This library guide has been designed as a self-guided workshop on library and research skills.
Please read through the guide carefully. My goal has been to address some common questions I’ve heard from students working on literature reviews:
1. What do I need to look for?
2. Where should I search?
3. How can I make sure that I’m finding everything I need?
4. How can I search more efficiently?
5. How do I organize the materials I find?
The first part of any information search is to analyse your research topic. The section on Concepts and Keyword Searching shows how to break a topic into separate concepts, find keywords to describe the concepts, and translate the keywords into language recognized by a database. It includes a worksheet to help you with this process.
The Research Roadmap gives an overview of the information searching process, as well as some advice.
Reference works such as encyclopedias are useful for gaining background information and defining terms. Finding Books has links to relevant ebook collections, as well as information about the library’s main catalogue/search engine, Omni.
Although Google Scholar is a useful resource, especially with its “cited by” feature for individual articles, library databases have much more detailed filtering and sorting systems. Finding Articles and Reports has links to relevant databases, as well as a worksheet to help you compare the searches and results from each database. I’ve also included a link to theses databases, since very recent theses may not yet be published as articles in scholarly journals, and the Queen’s theses repository contains Kingston-‐specific research.
Government information, such as municipal reports, the Kingston Official Plan, statistics, geospatial data and maps, will be needed for your literature review, so there are several sections of the guide dedicated to this material. You may also need to check local News reporting for recent Kingston changes.
What if you find a publication that you need, and Queen’s Library doesn’t have access to it? Check the Interlibrary Loan section. It has instructions for using this free service to order materials.
Consider using a citation manager. These programs allow you to collect citations as you search, build your own library, and usually have a Word plug-‐in so you can easily generate a reference list and in-‐text citations as you write your literature review. If you don’t already use a citation manager, there’s a link to the library’s Zotero guide. Zotero allows you to create group accounts, so your team can create a single, shared citation library.
Lastly, subject librarians are available for questions and consultations by phone or email at any point in the research process.
For this self-guided workshop:
• Read through the entire guide.
• Complete Worksheets 1 and 2. Read the Worksheet 1 example for clarification.
• Examine Zotero (see the Self-‐Guided Zotero Tutorial).
• Send any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.