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  • Mae Lim

AI Literature Search Workshop: A Scholarly Exploration

When ChatGPT burst into the scene so spectacularly in November 2022, it brought a wave of other AI powered apps in its wake. In education, there is a rapid proliferation of AI academic apps - from giving personalised feedback, to smart writing assistants to personalised homework helpers - built to streamline and enhance ever increasing number of processes in teaching and learning.

To help students navigate the use of AI tools in the literature review process, a sharing workshop entitled "AI Literature Search Tools" was held on February 1, 2024.

This was the second installation of the series, "Foundations for Research Success - Navigating the Literature Landscape", a collaboration between NIE Library and the NIE Graduate Student Club (GSC), which was aimed at NIE graduate students. The series kicked off with the workshop entitled "Mastering Database Search for Academic Excellence" on 23 January 2024. Conducted by this writer, the online workshop aimed to lay a firm foundation on how to conduct searches for academic sources used in literature reviews. This was attended by 77 participants.

The second workshop, led by Koh Wei Xun, a second-year doctoral student from the PCHD Academic Group and President of the NIE GSC, was in a hybrid format. Held in the Library Research Commons, it attracted a total of 76 participants.

Apps for searching, visualisation and staying abreast of new content were discussed, including using ChatGPT to brainstorm for keywords or concepts in a given field as well as using visualisation apps such as Research Rabbit and Litmaps to discover connections between papers and authors.

The workshop ended with a discussion on the algorithmic “black box” where there is a lack of transparency on how and why some results were retrieved. Attendees were encouraged to use a combination of different tools to mitigate potential risks and biases.  

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