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Chapter 4

SOC221H5 Chapter 4: Ch. 4 SOC221.doc

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Ivanka Knezevic

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Literature Review: a systematic examination of previously published studies on a
research question, issue, or method that a research undertakes and integrates together to
prepare for conducting a study or to bring together and summarize the ‘state of the field’
How to Find Research Literature?
Books, Periodicals, Dissertations, Government Documents or Policy Reports
Books: best place to search in the beginning is the electronic catalogue- searching for
scholarly journals, searching catalogue by key words
-Two types of books contain collections of articles or research reports. The first is
teaching purposes (books with research reports). The second is designed for
scholars and may gather journal articles or contains original research/theoretical
essays on specific topic
-Table of contents lists authors and titles
Periodicals: Peer-reviewed, empirical research findings appear in a complete form only
in the scholarly academic journals, although articles in the other types occasionally talk
about findings published elsewhere
-Some periodicals are specialized; only book reviews that provide commentary and
evaluations on a book
-Publications specializing in literature reviews can be helpful if an article was
recently published on a specific topic- many others have a mix of articles that
include literature reviews, book reviews, reports, research studies, theoretical
essays, etc.
-One needs to develop a judgment or ask experienced researchers or professional
-Use library social science database that will search several journal titles by a list
of keywords that you specify and this includes sociological abstracts, etc. (can
narrow research to limit the amount of articles found, such as by the decade
through the advanced search option)
-Not all schools have access to articles because they are expensive to subscribe to
-“Pay walls” are preventing from reading specific articles block behind these pay
walls, where they cannot afford the cost to access the research
-Now focusing on removing paying fees on articles to make it equal for everyone
(widen the research area)
-Easier to identify quantitative studies because they usually have methods or data
selection and charts, statistical formulas, and tables of numbers
-Qualitative are more difficult to find, and many students confuse them with
theoretical essays, literature review essays, idea-discussion essays, policy
recommendations, book reviews and legal case analyses
-Journals are assigned a date, volume number and issue number
Citation: details of a scholarly journal articles location that help people find it quickly
Abstract: two meanings- a short summary of a scholarly journal article that usually
appears at its beginning, and a reference tool for locating scholarly journal articles
Meta-analysis: a quantitative over view of existing evidence on a particular topic
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