Research Workshop

Economics of the Family


9/26/19

Sarah Elichko / selichk1
Social Sciences & Data Librarian

Research a topic in family economics

Finding research  (articles, books)

Finding data  (empirical evidence)

Reading, evaluating, writing

Potential pitfalls

Cherry picking

Directionless Tab Overload

Low quality and reliability

1. Focus on actively filtering, rather than passively searching

3. Organize your findings as you go

Successful Research Practices

2. Start with quality data sources

1. Focus on actively filtering, rather than
   passively searching

• Choose research tools that offer you more control

• Search clearly

Choose research tools that offer you more control

Google + Google Scholar --> wide net, but few filters

Tripod + EconLit --> Results focused on scholarly research,
                                      Filter + sort results by multiple criteria

Choose research tools that offer you more control

1. Go to Google Scholar and search for:  "child support"

How many search results come up?
Which academic disciplines do you see represented?
What options do you have to narrow down your results?

How are your results sorted? (Can you change the order?)

2. Open a new tab. Go to EconLit and repeat the search.

(keep EconLit open)

How to Filter Results in EconLit

Geography:  Focus on research about a specific country

      Filter by Subject > Select country name

Publication Date

Publication Title  (the journal an article was published in)

How to Filter by Geography

>> Start with: EconLit search for "child support" <<

Scroll down to Subject. Select More.
Find u.s. in the list. Check the box to Include. Click Apply.

Focus on actively filtering, rather than
passively searching

• Choose research tools that offer you more control 

• Search clearly

Organize your findings as you go

Start with quality data sources

• Look for downstream research

How to find articles about complex topics

Two approaches:

- Topic Groups  (expands results)

- Subject Searching (helps focus results)

Search Clearly

How to find articles about complex topics

topic 1:    ("term 1" OR "term 2")

topic 2:   ("term 3" OR "term 4" OR "term 5")

AND

--> What this means: To appear in your search results,
an article needs to include at least one term from each group.

1. Topic Groups

divorce AND retirement  --> 77 results

divorce AND (retirement OR pension*) --> 102 results

(divorce OR marriage) AND (retirement OR pension*) --> 625 results

Subject Searching:  Emphasizes an aspect of your topic

>> Search in EconLit <<

1. Search for  income OR divorce


 

 

How to find articles about complex topics

2. Subject Searching

2. Go to Subjects, choose More.

3. Check "Include" for Time allocation and labor supply (j22).

This finds articles about income and divorce that focus on the labor supply and time use.

Focus on actively filtering, rather than
passively searching

• Choose research tools that offer you more control 

• Search clearly

Organize your findings as you go

Start with quality data sources

• Look for downstream research

Look for downstream research

Article 1 (2012)

influences

Article 2  (2017)

Article 1 (2012) is cited by Article 2 (2017).

Use Google Scholar's "cited by" search to find research that cites a specific article/book:

1. Look up a specific      

   article or book on

   your topic (example).

2. Click "Cited by" link


You'll see research that has cited the article/book.

Focus on actively filtering, rather than
passively searching

• Choose research tools that offer you more control 

• Search clearly

Organize your findings as you go

Start with quality data sources

• Look for downstream research

2. Start with the right data sources

UNData --
      Compare searches:
      - divorce
      - marital status

• Statistical Abstract of the United States

• Statista

• PolicyMap --

       Marriage & Divorce Rates:    

       Look under: Demographics >     

          Families > Family Type

Global

United States

Look at published research (articles, etc.) - what datasets did these authors use?

Ask your professor or a librarian

Focus on actively filtering, rather than
passively searching

• Choose research tools that offer you more control 

• Search clearly

Organize your findings as you go

Start with quality data sources

• Look for downstream research

• Library research guides, asking faculty

Organize your findings as you go

Annotate while saving sources (identify themes)

Be consistent: save everything the same way

Make sure you're saving permanent links

Consider a visual note-taking strategy (e.g. mind-mapping)

Kumu

Focus on actively filtering, rather than
passively searching

• Choose research tools that offer you more control 

• Search clearly

Organize your findings as you go

Annotate while saving sources (identify themes)

• Be consistent: save everything the same way

• Make sure you're saving permanent links

• Consider a visual note-taking strategy

Start with quality data sources

• Library research guides, asking faculty

• Look for downstream research

Get help with research:

Sarah Elichko
Social Sciences & Data Librarian

 

Office Hours: W, 3-4pm & Th, 11am-1pm
       At McCabe Research & Info Desk
Schedule an appointment online
Email: selichk1@swarthmore.edu

Quick questions --> McCabe Research & Info Desk

• Drop by to get help from a librarian or RIA

• Open Sunday-Thursday, 11am-10pm (+more hours)

Expand your search to include more policy journals

Starting in EconLit, select Change Databases.
Scroll down to Social Sciences, select box for Politics, click Apply.

Describe your policy issue in no more than 5 words

List some other words that you would expect to come up in discussions about your topic. (Imagine explaining your interest in this topic to your professor - what words would you use?)

Geographic keywords can help focus your results - try regions and countries, but also states, provinces, cities.

How to Choose Keywords / Search Terms

Remove conjunctions, articles and prepositions

Then, search Google Scholar, EconLit, or Tripod.

Browse the search results for terminology (synonyms, other words that relate to your topic)

Econ 74: Economics of the Family

By Swarthmore Reference

Econ 74: Economics of the Family

How to use EconLit to find relevant research in Economics

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