Literature Reviews: what undergraduates and graduate students need to know
The narrower the topic the easier it will be to limit the number of sources you need to read.
A Literature Review is a select list of available resources covering the topic in question accompanied by a short description AND a critical comparative evaluation/analysis of the works included http://www.library.arizona.edu/help/tutorials/litreviews/whatis.html
Major points to consider
Questions to ask
Literature: a collection of materials on your topic. (does not mean “literature” in the sense of “language and literature” To Kill a Mockingbird, Jane Eyre.) --means understanding the difference between primary, secondary and tertiary literature Primary—peer reviewed, scholarly, original, review articles--secondary
Review: re view “re”—to look again at what has been written. (does not mean giving your personal opinion or whether or not you liked the sources.) Research: re search –to search again.
What is the purpose of a Literature Review? Why do people develop them?
How is a Literature Review organized? How do I do a Literature Review?
Do not use materials from the Internet unless it is a professional, peer reviewed scientific journal. Ask a librarian or your professor to be sure if items from the Internet are valid and meet scholarly criteria if you have questions or doubts.
What do Librarians have to do with it? Librarians are available for assistance:
Goals for this session are:
Discuss and expand knowledge of literature reviews: what they are, their purpose, and how finding a literature review will help further your research.
Where to find information. Understanding the tools that are available to you for EXS 450. What are the most useful sources? How to use the tools most effectively. Advanced search strategies:
Further practice in Boolean searching and Subject Searching. Exploration in PubMed/Medline and Sport Discus databases. Practice searching.
What is a DOI and how are ways to search?
There are several things to consider when looking at a subject database: Scope, Access, Content, Authorship/Editorial Control, Indexing and Organization, and Reliability. Here is a table that compares Google, Google Scholar and generic subject databases (such as Sport Discus, PubMed/Medline.
I have a handout to provide in class that examines each of these features.