Community Research and Action

Where to Search

Consider what literature other then journal articles will be necessary to do a comprehensive review.  This might include:

  • books/monographs 
  • government reports, think tank and non-profit reports
  • data and statistics sets, etc. 

Sources for these types of literature are discussed on the Finding Literature section of this guide.   It is also important to be comprehensive in terms of disciplines when conducting a literature review - are there areas that are not in typical subject focus that might provide relevant literature?  

For example, a scholar who is studying management theories in non-profits will gravitate easily towards non-profit, business and psychology literature, but may also find new framework and theories that can be applicable in sociology.   Our Subject Guides can help direct to you the top sources for literature in each field.

Tips

Build on research (ethically)

  • Using literature reviews related to your topic in order to find sources can be a fast-track way to get started by providing you with a list of potential sources through their works cited. 
     
  • By reading literature reviews, you will also get used to the various methods and organizational styles for strong literature reviews.
     
  • You can try searching "literature review" AND "yourtopic" in many databases, but may get too many results..if so...
     
  • Some databases will let you limit to searching just literature reviews by using Subject Headings or Descriptors.   Look on the screen for a Thesaurus option, or looking under the HELP option (usually under the top right corner). 
     
  • Mine the reference list of relevant articles and books.   Many of our databases make this easy by providing a link to the reference list right on screen (with the full text of the literature or the service. Keep particular track of names, works and journal titles that keep re-occurring.

Literature Review Sources

These databases provide easy access to literature reviews across a variety of fields.

The following databases excel in linking research together by citation analysis - seeing if a particular author or article has been cited; or tracing the citation list of an article.   

For more information on using Web of Science and Scopus to trace research, see the Citation Analysis guide.