How do I conduct a literature search?
It is not about finding everything that relates to your research. It is about your ability to strategically search databases for scholarly / academic materials in an efficient and effective manner, which allows you to retrieve only the most relevant materials. Below is a list of materials and strategies, which you may wish to use when starting the search process. This is a starting point! Always remember that expert help is always available at the library. Click here for Librarian contact information. Click here for a guide.
Begin by planning out which resources you should consult. Think about the following:
- Databases (Scroll Down)
- Theses and Dissertations (Scroll down)
- Data and Statistics
- Concept Mapping
Begin by identifying the databases you wish to consult. Our databases are organized by subject and alphabetically. One approach is to begin by identifying the subjects or disciplines, which are related or might inform your area of research. You are identifying them from the list of subjects on the indexes and databases page.
Example: Area of research is SOCIAL WORK
After you have identified the subjects that are related to your area of research, explore each of the databases associate with the subject. Keep a list of the databases you think are relevant. Here is what a potential list might look like:
Once you have your list, begin searching the databases, one by one, confident that you are accessing the appropriate amount of literature.
SEARCHING FOR THESES AND DISSERTATIONS:
Looking at published theses and dissertations can be very helpful. Look over the work of your peers to see:
What a literature review looks like (How to construct it)
What is expected of you
What research your peers consulted
Here is a list of databases containing theses and dissertations:
UNBC Theses and Dissertations and Projects and Reports
For additional information, click here