Jakarta – Imagine if there were two railroad maps of a city. One of the train maps is winding, needs more information, and needs help understanding. In contrast, one of the other train lines has more organized lane lines and more complete information. Which one is easier for readers to understand? Of course, almost everyone will answer the second map because it is easy to understand. That was the analogy put forward by Hasrul Hanif, a lecturer at the Department of Politics and Government (DPP), Faculty of Social and Political Sciences (FISIPOL), Gadjah Mada University (UGM), at the PWYP Knowledge Forum (PKF) session entitled Knowing the Methodology of Scoping Studies, which was held online on December 22, 2023.

PKF is a discussion and knowledge-sharing forum organized regularly by the PWYP Indonesia coalition to increase understanding and capacity and develop public discourse related to issues, topics, and policies in the natural resource sector.

Hanif said that the Scoping Study Methodology is a research method used to identify in-depth and comprehensive literature that can be obtained from various sources with various research methods and has a relationship with the research topic. This method was first introduced by Arksey and O’Malley in 2005.

The Scoping Studies methodology explains complex data so that it is presented quickly. The Scoping Studies methodology uses quick mapping, concepts, sources, and data. This method has the scope, range, and nature of the research and identifies gaps in the study. In addition, this method helps map findings and use the feasibility and relevance of a systematic literature review.

This method is broad and covers a variety of research designs. In addition, it does not pretend to assess quality (research or non-research sources), not only identifies gaps but also links to context (policy), and is iterative.

Hasrul Hanif also described the flow of the scoping studies methodology. It starts with the research question, an important parameter, but the researcher must also recognize that the definition or scope is distinct and debatable. This is followed by identifying relevant sources and then deciding on the boundaries/scope of those sources. However, selecting either disputed or not singular studies is also essential. After that, the data is mapped or classified based on similar issues, themes, approaches/perspectives, or contexts. Only then can we assemble and organize the report and the iterative process of making connections (similarities or differences and interactions between data). It is also important to consult as a complementary stage to increase the number of sources and enrich the research views.

The Scoping Study method is a powerful tool for navigating complex literature, providing a clearer understanding of the research landscape. Hanif’s analogy of a train map is an apt one; the order and clarity of the latter are more beneficial. Similarly, with its more structured and straightforward approach, the Scoping Study Method results in a more understandable mapping of the research landscape. Within the framework of the Energy Transition, the application of this methodology is a strong foundation for expanding insights, mapping findings, and weaving the fabric of information that is fundamental to the discussion of crucial issues in the natural resource sector.

Author: Ersya Shafira Nailuvar
Reviewers: Aryanto Nugroho & Wicitra Diwasasri