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Literature Review

Learn the basics of preparing a literature review.

Sources for Literature Review Items

Sources for a Literature Review will come from a variety of places, including:

•Books
Use the
Library Catalog to see what items McDermott Library has on your topic or if McDermott Library has a specific source you need. The WorldCat database allows you to search the catalogs on many, many libraries. WorldCat is a good place to find out what books exist on your topic.

•Reference Materials
Reference Materials such as encyclopedias and dictionaries provide good overall views of topics and provide keyword hints for searching. Many will include lists of sources to consider for your literature review.

•Journals via Electronic Databases
Journals are a major source of materials for a literature review. With the library's databases, you can search thousands of journals back a century or more.   

•Conference Papers
At conferences, professionals and scholars explore the latest trends, share new ideas, and present new research. Searching Conference papers allows you to see research before it is published and get a feel for what is going on in a particular organization or within a particular group. 

Many electronic databases include conference proceedings, but with ProceedingsFirst database, you can search proceedings alone. 

•Dissertations & Theses
The major index for Dissertations and Theses is Dissertations Abstracts. McDermott Library's version of Dissertations Abstracts is

Dissertations and Theses Full-Text and includes some full-text of Ph.D. dissertations.  

•Internet
The general internet can be a valuable resource for information. However, it is largely unregulated. Be sure to critically evaluate internet sources. Look at the Evaluating Websites LibGuide for suggestions on evaluating websites.

•Government Publications
The U.S. government produces a wide variety of information sources, from consumer brochures to congressional reports to large amounts of data to longitudinal studies. For the United States, firstgov and fedstats are good places to start. Official state websites can be helpful for individual state statistics and information.