Note: This unit version is currently under review and is subject to change!

INFO5993: IT Research Methods (2017 - Semester 2)

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Unit: INFO5993: IT Research Methods (6 CP)
Mode: Normal-Day
On Offer: Yes
Level: Postgraduate
Faculty/School: School of Information Technologies
Unit Coordinator/s: HoseinyFarahabady, M. Reza
Professor Zomaya, Albert
Session options: Semester 1, Semester 2
Versions for this Unit:
Site(s) for this Unit: http://sydney.edu.au/stuserv/learning_centre/workshops.shtml#tim
http://www.iwrite.sydney.edu.au/ENGINEERING/Thesis/The-Literature-Review/Objectives.html
http://www.iwrite.sydney.edu.au/ENGINEERING/Writing-Clearly/Paragraph-Structure/Introduction.html
http://www.iwrite.sydney.edu.au/ENGINEERING/Writing-Clearly/Information-Structure/Introduction.html
http://portal.core.edu.au/conf-ranks/
http://gernot-heiser.org/style-guide.html
http://www.phrasebank.manchester.ac.uk/
Campus: Camperdown/Darlington
Pre-Requisites: None.
Brief Handbook Description: This unit will provide an overview of the different research methods that are used in IT. Students will learn to find and evaluate research on their topic and to present their own research plan or results for evaluation by others. The unit will develop a better understanding of what research in IT is and how it differs from other projects in IT. Students will learn research ethics. This unit of study is required for students in IT who are enrolled in a research project as part of their Honours or MIT/MITM degree. It is also recommended for students enrolled or planning to do a research degree in IT and Engineering.
Assumed Knowledge: None.
Lecturer/s: Professor Zomaya, Albert
Timetable: INFO5993 Timetable
Time Commitment:
# Activity Name Hours per Week Sessions per Week Weeks per Semester
1 Seminar 2.00 1 13
2 Independent Study 10.00 13

Attributes listed here represent the key course goals (see Course Map tab) designated for this unit. The list below describes how these attributes are developed through practice in the unit. See Learning Outcomes and Assessment tabs for details of how these attributes are assessed.

Attribute Development Method Attribute Developed
Sound knowledge of fundamental evaluation approaches of research in IT Engineering/IT Specialisation (Level 4)
Searching library web site, domain-specific databases and internet for academic literature Information Seeking (Level 4)
Developping effective written and oral communication skills Communication (Level 4)
Development of research skills, literature search, research methods specific to IT and understanding of ethical practice in academia Professional Conduct (Level 4)

For explanation of attributes and levels see Engineering & IT Graduate Outcomes Table.

Learning outcomes are the key abilities and knowledge that will be assessed in this unit. They are listed according to the course goal supported by each. See Assessment Tab for details how each outcome is assessed.

Engineering/IT Specialisation (Level 4)
1. Knowledge of major approaches used in IT research and ability to apply one or more to own project
2. Ability to plan a program of research in IT
3. Ability to perform a critical evaluation of research work
Information Seeking (Level 4)
4. Ability to retrieve academic literature on a specific topic and identify top journals, conferences, research groups on this topic
Communication (Level 4)
5. Ability to produce a literature survey for a field of IT research
6. Ability to write and present a research proposal
Professional Conduct (Level 4)
7. Understanding of ethical practices and copyrights
8. Ability to read research literature and understand how the described work fits into one or more research approaches
9. Understanding of the nature of IT research and how research is evaluated
Assessment Methods:
# Name Group Weight Due Week Outcomes
1 Database Search Results and Identifying Research No 35.00 Week 3 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9,
2 AnnotatedLiterature Review, Research Proposal No 50.00 Week 7 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9,
3 Oral presentation, Review others` work No 15.00 Week 10 6, 7, 8, 9,
Assessment Description: Assignment 1:

Name: Database Search Results and Identifying Research Questions:

Assessment Description:

Students need to submit a report that includes:

1. A list of top A*, A and B conference events and journals in your research area that are ranked by CORE and ERA ranking systems.

2. A list of the main research groups working in your research field

3. Identifying at least three research problems which have not been answered/addressed appropriately or at all in the field of research study. Students can use the following iterative process to identify research gaps: Step 1: Focused & systematic literature review, Step 2: Review of current state of the art solutions and best practices used for the topic, Step 3: Develop the research problem, Step 4: Discussion with Supervisor(s), Step 5: Refining

4. Identifying the top suitable articles and books which potentially are the most relevant to the research problems identified in the previous step by finding out how influential their impact is on the research topic

5. Using the selected publications to develop an appreciation of the central ideas for each research question and provide a summary of key concepts for each research problem.

Due Week: W3~W5

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Assignment 2:

Name: Literature Review and Outline of Research

Assessment Description:

Students need to submit two reports as follows:

Report 1: Literature Review

Submit a report (around 10 pages) contains a critical review of the previous works you have found related to your research topic. The report should include around 15 properly referenced conference or journal articles and/or books. Organise the review around the questions or claims relevant to your research problems you have identified in the previous assignment (rather than just listing the papers you have read).

Report 2: Outline of Research Proposal

Submit a report (2-3 pages) to highlight contributions you intend to make in your research area. Outline how you will gather evidence to back up your ideas. You should provide enough details to show that you have thought about how to convince your audience/readers.

Due Week: W5~W9

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Assignment 3:

Name: Present your work, and Review others` work

Assessment Description:

Students are required to prepare some slides and present their work in front of other students in the class. They can use either the template provided in the course page or your own. The presentation should take ~12 mins including 2 mins Q/A form other students/assigned reviewers.

