ROUTE #1: Getting Started
ROUTE #1: Chapter-by-Chapter


Generate a list of potential journal articles

Whether you came from STEP ONE or skipped it, STEP TWO involves generating a list of potential journal articles based on the sub-fields that you are interested in (i.e., which we previously discussed in STEP ONE). One of these articles will ultimately become the main journal article that acts as a platform for your replication-based dissertation. In order to show you how to do this, we use Google Scholar because it is very effective at building a list that draws on your sub-fields and other important criteria, such as the journal publication date. It is also particularly useful when performing your literature review, so we like to get you used to using it properly at this stage (i.e., assuming you don't already know how to do this). To start the process, look at the image below [NOTE: we have highlighted the points to look at in red]:

The numbers in red in the image above match those below. Therefore, to start the process:

  1. Go to Google Scholar (see:

  2. Click on the Advanced Scholar Search link.

In the diagram below, we have highlighted the six steps you need to follow to achieve this, using the degree of Management as our example [NOTE: we have highlighted these steps in red]:

  1. Enter the name of the sub-field you are most interested in within the with the exact phrase search box in the Find articles section. For the purposes of this example, let's assume that you have only selected one sub-field, which was the sub-field Customer Loyalty within the field of Relationship Marketing (i.e., one of many fields and sub-fields in the subject, Marketing, which is studied within most Management degrees).

  2. In the drop-down box for where my words occur in the Find articles section, select the second drop-down, in the title of the article.

  3. In the Date section, we recommend narrowing the search results to more recent articles. In our example, we entered 2012 as the publication date, which will return all articles published during and after 2012.

    With certain exceptions, which we mentioned below, we would suggest that you choose an article that has been published within the last 2-3 years, and ideally, the last 6-18 months. If you are taking a degree with in the sciences, rather than other fields such as the social sciences and humanities, business and management, psychology, and education, we would suggest that 18 months is the maximum date you should consider. These publication dates are important because, depending on the subject area and journal, an article that has been published within the last 2-3 years could actually reflect research that was conducted 4.5 to 6 years ago; perhaps longer. Before journal articles are published, researchers spend significant time collecting data, analysing the data and writing up, before often taking these findings to conferences to get the opinions of other academics, before submitting a manuscript for consideration at a journal. This final consideration process can take between 3 months and 2 years before the article is peer-reviewed and published in a journal. Therefore, journals that have been recently published (i.e., in the last 6-18 months) are more likely to reflect more recent research (i.e., conducted in the last 2 to 3.5 years). This delay has a number of implications when it comes to choosing an appropriate article:

    • You're more likely to be able to access data, which is almost never publicly available, and the measurement procedure, which is infrequently included in the journal article, when the article has been more recently published.

    • The longer you go back, the more likely that the research has already been criticised or superseded. If this is the case, someone has already beaten you to the punch. It also means that there is the potential for a wider range of journal articles to have been published, which whilst not directly criticising the article you are interested in, have led to developments in the field that undermine it. This is particularly the case in the sciences, where the pace of research and the publication of journal articles is faster. Whilst one of the main goals of replication-based dissertations is clearly to critique the journal article you are interested in, you don?t want to make this too difficult for yourself by adding these challenges.

    Whilst it is often beneficial to select more recent journals, irrespective of which of the three routes you choose (i.e., Route A: Duplication, Route B: Generalisation or Route C: Extension), this is not always the case. Older journals, especially so-called seminal articles - named seminal because they are generally attributed for introducing something important to the literature, and are frequently cited - are still worth investigating if they have yet to be replicated, and there are good reasons to replicate them. Access to the original data from older, as well as seminal articles may be unlikely, but there is still a justification to choose them, especially in the case of Route A: Duplication.

  4. In the Results per page drop-down box, select 100 to maximise the number of results returned per page. This is not essential, but we find it much easier to quickly search through the list of results (i.e., potential journal articles) with more search results per page. However, this step is just a personal preference.

  5. You could also select the Search only articles in the following subject areas radio box in the Collections section, if you want to narrow down your search to specific subject areas. In our example, we would select the Business, Administration, Finance, and Economics tick box (i.e., because the degree in our example is Management). Again, this is another choice you will have to make, but we would suggest not selecting this box at this point in order to keep the search results a little broader. After all, you'll find that academics across a wide range of degrees (e.g., Management, Social Sciences, Psychology, Sports Science, Engineering, etc.) publish journal articles that may be traditionally studied in just one major degree (e.g., the subject, Marketing, in the degree, Management). Therefore, we prefer not to narrow down the search to subject areas at this time.

  6. Finally, click the Search Scholar button.

Below is the first part of the list of articles returned for our search:

In the top right, you'll see that just 75 results were returned, even though we asked for 100 per page, since only 75 results existed. From this list, you're only looking for journal articles, as opposed to books, conference papers, or theses or dissertations. We've distinguished between these four types of resources in the screen capture. Whilst you may use these other three types of resource to some extent in your Literature Review chapter, they are of little use when it comes to choosing your main journal article. When we reduced our list of 75 results to only include journal articles, this only gave 24 appropriate results. In STEP THREE, we explain how to create a shortlist of possible main journal articles from the list you generate in your Google Scholar search. However, if you are unable to find a suitable article from such a list, it would be worth opening up the search results by increasing the publication date (e.g., from 2012 to 2011, giving you another year of results).

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