Collecting & Collating Digital Research Online

All students need to collate a Digital Research Page for their project forms so that tutors can easily jump to a single page and see your research and sources. You can do this any way you prefer, our preferred choice is Padlet, however, we totally understand that you may have a tool that works better for you and it’s your research and we encourage you to collate things in the method easiest and most useful for you.

You’ll be doing a lot of research for your longer form multimedia journalism stories. You’ll need to organise and archive that research. A few sources of information will go directly into in your AdPractice 2 & 3 modules, final visual multimedia stories. those sources will be attributed and in most cases hyperlinked according to good journalism practice.  Some sources of information will go into your AdRes research proposal and /or final dissertation – cited according to academic practice. However, the bulk of your research, will not be used directly, rather it will serve as the foundation of knowledge to direct your practice and research. At times the research you do will be specific to either your AdPrac or your AdRes module, but there will also be plenty of crossover becasue theory and practice intertwine and advance each other.

This is a screengrab of one of Sharron’s Padlet digital research pages.

You’ll read/watch and listen to, books, articles, research reports, lectures, newspaper articles, documentaries, podcasts and so on. Keeping track and keeping that large volume of information organised is critically important. You’ll need to start at the beginning. It doesn’t really matter how you organise your system, there are plenty of options. Take a read through this guide, pick a method and start archiving. That way later, you’ll be able to find information when you need it.

There’s a variety of tools you can use to collate and organise your research. Bookmarking doesn’t tend to work well for such large amounts of material – and also your tutors will want to see your research in the form of your digital research page. You won’t be able to list everything on your story/project forms — as space is limited, so you are expected to have some kind of digital research archive. Again, it really doesn’t matter how you do it, so long as it’s easy for you to refer back to and tutors can view to help assess your sources.

Curate, aggregate, highlight, etc…

There are plenty of free research apps and web and mobile friendly tools. My personal favorites are Padlet and Evernote. I have the cheapest Evernote subscription — well worth paying 20 RMB a month.  You’ll  also find plenty of Evernote’s powerful tools for free. I organise all my different projects notes into Evernote’s individual notebooks. With my paid subscription, the app on my computer and phone synch up. That means that I can make and see notes either on my computer or mobile. That way if I’m working online reading news articles or research reports for my story I can copy paste information and sources in — or just attach complete clipping or PDF’s for later reference. Alternatively, if I’m ‘out and about’ and have a thought while I’m eating dinner, I can jot it down, or if I take a relevant picture or video on my phone I can add that straight into my notebook,  I can even record an interview right into the app. It doesn’t take long to get to grips with Evernote — it’s a simple but powerful application and I thoroughly recommend it. See an Evernote overview & tutorial here.

Another app I like is Padlet, It’s a nice visual tool for clipping articles and pictures — though, for longer projects, it can get a little unwieldily. See how I used it below to collect some good lectures on multimedia journalism: Multimedia tutorials/lectures.

See also how I used it here to collect research on a long-form multimedia project. To be honest, with this volume of research, it doesn’t work so well and things start to get lost. However, at least everything is all on one page and I can trawl through to return to things if needed. There’s a handy extension which allows you to clip whatever you are reading. SNWTP Research.

There are heaps of other tools too, spend a day taking a look around to find one that suits you! You might choose to make a research magazine with flipboard. Diigo is a powerful tool for curating annotating and highlighting. You might also try — PearlTrees, Listly, Symbaloo, Livebinders, Pinterest, Linoit — I don’t use these, but hear good reviews. Try Google Drive apps and tools too.

Browser Extensions

Try some handy extensions to save time. Many of the tools above have browser extensions, that way if you are reading something you simply click a button in your browser and save it in your chosen app.

Another great tool for your AdRes bibliography are citation extensions such as app.refme.com and www.citethisforme.com (See below quickly reference for your bibliography, which will be really useful for your story/project forms and your dissertation.

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