Content of the prestudy
In the prestudy, you must
- * read up on the theory and background necessary to carry out the degree project
- * read scientific articles to get a comprehensive picture of what has been done previously in the area
- * draw conclusions from these studies about how to proceed with the degree project (method selection, evaluation, data, etc.)
There are several aims with the literature studies:
- * to get used to the scientific method of immersing oneself in the problem by studying what others have done before you yourself address the problem
- * to train yourself to seek out relevant literature
- * to train yourself to read research literature
- * to do a better degree project by establishing a better foundation for your work
The prestudy is conducted at the beginning of the degree project. Scope and focus are determined individually based on the need. The literature studies usually involve 4±2 weeks work.
You cannot expect the supervisor to always suggest literature. Instead, you must actively seek out appropriate literature. The KTH Library provides good search opportunities in large databases. Read more on the KTH Library website. There are also a number of other libraries available online.
The literature studies shall include material that directly guides the degree project and this is to be integrated into the report. It could be literature on the background to your problem, on how others have approached the same or similar problem, or on the methods you are considering using. Scientific reports and articles in scientific journals should be included, but you may also need to read manuals, business reports and course literature, and of course websites. Remember to only use sources with high credibility.
All sources that you use in your work must be specified in the report and bibliography.
Scientific articles that have undergone a “peer review” have been reviewed by senior researchers in the field before publication and thus have greater credibility.
Source criticism involves verifying that the source is reliable and relevant. Source criticism is always important, but especially when you have found the source on the Internet.
A web page written by a renowned researcher at a renowned university is probably more credible than a page written by a school pupil. Think about objectivity; many pages are written to convince the reader of a certain policy, that a certain product is good, etc. The credibility level drops when there is no accredited author (the credibility of the Swedish Academy's database may, however, still be considered good because the Swedish Academy is a recognised authority).
A credible site should give the reader the opportunity to check sources and also specify the date when the page was written/updated.
If you intend to conduct an interview study or a survey, please read literature on how these should be done.
The literature studies shall be examined. You will agree with your supervisor about how this should be done, e.g., by you presenting an oral report to the supervisor, holding a seminar or producing a detailed written account separately or in the report.
In the theory part of the report, refer to the parts of the literature studies that serve to support for your work and your arguments.
When you have presented the pilot study (and have previously had the specification approved), the PRO1 stage can be reported in Ladok.