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How to do a literature review? Geography 361– Fall 2009.

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Presentation on theme: "How to do a literature review? Geography 361– Fall 2009."— Presentation transcript:

1 How to do a literature review? Geography 361– Fall 2009

2 Contents of the presentation Creating an efficient search strategy Finding books Finding journal articles A word about bibliographies and citations

3 Creating an efficient search strategy Some help guides: How to find articles? Other “How to guides” We even have video tutorials! The research guide for geography The research guide for geography

4 Creating a search strategy step by step 1. Get familiar with your topic: a.Use dictionaries and encyclopedias to understanding the main concepts and theories in the area b.Define a research question that is not too broad and is realistic. Discuss it with your professor!

5 Creating a search strategy step by step 2. Identify your main search keywords a)Each important concept or aspect of your research should have its keyword b)Find synonyms or related terms for each keyword

6 Boolean operators: AND

7 Boolean operators: OR

8 Create a search “equation” Concept 1 RiverLakeStream Concept 2 PollutionContamination Concept 3 QuebecEstrieLaurentians AND OR

9 Finding books Books can be located through CLUES, the library catalogue Books address broad topics Useful to acquire theory or methodology


11 CLUES. Points to remember Take note of call number and location Learn how to use subject headings Start with a broad search and refine it when needed

12 How to find articles Articles appear in several types of periodicals. Can you name a few? ◦ Newpapers ◦ Magazines ◦ Trade or association journals ◦ Peer-reviewed or academic journals

13 Scholarly journal articles Peer-reviewed are also called scientific, academic or scholarly Articles are sent to a number of academic reviewers (peers) These articles address very specific topics Most present research results They have lengthy reference lists They make multiple citations Sometimes use footnotes

14 Bibliographic databases You will not find articles in CLUES! They are specialized tools geared at finding articles Peer-reviewed articles are rarely available for free online…

15 How to choose a database Some databases cover (nearly) all disciplines: Academic Search Premier Most databases are subject-specific You can use the database finder to identify DB relevant to your field Or drop by the reference desk!

16 Selected databases for geography All aspects of geography ◦ Geobase ◦ Academic Search Premier ◦ ProQuest Dissertations & Theses --Fulltext Physical geography and environmental sciences ◦ Biosis Previews (biology-related fields) ◦ GreenFILE (environmental sciences) ◦ Web of Science (S. Science Citation Abstracts/Science Citation Abstracts) ◦ SciFinder Scholar (chemistry and related fields) ◦ Compendex (environmental engineering) Human geography and urban planning ◦ Sociological abstracts (useful for survey-based research) ◦ Social Sciences Index

17 What about Google Scholar? Good content in the scientific fields Not so good for social sciences Search functions are limited compared to databases You can turn on the “Find it @ Concordia” feature


19 How to retrieve the fulltext of the article? Method 1: Will bring you to the required article immediately Easiest method but… Does not always work! Method 2: Journal title search in CLUES 1. Copy the journal title, not the article title! 2. Open a CLUES window and choose the Journal Title tab 3. Paste the title in the top search box 4. Choose one of the records (one for print format; one for electronic format) 5. If you get “No matches found”, try the search box that says Electronic Journals only

20 From a citation to the fulltext… Example: Kelley, J., De Graaf, N. (1997): National context, parental socialization, and religious belief: results from 15 nations. Amer. Sociological Rev. 62: 639-659. 1. Find the complete journal title: a.Caltech Library Services links to ISI (Web of Science) Journal Title Abbreviation ListJournal Title Abbreviation List b.All that JAS is a good online directory of journal title abbreviation listsAll that JAS c.Can’t find it? Consult Periodical Title Abbreviations at the reference desk 2. Type in American Sociological Review in CLUES (journal title search) 3. Choose the record for “electronic resource” 4. Connect to the fulltext (make sure to choose the appropriate date range)

21 Bibliographies and citations You need to make appropriate quotations and citations in your papers Failure to do this may be considered plagiarism Choose a citation style (APA, MLA, Chicago, etc.) and stick to itcitation style

22 Bibliographies and citations Ref Works is a bibliographic management tool that can help you with making proper citations and creating bibliographies Want to learn more about this? ◦ Attend a workshop on RefWorksworkshop on RefWorks ◦ Consult the help guides and tutorialshelp guides

23 Identifying key journals in a field What are the most important journals in geography? a) It depends on your sub-field b) There are tools (databases) that present objective criteria (impact factor, half-life, etc.) Example: Journal Citation Report c) Ask a subject-specialist!

24 JCR Demo


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