Literature review

05-774A3: Social Perspectives in HCI,
(Social Mini), Spring, 2014, Mini 4
Literature Review 
Topic selection due: April 12, 2015
Abstract and Preliminary Reference List due April 12, 2015 
Final Review Due 11:59 PM Monday, May 4rd, 2015 

[Late policy: 20 points out of 100 off per day.]

This description is based on ones by Scott Hudson, Jen Mankoff, Brad Myers

The Assignment

For this assignment you will complete a literature review on a topic related to technical HCI and approved by the instructor. 

Name Topic
Judeth Choi  creative collaborations in online communities
Eunki Chung conflicts and constraints in virtual teams with well-defined and/or open-ended tasks
Michael Coblenz Social processes related to software interface design and implementation 
Adrian De Freitas Using context-awareness to improve situational awareness in both local and distributed groups.
Anhong Guo Question & answering in social networks for people with disabilities
Nathan Hahn Multi-worker task awareness in Crowdsourcing systems 
Anna Kasunic

Empathy in online communities

Gierad Laput The Power of Two: Online Health Communities for Couples
Guanjie Li Socio-emotional processes of virtual teams
Laura Mazurkewicz  

CSCW/online social communities to support behavioral change of health promotion behaviors

Amy Shannon Implications of anonymity, pseudonymity, and real identity for classroom technology
Xu Wang How social factors affect learning gains in an online learning community
Robert Xiao Social dynamics and participation in question-and-answer knowledge networks
Qian Yang Investigating the possibility of promoting offline inclusion through virtual community

Note that everyone should choose a different topic. By Sunday, April 12 you need to turn in a preliminary abstract (1 page) and reference list (no page limit).  Feel free to discuss potential topics with the instructor prior to that. The final literature review is due 11:59 PM Monday, May 4th.

The length of your report should be approximately between 8-15 pages in length (body text, not including the list of references) in Times New Roman 12 point font double spaced, or equivalent. Just as a general guideline, most papers from previous years discussed in depth about 8 to 10 papers, and had about 15 to 30 total references (with the other references being used for background).

About Literature Reviews

A literature review has much in common with a summary, but it takes a broader view. Your improvement to a Wikipedia is a summary, in which you are trying to represent the scientific or engineering consensus about your topic area.  In contrast, a literature review generally takes some sort of perspective and then draws connections between a set of papers and that perspective, using them to illustrate and deepen one's understanding of the perspective. In other words, it is important that you tell a story in your literature review, rather than simply listing and summarizing a set of papers. Papers may contribute through enhancing theory, demonstrating applications, and so on. Often the writer will argue that there is a gap or a need of some sort that is not filled by the literature; alternatively, the contribution of the literature review may be a new way of framing and/or organizing the knowledge about this topic.

Your review should relate to a topic covered in class and approved by the instructor. Keep in mind that a topic area (e.g., end user programming or collaborative learning online) is not specific enough. Instead, you need to pick a topic (e.g., "End user programming for finding information in educational contexts", or "Ways to make collaborative learning in CSCL environments more successful" or so on).  In other words, yes, it is appropriate to focus on a subset of an area, and in fact I want you to focus on an aspect of this that is relevant to your own interests/research.

In writing up your review, you should aim to answer the following questions about your topic: What is the motivation for the topic (i.e., why is this an important topic)? What is the current state of knowledge about the topic? What conclusions can be drawn from the research to date? What have the papers you reviewed contributed to our understanding of this topic? What are the next important questions that need to be answered? 

If you are discovery-oriented, you should comment on what empirical questions might need to be answered for work in this area to move forward. If you are invention-oriented, you should comment on what innovations are necessary for this area to move forward.

Some secondary benefits of literature surveys

Preparing for an writing a literature review is an important form of networking, provides background for a PhD thesis, and should generally benefit research. Once you've done this, you know who to try to meet at conferences, where to look for possible new work, and when you want to, say, sponsor a workshop on a topic, or find a summer internship; you've got the right contacts/people to invite. And it helps you to see where your own work fits in and how it is different. Always think about papers from this perspective as you read them. 

There are an increasing number of places publish your literature review. They have always been accepted in ACM Computing Surveys, for example Caitlin Kelleher's, sometimes even in CHI, and there is a new publication that is "specialized for comprehensive survey articles in HCI" called Foundations and Trends in HCI.

Additional Resources on How to Write a Literature Review

 Below are several example literature reviews from an earlier edition of this course: