specialized magazines (database such as Business Source Complete) or newspapers (in databases such as Factiva or Europresse).

  • Information to include: Author’s Surname, Initials. (Year). Title. Publication, Volume, pages.
  • Corresponding fields in Zotero: Author; Title, Publication; Volume; Pages; Date.

Example, citing an article:

In-text(Edmonson, 2016)
BibliographyEdmondson, A. C. (2016). Wicked problem solvers: lessons from successful cross-industry teams. Harvard Business Review, 94, 52.

Ex. Company, industry or country profiles from research companies such as Euromonitor (database Passport), Datamonitor (Database BSC), Xerfi (Database Xerfi).

  • Information to include: Name of Research Company or organization. (Year). Title. Retrived from: URL.
  • Corresponding fields in Zotero: Title; Author; Date; URL.

Example, citing a report:

In-text(Euromonitor, 2017)
BibliographyEuromonitor International. (2017). Beer in Sweden. Retrieved from www.portal.euromonitor.com

Ex. Relevant websites (company websites, governmental websites and expert blogs).

  • Information to include: Name of company/organization or Author’s surname, initial. (Publication Year, Month Date) Article Title. Retrieved Month Date, Year, from URL.
  • Corresponding fields in Zotero: Title; Author; Date; URL; Accessed.

Example, citing a website

In-text(L’Oréal Group, 2017)
BibliographyL’Oréal Group. (2017, August 27). Infographics: Beauty Attitudes. Retrieved October 17, 2017, from www.loreal.com/media/news/2017/september/beauty-in-france-infographics