Skip to 0 minutes and 24 secondsWe've spoken about the choice of journal. We've also talked about the importance of the title and of the abstract. Then, the next thing in your article would be focusing on an introduction. Now, this is a very important first step of an article what the introduction is? It's a review. It's going to tell the reader what will follow. And I think the first thing about this is that you need to say why did you do this research?

Skip to 1 minute and 0 secondsThat seems an easy question to answer, but sometimes it's not. So, if you're researching something, you have to state quite clearly why this research was done. And there may be many reasons for it. For example, do you intend to confirm an existing piece of research? Or in fact, do you want to test the research? In one sense, we believe that word to word communication is very important in choice of tourist destination, and there's a huge literature on this subject. But you may say I'm looking at this again, because I'm going to test something which has not been tested, or I want to confirm or disconfirm whether or not this hypothesis is valid.

Skip to 1 minute and 59 secondsAnd the other thing you should do in the introduction is to say why you think your research can be differentiated from someone else’. Now it can be because the topic you looking at has not been researched before. Or you might be using a new methodology to approach this particular research. Or in fact, you're saying you want to test the validity of this particular hypothesis and compare it to what has been written previously. So, there are many good reasons for this. The other thing about your introduction that is critical is you have to state very clearly what your research questions are. Now, it depends on the length of the article.

Skip to 2 minutes and 54 secondsAs a major article with something like an eight thousand words limit, this will give you a lot of scope for going in great detail about not only what your research objectives are, but why you've chosen these particular research objectives. To summarize, this introduction does a number of things. One, it sets out what your research is about and the stages of your research. Also, it tries to set out a reason for you doing it, because somehow it is different from what has already been published. That difference might be in either you're looking for something new, which is obviously an important parameter for tourism.

Skip to 3 minutes and 40 secondsBut on the other hand, it might be that what you're doing is not contributing something new and knowledge, but actually confirming extant knowledge, existing knowledge. So these things then become very important indeed. Now central to any piece of academic work is the literature review; what is a literature review? Well, of course it's a review of literature, but it's more than that. It's the review of literature which is relevant to your research. So I've seen in draft form article with maybe a hundred and fifty references.

Skip to 4 minutes and 28 secondsPublishers would normally tell you to cut this down. They don’t want three or four pages of references, because these are expensive to publish. When we talk about literature research, we are talking about relevant literature to research. Now, the fact that you've read a hundred articles or ten books is not wasted, because these will give you background. It gives you things what may be peripheral but important. Maybe in one book, there is one idea or two ideas which are relevant to your research. In this sense, you have to be ruthless and say in my bibliography, my references, I'm going to choose the things which are relevant to my subject. First of all, you've got to be accurate in your referencing.

Skip to 5 minutes and 16 secondsAnd this means you go back to the journal you're targeting. Look at what it's requirements are. Normally there is a standard format of references. You have to conform to those reference style. Because if you don't, then they will send the article back to you and say, please conform to our style. And the other thing I will tell you from long experience, when you're actually reading things and making references, please be accurate, because there's nothing more frustrating than getting an article back and saying please check this reference. And you will go back to the library, or you will go back online and actually do all the work again. So accuracy becomes very important. Be selective in your references.

Skip to 6 minutes and 5 secondsWell, I've already spoken about that. You don't want to simply say to the editor, I've read all these articles and books. What you want to say is that I have read these and I'm listing them because they are relevant to my research. And then maybe the last point here, but it’s important. Check the every reference in your article, is it included in your bibliography? One of the biggest problems editors have and one of the reasons why many articles are sent back to writers is that when they check the things you might have seen twenty names or twenty references in your article, but only maybe sixteen in the bibliography. So they're going to ask you, why are there four missing?

Skip to 6 minutes and 55 secondsSo be careful! And the last point, I think it’s important. One of the things you have to say to yourself

Skip to 7 minutes and 2 secondswhen you're writing your literature review is this: how has this review informed my research? Because this is important. Because if you say by reading this research, by reading these references, by looking at what other people have done it helps me to form my own research ideas. It's helped me to crystalize. It helps me to focus my thoughts, and that becomes very important. Why? Because, of course, it helps you choose your methodology. Now, the choice of methodology is a very difficult area. And there's only two questions really, which you have to ask yourself. The first one is which approaches to this study are likely to be the most relevant.

Skip to 7 minutes and 58 secondsI've used the word “approaches” as a plural, because normally there's no one best approach. Let me take a simple example. Some people will do a piece of research, let's say, for example, how tourists experience a resort. And they may do a quantitative survey, completely quantitative. May be done online where you analyse the figures to give you the references and give you the analysis that you want. On the other hand, someone says, no, I would prefer a qualitative approach, because I find that I get more from talking to tourists than I do from just a simple questionnaire. But increasingly, what you find is that there's a combination of both these methods where people use quantitative and qualitative approach.

Skip to 8 minutes and 50 secondsThe point is this, when you choose your methodology, you have to be very clear why you choose a methodology and why you think it is the most appropriate methodology for your study. Now, you don't have to write a huge chapter on methodology, but you have to make it quite clear what the methodology is and why you chose it. No, that's the first point. Then the second point is equally important. If this is your methodology, then it's going to result in the collection of data. And the next question is, which techniques are you going to use to analyze that data? This, I think, is a very difficult area and it's difficult for this reason.

Skip to 9 minutes and 42 secondsOne of the things we found certainly in scholarship over the last fifteen years or so has been the rapid increase not only in the techniques, not only in their sophistication, but also the breath of information technology. There are many things now we can do on computers, which previously we had to do manually. Secondly, we know through new techniques like artificial intelligence, like big data dredging, that there are things available now which weren't available to us five, ten years ago. We've always known about big data, but we've never known how to explore it, how to analyze it and more important how to use it.

Skip to 10 minutes and 29 secondsSo this is a very important area, because one of the things you have to do when you submit your article is to say to the external examiner or examiners, you know, I chose this methodology for these reasons. And I chose these analytical techniques for these reasons. You have to justify it. Because if you can't, then you leave yourself open to the complaint, to the criticism, if you like, to the weakness of your thesis, that your ambition in terms of coverage and data was not matched by the choice of your methodology. Therefore, this is something which is exceptionally important. If your analysis of the data is weak, then that is likely to raise questions you would rather not answer.

How to publish in the top journals? (2)

In this video, you will focus on the introduction, literature review and method of your article.

As we all know, the literature review is the most basic and crucial part of an article.

Please feel free to comment in the discussion area.

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This video is from the free online course:

Research Methods in Tourism Studies

Nankai University