Building research

To be able to make the best use of search techniques for your literature search it’s important to have a clear understanding of your topic and research questions. However, many literature searching workshops focus solely on learning how to use the tools and techniques available. Rachel and I were keen to explore the potential for using Lego to help researchers more clearly understand and articulate the complexities of their topic.

Along with the Information Skills Librarian team at Surrey, we revised the existing ‘Find it’ workshop, part of the Researcher Development Programme regular workshop schedule, to include a section using Lego. Before learning advanced search tools and techniques, researchers attending the session are tasked with building a model of their research:


Researchers then explain their model to fellow researchers, and answer questions on it.

Here are some of the results:

We ask researchers taking part in the ‘Find it’ workshops to provide feedback for us, and so far all have responded positively to using Lego. We’ll be discussing how we analyse and use feedback in a future blog post. We were pleased to see that one researcher shared her experience on her blog.