Establishing the context for your research project


  • Janet Clapton



electronic resources


This article will help fellow practitioner researchers establish research background for a topic by describing a process and resources. This is potentially useful not only for the LIS professional in their own research, but also when finding information at work for their customers or clients. My own work role is information specialist support for research commissioning in the social care field; from this I have drawn general tips for background scoping in a social science field such as library and information science. Variety of sources is key: the sources drawn on include bibliographic databases, research databases, portals, key organisations' websites, discussion groups, conferences and awards. It is not intended to be exhaustive, and can only give a snapshot of a changing environment, however it can act as a foundation for detailed preparation. In parallel, the LIRG website links list has been expanded and updated: please see

Author Biography

Janet Clapton

I am Project Information Manager at the Social Care Institute for Excellence. In this capacity, I manage a team of information specialists to support research commissioned by SCIE. I also develop methodologies and working relationships with external research bodies, with whom we work in collaborations.


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