Dissertation Festival 2020

From 26 October – 6 November the Library is running a virtual Dissertation Festival. The online events taking place during this two week period will highlight what the Library can do for you to help you succeed with your dissertation.

In this blog post I am going to focus on the sessions that might be of particular interest to dissertation students (undergraduates or postgraduates) in the School of Social and Political Science (SPS). However, to find all sessions available and to book on take a look at the Dissertation guide.

The Dissertation Festival for SPS.

Using SAGE Research Methods for Social Science research
Thursday 29 October, 15:10-16:00
This session will introduce users to SAGE Research Methods – an online resource designed to support research at all levels by providing material to guide users through every step of the research process.
SAGE Research Methods is a methods library with more than 1000 books, reference works, journal articles, and instructional videos from across the social sciences, including the largest collection of qualitative methods books available online from any scholarly publisher. The site is designed to guide users to the content they need to learn a little or a lot about their method. The Methods Map can help those less familiar with research methods to find the best technique to use in their research.

Using the National Library of Scotland for your dissertation
Thursday 29 October, 11:10-12:00

In this Dissertation Festival session learn how to use the National Library of Scotland and how their world-class collections can benefit your dissertation research.This introduction to the National Library of Scotland (NLS) from NLS staff will provide an overview of their collections as well as practical information on how to join the Library, arrange a visit and also access collections and resources online.

Language in research and reporting
Friday 30 October, 15:00-15:45

This workshop will use primary source material from the University’s Social Work archive to interrogate the use of language, its impact and its legacy. Participants will also explore the relationship between language and the purpose of research, the importance of terminology and use the source material to investigate what the vocabulary can reveal about mid-20th century attitudes to mental health and social housing.

The Digital Empire: 3 online primary source collections for researching history and the legacies of colonialism
Thursday 29 October, 14:10-15:00
Giving evidence to a Parliamentary Select Committee in 1852, the philosopher John Stuart Mill said:
“…the whole Government of India is carried on in writing. All the orders given, and all the acts of the executive officers, are reported in writing, and the whole of the original correspondence is sent to the Home Government; so that there is no single act done in India, the whole of the reasons for which are not placed on record.”
These archives of empire, from British rule over the Indian subcontinent to King Leopold’s brutal exploitation of Congo, are available digitally to students at Edinburgh to conduct original research into the history and legacies of colonialism. Register for this Dissertation Festival session to discover a rich collection of manuscript, printed and visual primary materials across three key collections published by Adam Matthew Digital, from Empire Online to Foreign Office Files for China.

What is a Systematic Review dissertation like?
Wednesday 4 November, 12:10-13:00
This session will cover: what a systematic review (SR) is; pros and cons of doing a SR for your dissertation; summary of common questions or problems encountered in SR dissertations, and answers or advices; general guidance on what to include in your final submission.

Using Gale Primary Sources for historical research
Thursday 29 October, 15:10-16:00
The University of Edinburgh has access to a fantastic collection of primary source archives from Gale, covering centuries of content.  Including, historical newspapers from the British Library, as well as The TimesThe Economist and The Daily Mail, literature drama and plays from the 18th and 19th centuries and thematic collections such as the Archives of Sexuality and Gender.

In this Dissertation Festival session we will introduce a number of these archives as well the Gale Primary Sources platform, where these archives are cross-searchable. The Gale Primary Sources platform greatly enhances the research experience for students, by broadening the discovery of primary source documents through the use of multiple search options and powerful research tools such as Topic Finder and Topic Finder.
We will run a couple of live searches during the webinar so please feel free to suggest some in the chat function.

Using the Centre for Research Collections (CRC) for your dissertation
Thursday 29 October, 11:10-12:00

Special Collections (archives, manuscripts and rare books) can be a rich source of material for your dissertation, but can be sometimes feel daunting to use. This Dissertation Week session will show you how to search for, access and handle unique cultural and heritage collections, including items from the Centre for Research Collections.

There are more sessions available over the two week period, 26 October – 6 November, that may be of interest. So do take a look at the Dissertation guide for a full schedule of events.

Caroline Stirling – Academic Support Librarian for School of Social and Political Science

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *