a) The biggest obstacle has of course been the pandemic. Although there is a lot of material online there are a few things that I would really like to read or have access to that are only available in places that are either closed just now or I just can’t get to until the restrictions lift.
b) To overcome this I have tried to just make the best use of the material that I can access and have used the different filters on sites like JSTOR, or on the library catalogue to only show things that are available online. That way I am not wasting time having to wade through search results showing material that can only be accessed in person. I have a document on my laptop which is just a list of things that I want to read or I think will be useful to read, and anytime I am on a site like JSTOR reading something I have a look at the suggested articles and add anything that looks like it has potential to that list. So now I have a list of material to work through that is all available online.
c) This has taught me a lot about the quickest ways to find the most suitable material – in this case, e-journals and e-books. It has shown me to use the time before libraries etc. open up to read as much of the online material as I can. By doing that, when libraries do open up I give my full attention to those sources that are only available in person. If there is still going to be restrictions on quarantining material or how long you can spend in the library then I need to be well organised and use that time as effectively as possible.
d) I think overall the module as a whole has been really helpful and I feel well-prepared to get a lot of work done over the summer. I think it has given me the momentum and motivation to get my research well underway. Having to think about my methodology and what I actually want to achieve has been really helpful because now I will know just from reading the introduction or the abstract of a source if it is going to be any good for me. If I didn’t know what it was that I was aiming to do then I don’t think I could do that.