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Literature Review: Library Guides

Grad Rebel Writing Boot Camp, 3/2/24


Subject specialist librarians provide support for students doing advanced research.  They are eager to work with you by phone, via email, or in person.

To schedule an appointment for a consultation, use this page to find a convenient time to talk.


Citing sources and creating bibliographies

Check out this guide for the basics of citation in the most commonly used styles (MLA, APA, and Chicago).

Your subject specialist librarian is an invaluable source of help for tricky citations (unusual formats, citation elements missing, understanding DOI's, etc.).

We also have online guides for popular citation managers:

Other guides with lit review advice

Scholarly Communications And Data Services

Advice and Handbooks

Databases to search for models

Published review essays and annotated bibliographies

To map out research in a discipline or identify work that other scholars claim is significant, look for a published review essay.  These might be in handbooks or companions, in certain specialized disciplinary encyclopedias, or they might turn up as journal articles. 

Think of these essays as maps to help you navigate existing scholarship. They will reflect the interests and values of their creators but they'll also help orient you to important trends or schools of thought. You can adapt or challenge their organizational schemes and assumptions! 

Subject guides

Subject Guides

Check the main guide for your discipline to identify the most comprehensive index of current scholarship. 

Searching forward and backward

Most disciplinary databases have links to connect you to related articles: 

  • Cited References = links to articles in the bibliography of the selected article (searching backward for older scholarship)
  • Times Cited  = links to articles that have the selected article in their bibliography (searching forward for more recent work)

AI experiments

These experimental tools allow you to try them out for free but paid personal subscriptions are required for continued access. 

Most of these tools draw from the Semantic Scholar project and apply AI techniques to summarize and sort scholarly journal articles. Some allow you to upload articles from other sources. Disciplinary databases are currently more complete and up to date than the Semantic Scholar dataset.

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