Libraryresearchskillscie1001 091028001838-phpapp02


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Libraryresearchskillscie1001 091028001838-phpapp02

  1. 1. Presented by Monique Flaccavento OISE Library October 28, 2009
  2. 2.  What is a literature review? What is its purpose?  How does a literature review differ from an academic research paper?  Steps in the research process
  3. 3.  Finding relevant literature  Writing your literature review
  4. 4. “an account of what has been published on a topic by accredited scholars and researchers” Dena Taylor, Health Sciences Writing Centre, University of Toronto review
  5. 5. “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 review
  6. 6. “[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
  7. 7. “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
  8. 8. “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
  9. 9. The literature review helps a researcher identify gaps in a body of knowledge worthy of further research.
  10. 10. 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
  11. 11. “the main focus of an academic research paper is to support your own argument” The Writing Centre University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  12. 12. “the focus of a literature review is to summarize and synthesize the arguments and ideas of others.” The Writing Centre University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  13. 13. 1. Identify your topic. Formulate a clear research question. 2. Identify keywords and descriptors or subject headings. 3. Make a list of the catalogues, databases / indexes, and websites you plan to search.
  14. 14. 4. Search:  library catalogues (for books, encyclopaedias, reports, journals, theses, etc.)  article databases available through UTL (such as ERIC, PsycInfo, PAIS International, Source OECD); Data Library site
  15. 15.  Theses (catalogue, T-Space, Dissertations and Theses: Full-Text, AMICUS (LAC)) CIDEC R&D Database (  Google Scholar  Websites – Government, United Nations organizations, etc.
  16. 16. 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.
  17. 17. Who is the author? Is he / she a respected and / or well-cited scholar in the field? Has the article / study been published in a scholarly / academic / peer-reviewed journal? Has the book been published by a reputable publisher?
  18. 18. 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?
  19. 19. Consider using a citation index (Scopus or Web of Knowledge) or Google Scholar to help you determine which articles are seminal works in your field. Remember, though, that this is not the only criteria which should be used to measure an article’s “worth”.
  20. 20.  Check your course outline for a list of well-respected CIDE 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
  21. 21. Try not to exclude articles which are contrary to your point of view.
  22. 22. 7. Revise your topic. You may need to broaden or narrow the scope of your research problem, and refine your keywords / descriptors / subject headings 8. Survey the literature: summarize the most relevant articles / research
  23. 23. 9. Create a “literature map”. Group or organize the literature hierarchically, by theme / by important concepts / etc. 10. Synthesize the literature. Ask yourself what is known about this issue, what major themes have emerged in the literature, and what gaps remain in the body of knowledge.
  24. 24. A clear, concise guide is available online: The guide includes suggestions regarding what should be included in the introduction, the body, and the conclusion of your literature review.
  25. 25. 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). 1 copy of this book is available on short term loan at the OISE Library (Available at the Circulation Desk).
  26. 26. In person:at the Reference Desk By phone: 416-978-1860 By email: Via live chat: askON Or, book an in-depth reference consultation…
  27. 27. Monique Flaccavento 416-978-1867