Antti Hyytinen is a student in the Business School of the University of Oulu. In this article Antti talks about his experience with the Iris.ai academic tools when he was working on his bachelor’s thesis.
How did you utilize Iris.ai as a part of your research task?
“During my time in business school, scientific information is used in many courses, but the bachelor’s thesis is the first real research work where information search plays a big role. Keyword-based googling and browsing of library databases seemed really crazy, because it felt like that I was missing many important sources for my research.
The library’s information seeking course was really helpful and I got a lot of help with the use of different databases. Nonetheless, the same feeling – that is, the fear that important studies were missing, remained. It was also challenging for me to understand the connections between articles, because one researcher could use the same keywords to talk about something that was not in line with my own research topic. A more experienced researcher, who has followed the industry for years, is unlikely to have this problem, but it was very challenging and time-consuming for me to try to get the overall picture of the academic discussion around my topic.
Here, Iris.ai stepped in. At first, I was quite confused about how the tools are used and how I would be able to write 200-300 words of summary text about my research questions, which were still being formulated at that time. I also wondered whether the summary I had written could be somehow inconsistent. By participating in a workshop organized by Iris.ai, I got a lot of help. Karita from Iris.ai advised to make use of the abstract of existing articles on the same topic, which would help me get started.
Then it started to happen. In less than a half an hour of browsing, I found four important papers that eventually formed the foundation for my theoretical framework. The sources found in Iris.ai were significantly higher in quality than the sources I found earlier, according to the scoreboard of the Publication Forum, and supported my research topics better than other sources. With Iris.ai’s mindmap-like visualization, I also got a better idea of the discussion around the topic, and I also got clarity in situations where I previously had overlaps and contradictions.
I talked about this tool with other students working on their thesis and their experiences were the same as I had.”
If you told a friend or colleague about Iris.ai what would you say?
“I would encourage them to try to find literature for their research topic using Iris.ai. Even though the use of the tool may seem challenging at first, they should still try, because every one of my friends who has tested Iris.ai has found 2-3 new sources that are important for their research, which they would not have previously encountered in a keyword-based search process.”
What was your best experience with Iris.ai?
“My best experience was seeing the mind map visualization. It made it easier to understand the discussion around the topic and the interdependencies between the studies. For an inexperienced academician, a comprehensive understanding of the scientific discourse on the subject was really overwhelming at first, but through visualization I got much better at what the subject of my research is.”