As proper academic research is something that in my course we have never really come across, I arranged to have a meeting with our universities librarian, Barbara Price. With this project essentially requiring a minimum of 30 references as part of our project plan and pitch, I thought that it would be foolish to pass up on a chance to have a one to one meeting which could only aid me in the initial research for my project. At first, I was a bit skeptical about voicing my idea for this project as I wasn’t entirely sure if there would be many proper academic papers on Cosplay; but Barbara seemed to think that it was an original idea that could be interpreted in to academic study quite easily, which gave me a bit more confidence in the topic. After a few minutes of us researching through the library database, I found some interesting articles that could only help me in narrowing down exactly what I want to my feature to be based on within the cosplay world.
At the start of the meeting Barbara informed me about the structure that my research report needed to be written in by breaking down the key points to Harvard referencing; while also showing me that reports usually only contain short credits and summaries of quotations (which is called paraphasing) in order to show my full understanding of a particular context. This is something which strangely I have only really touched on in my university life-span, and so trying to grasp the idea of only simply giving paraphrases or a verbatim seemed confusing to me at the start; however I understood the necessity of this as it will prove in my research report that I have understood what has been asked of me along with showcasing the research I have gathered in cosplay.
During the meeting, Barbara and myself first began to brainstorm ideas of what could be interpreted as a form of cosplay. As I had already researched, what primarily is a sub-topic under this would be the the hybrid of media entertainment such as comic books, video games and films mixed in to the world of costume and craftsmanship. By brainstorming such sub-topics, we were able to type in to the library research datebase called ‘discover’ a wider range of aspects that would fall under cosplay that would broaden my academic research resources.
By using the discover tool, we were able to search many different phrases that would change the quality of results that we would find. At first, we simply typed in to the database ‘cosplay’; and through this we were able to find journals, magazines and reviews that catered to this phrasing. As you can see from the screen print below, you can also change the language, publication and content provider in the academic preferences to pinpoint your initial search.
Since meeting with Barbara, I have had quite the breakthrough with my research using the library research datebase online. I have found quite a few academic research resources that I could use in my research report on cosplay project. I have also been looking at other forms of research such as documentaries and magazine reviews and articles online. One in particular is the reality tv show ‘Heroes of Cosplay’ that follows the creative process of 7 cosplayers on the road of the annual convention strip in America. Although it has been heavily dramatized for entertainment value and only follows the more famous cosplayers, I feel that its a good enough starting point that will give me a better understanding on what goes in to making a cosplayers costume, along with the cosplayer community itself.
Over the next week or so I plan on reviewing the research that I have collected so far to see if there’s a pattern in the process of cosplay. What I would also like to start doing now is getting in to contact with cosplayers to see if they would like to be interviewed for my project; for this I will look to social media and cosplay forums and see where it goes from there. I feel that the meeting with Barbara has really helped me form a structure to my research, along with giving me some confidence in my project idea as she has shown be that the library’s database will be more than sufficient in helping me find even more academic research for my report and pitch.