Conducting a literature search


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Conducting a literature search

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