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Conducting a literature search
 

Conducting a literature search

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Conducting a literature search Conducting a literature search Presentation Transcript

  • Conducting a Literature Review
    Monique Flaccavento
    OISE Library
  • Agenda
    Part I
    Concept of a literature review
    Developing a research plan
  • Agenda
    Part II
    The mechanics of searching
  • What is a literature review?
    “an account of what has been published on a topic by accredited scholars and researchers”
    Dena Taylor,
    Health Sciences Writing Centre,
    University of Toronto
    http://www.writing.utoronto.ca/advice/specific-types-of-writing/literature-review
  • What is a literature review?
    “A review is a required part of grant and research proposals and often a chapter in theses and dissertations.”
    The Writing Centre,
    University of Wisconsin-Madison
    http://writing.wisc.edu/Handbook/ReviewofLiterature.html
  • What is a literature review?
    “[It] may be a self-contained unit -- an end in itself -- or a preface to and rationale for engaging in primary research.”
    The Writing Centre,
    University of Wisconsin-Madison
    http://writing.wisc.edu/Handbook/ReviewofLiterature.html
  • What is a literature review?
    “a piece of discursive prose, not a list describing or summarizing one piece of literature after another”
    Dena Taylor,
    Health Sciences Writing Centre,
    University of Toronto
    http://www.writing.utoronto.ca/advice/specific-types-of-writing/literature-review
  • What is its purpose?
    “Generally, the purpose of a review is to analyze critically a segment of a published body of knowledge through summary, classification, and comparison of prior research studies, reviews of literature, and theoretical articles.”
    The Writing Centre,
    University of Wisconsin-Madison
    http://writing.wisc.edu/Handbook/ReviewofLiterature.html
  • What is its purpose?
    The literature review helps a researcher identify gaps in a body of knowledge
    worthy of further research.
  • How does it differ from an essay?
    “the main focus of an academic research paper is to support your own argument”…
    The Writing Centre
    University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
    http://www.unc.edu/depts/wcweb/handouts/literature_review.html
  • How does it differ from an essay?
    The literature review:
    “summarizes and evaluates existing knowledge on a particular topic. Its purpose is to produce a position on the state of that knowledge; this is the thesis”
    Machi, Lawrence A. & Brenda T. McEvoy. (2009).
    The Literature review: Six steps to success.
    Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin, p. 2
  • The Research Process
    Identify your topic. Formulate a clear research question.
    Identify keyword and descriptors / subject headings.
    Make a list of the catalogues, databases, and websites you plan to search.
  • The Research Process
    4. Search:
    library catalogue http://www.library.utoronto.ca/oise (for books, encyclopaedias, reports, journals, theses, etc.)
    article databases available through UTL (such as ERIC, PsycInfo, PAIS International)
  • The Research Process
    Theses (catalogue, T-Space, Dissertations and Theses: Full-Text, AMICUS (LAC))
    CIDEC R&D Database (http://cide.oise.utoronto.ca/database.php)
    SourceOECD (http://simplelink.library.utoronto.ca/url.cfm/76256)
  • The Research Process
    Google Scholar
    Websites – Government, United Nations organizations, etc.
  • The Research Process
    5. Refine, focus, or expand your topic as well as your keywords and descriptors.
    6. Scan the literature and critically appraise sources to determine which are the most relevant to your research.
    7. Revise / refine your topic.
  • Catalogue Searches
    http://www.library.utoronto.ca/oise
  • Ask Questions
    Who is the author? Is he / she a respected and / or well-cited scholar in the field?
    Use a citation index such as Scopus, Web of Knowledge, or even Google Scholar to help you determine which articles are seminal works in your field.
  • Ask Questions
    Is the author of the website a reputable organization / individual? How current is the information? When was it last updated?
    Are the research methods employed sound?
    Is there bias in the article?
  • Ask Questions
    Has the article / study been published in a scholarly / academic / peer-reviewed journal?
    Has the book been published by a reputable publisher?
  • Tips
    Check your course outline for a list of well-respected journals
    Search Ulrich’s Periodicals Directory to determine if a journal is scholarly (“refereed”)
    Some databases allow you to limit your searches to peer-reviewed / scholarly articles
  • Try not to exclude articles which are contrary to your point of view.
  • Literature searches are often interdisciplinary, and should not be limited to current research on a topic.
  • Catalogue Searches
    Vandra Masemann (author)
    woman
    colour
    language education; policy (within results); Europe (geographical limit)
  • Catalogue Searches
    citizen* educat*
    Economics of Education vs. “Economics of Education” (journal)
    women thesis
  • Catalogue Searches
    Advanced search:
    ("teacher education" or "teacher training" or "preservice teachers") and (india or bangladesh or pakistan)
  • Article Finder
    “Comparative and International Education: A Journey toward Equality and Equity”
    Stromquist, Nelly P.
    Harvard Educational Review
    2005, Vol. 75, Issue 1, pp. 89 --
  • Sample Topic:
    Student success initiatives in inner-city schools in Toronto and London, UK
  • Another excellent resource is:
    Machi, Lawrence A. & Brenda T. McEvoy. (2009). The Literature review: Six steps to success. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.
    (call number 001.4 M149L).
  • We’re here to help!
    In person: at the Reference Desk
    By phone: 416-978-1860
    By email: askeloise@oise.utoronto.ca
    Via live chat: askON
    Or, book an in-depth reference consultation…
  • Or, book an in-depth consultation…
    Monique Flaccavento
    416-978-1867
    monique.flaccavento@utoronto.ca
  • Questions?
  • Thank you!