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Writing a Literature Review  

This tutorial provides an overview of the literature review process.
Last Updated: Aug 1, 2014 URL: http://libguides.athabascau.ca/literaturereview Print Guide RSS Updates

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Research Tip

Once you have conducted a search in most journal databases, you can simply click on the Subject Heading assigned to the article. It will take you to a list of all the other articles in the database with that subject heading.

 

Resources

The section below will discuss different types of resources which may be useful to search, and will provide search tips.

Library Catalogues

AU Library’s catalogue is called AUCAT and can be found on the Library’s homepage or by clicking this link. Our library catalogue contains records for approximately 150,000 printed items, and more than150,000 e-books. To learn how to search AUCAT, follow this link and take the tutorial. The tutorial will also demonstrate how to request items that you locate in the library catalogue.

Journal Databases

AU Library provides access to more than 200 journal databases, many of which provide full text access to articles and other resources. To facilitate locating appropriate databases, the databases have been broken into subject categories which match areas of the AU curriculum. Databases which contain full text articles are identified with either a green “full text” icon, or a blue “some full text” icon. Those that are not identified with one of these icons typically provide only citations and abstracts. It can be useful to search these databases as well, because they may contain citations for articles not located elsewhere. If you find a citation for an article that you are interested in, but are unable to locate the full text, use the Journal Title List to see if we have full text of the article in one of our other databases. To learn how to search the Journal Title list, take the tutorial.

In addition to allowing you to find a specific article, the Journal Title List can be useful if you are not sure of which database to start your search in. To locate journals by subject click on the down arrow next to “Please Select a Subject Category” and click Search. Browsing the journals by subject can help you identify which databases contain full text in your subject area.

Internet Searching

Depending on what type of information you are trying to find, you may end up searching the Internet. If you are looking for scholarly information on the Internet, you may find Google Scholar to be useful. Google Scholar can be set up to search some of AU Library’s databases and instructions on setting your Scholar Preferences to search these databases can be found on our Internet Search Engines page.

 

Research Tip

Many fields in library catalogue records are linked. If you find a book that is relevant to your topic, click on the author's last name to see what else the author has written on your topic.

 

Types of Databases

There are two strategies to researching a topic in a journal database:

  • Searching Full Text databases
  • Searching Citation/Abstract databases

Why search a Full Text database?

  • Can provide quick access to articles
  • Many include both scholarly and non-scholarly sources

Why search a Citation/Abstract database?

  • Can be useful to flesh out alternate sources on a topic that are either not available in full text through AU, or are not available online.

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