Part I: The Research Process
Heading Down the Rabbit Hole
Resources for Searching the Literature
It is beyond the scope of this tutorial to assist you in developing your literature searching skills or strategies. Never fear! There are a lot of resources available to help you. Your best resource is your university library. Librarians are trained to help students and faculty become competent users of the research tools available to them. They can also help you define a reasonable scope and strategy for conducting your literature search or writing a literature review.
In addition to the librarians in your university library, there are also online tutorials and guidelines for doing a literature search or writing a literature review. Here are a few useful resources.
Online Resources for Conducting a Literature Search
- Library Research: Finding Primary Sources is an extensive guide from the University of California at Berkeley that explains what primary sources are and how to search for them in the library and special collections.
- The Literature Review: A Few Tips On Conducting It from the University of Toronto, describes a literature review and lists questions to ask when searching the literature of your discipline.
- Research and Documentation Online by Diana Hacker, provides information on finding and documenting sources in the Humanities, Social Sciences, History, and the Sciences. It also includes tips for evaluating sources and a list of style manuals for different disciplines.
- Using Primary Sources on the Web from the Reference and User Sevices Association, a division of the American Library Association, describes the range of primary resources, lists sites on the Web that offer or link to primary resources, and provides in-depth help on evaluating primary sources located on the Web.
- ACRL Primo: Peer Reviewed Instructional Materials.Online Site of the Month provides a list of exemplary online instructional sites.