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Other sources of relevant materials

Do you know about other research groups working in your area and where
you and your work fits in? Some of this can be found by reading related work,
some of it through conferences. Variously in the past, I've been part of
groups that keep a web page of relevant conferences/journals (this helps
suggest where to publish/look), make web pages of related work, and write
literature reviews of related work that try to address these sorts of things.
In the end you build up a picture in your head that is sort of a graph of
people and projects and who spawned/taught what and moved where. This is
also what you'll be doing for the field of HCI in general as you prepare for
your qualifiers.

This kind of process is an important form of networking, background
research for a PhD thesis, and generally benefits research. Once you've
done this, you know who to try to meet at conferences, where to look for
possible new work, and when you want to, say, sponsor a workshop on a topic,
or find a summer internship, you've got the right contacts/people to invite.
And it helps you to see where your own work fits in and how it is different.
Always think about papers from this perspective as you read them.

Although finding papers is a critical starting place, it is important
to make use of other sources of information including market research
and studies of your own. Below are some links to interesting data sets.