Each student is also required to review three papers/presentations of his/her fellow classmates.

Due Week: W9~W13
Grading:
Grade Type Description
Standards Based Assessment Final grades in this unit are awarded at levels of HD for High Distinction, DI (previously D) for Distinction, CR for Credit, PS (previously P) for Pass and FA (previously F) for Fail as defined by University of Sydney Assessment Policy. Details of the Assessment Policy are available on the Policies website at http://sydney.edu.au/policies . Standards for grades in individual assessment tasks and the summative method for obtaining a final mark in the unit will be set out in a marking guide supplied by the unit coordinator.
Policies & Procedures: IMPORTANT: School policy relating to Academic Dishonesty and Plagiarism.

In assessing a piece of submitted work, the School of IT may reproduce it entirely, may provide a copy to another member of faculty, and/or to an external plagiarism checking service or in-house computer program and may also maintain a copy of the assignment for future checking purposes and/or allow an external service to do so.

Other policies

See the policies page of the faculty website at http://sydney.edu.au/engineering/student-policies/ for information regarding university policies and local provisions and procedures within the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies.

Note that the "Weeks" referred to in this Schedule are those of the official university semester calendar https://web.timetable.usyd.edu.au/calendar.jsp

Week Description
Week 1 Administrative matters. Introduction to research. Research opportunities. How to give a research presentation.
Week 2 Methods I: academic research methods; information searching
Week 3 Short student presentations; discussion.
Assessment Due: Database Search Results and Identifying Research
Week 4 Writing a paper.
Week 5 Methods II: industrial research methods.
Week 6 Writing a proposal. Discussion.
Week 7 Reviewing and evaluating academic research. Discussion.
Assessment Due: AnnotatedLiterature Review, Research Proposal
Week 8 Research ethics. Discussion.
Week 9 Methods III: academic research methods again; discussion.
Week 10 Labor day holiday
Assessment Due: Oral presentation, Review others` work
Week 11 Research proposal: student presentations
Week 12 Research proposal: student presentations
Week 13 Catch-up

Course Relations

The following is a list of courses which have added this Unit to their structure.

Course Year(s) Offered
Bachelor of Computer Science and Technology (Honours) 2015, 2016, 2017
Bachelor of Computer Science and Technology (Honours) 2014 2013, 2014
Bachelor of Advanced Computing/Bachelor of Commerce 2018
Bachelor of Advanced Computing (Computational Data Science) 2018
Bachelor of Advanced Computing (Computing Science Major) 2018
Bachelor of Advanced Computing (Information Systems Major) 2018
Bachelor of Advanced Computing (Software Development) 2018
Software Mid-Year 2016, 2017, 2018
Software 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
Software / Arts 2016, 2017, 2018
Software / Commerce 2016, 2017, 2018
Software / Medical Science 2016, 2017, 2018
Software / Music Studies 2016, 2017
Software / Project Management 2016, 2017, 2018
Software / Science 2016, 2017, 2018
Software / Law 2016, 2017, 2018
Software Engineering (till 2014) 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Software Engineering / Arts 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Software Engineering / Commerce 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Software Engineering / Medical Science 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Software Engineering / Project Management 2012, 2013, 2014
Software Engineering / Science 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Master of Information Technology 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
Master of Information Technology Management 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
Master of IT/Master of IT Management 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
Master of Information Technology (till 2014) 2014
Bachelor of Information Technology 2015, 2016, 2017
Information Technology / Arts 2015, 2016, 2017
Information Technology / Commerce 2015, 2016, 2017
Information Technology / Medical Science 2015, 2016, 2017
Information Technology / Science 2015, 2016, 2017
Bachelor of Information Technology (Computer Science) 2014 and earlier 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Information Technology (Computer Science)/Arts 2012, 2013, 2014
Information Technology (Computer Science) / Commerce 2012, 2013, 2014
Information Technology (Computer Science) / Medical Science 2012, 2013, 2014
Information Technology (Computer Science) / Science 2012, 2013, 2014
Information Technology (Computer Science) / Law 2012, 2013, 2014
Bachelor of Information Technology (Information Systems) 2014 and earlier 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Information Technology (Information Systems)/Arts 2012, 2013, 2014
Information Technology (Information Systems) / Commerce 2012, 2013, 2014
Information Technology (Information Systems) / Medical Science 2012, 2013, 2014
Information Technology (Information Systems) / Science 2012, 2013, 2014
Information Technology (Information Systems) / Law 2012, 2013, 2014
Information Technology / Law 2015, 2016, 2017
Master of Information Technology Management (till 2014) 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

Course Goals

This unit contributes to the achievement of the following course goals:

Attribute Practiced Assessed
Engineering/IT Specialisation (Level 4) Yes 32.5%
Information Seeking (Level 4) Yes 8.5%
Communication (Level 4) Yes 24.5%
Professional Conduct (Level 4) Yes 34.5%

These goals are selected from Engineering & IT Graduate Outcomes Table which defines overall goals for courses where this unit is primarily offered. See Engineering & IT Graduate Outcomes Table for details of the attributes and levels to be developed in the course as a whole. Percentage figures alongside each course goal provide a rough indication of their relative weighting in assessment for this unit. Note that not all goals are necessarily part of assessment. Some may be more about practice activity. See Learning outcomes for details of what is assessed in relation to each goal and Assessment for details of how the outcome is assessed. See Attributes for details of practice provided for each goal.