If you want to find your niche, you need to explore your topic. What problems have been addressed? What was the best approach? What impact did it have?

So, where do you begin? Many researchers jump straight into keyword searches, looking for research papers, collecting information to review.

But, there could be a quicker way! A shortcut, to get a broad overview of all the latest research, to help you narrow down and direct your focus.

Survey papers!

Survey papers are a good place to start and a great way to stay up to date. The right survey paper can provide a treasure trove of insights. Imagine the hours you could save, if somebody else has already done a survey and collated all of the recent research about your topic or area of interest!

Survey papers provide an organised summary, analysis and perspective on all recent research covering a specific area or type of research interest.

There are 3 primary types:

  1. Survey papers that focus on different types of recent research questions related to a specific topic

Let’s say your research topic is Golf. This type of survey paper would detail all of the questions that have been covered in relation to golf recently, such as injuries or health benefits.

You can use this type of survey paper to help you to find a research question to focus on or identify a gap to explore

2. Survey papers that cover all of the different approaches to a specific research question

If your research question was related to Twitter and say you wanted to understand public opinion and how to measure positive and negative sentiment analysis trends over a period of time. This type of survey paper would cover all the different approaches or categories of approaches that have been used to do this in recent research.

You can use this type of survey paper to inform your approach, based on how your research question has or hasn't been addressed in recent research

3. Survey papers that review all of the evaluation methods for a specific research question

Based on your research question, this type of survey paper explores the novelty and compares the variety of methods used to evaluate the approach over recent research. Evaluating whether they worked or how good a certain type of approach performed.

You can use this type of survey to assess the effectiveness of different evaluation methods

A good survey paper should provide you with an overview, so you can quickly gain an understanding of what’s been done recently. So you can skip what’s irrelevant and focus your efforts.

With RAx, it just got easier! If you have a research paper or collection of papers, you can now find related Survey Papers. Just another way RAx is helping researchers to get to the insights that they need, faster.