Sometimes,the issue in information-seeking isn't scarcity of material but overabundance. How do you know what to read? Which voices have been most important to the scholarly conversation or set a new direction in research?
An OBO entry might solve the problem. Compiled by experts in a field, each OBO entry is curated reading list annotated reading list of influential studies on a broad topic, with some annotation and evaluation.
Literature reviews are among the scholar's stock in trade, They not only summarize discoveries, findings, and trends in research, but also evaluate and contextualize that research. Usually they will identify the still-unanswered questions, describe contested areas of knowledge, and suggest new directions or perspectives that the research should take.
1. The Literature Review as Stand-Alone Essay
The best known example of this types is probably the Annual Reviews series. Since 1932, it has published authoritative syntheses of research undertaken in 46 academic fields, including political science, sociology, anthropology, and law. Essays always center on an important topic/area of investigation or study, survey what's known, what's settled, what's contested, and what should come next.
2. The Embedded Literature Review
A literature review, even when it's not specifically called out as such, may be hiding in plain sight. Examples:
- The introductory chapter of a monograph (single-authored book) or essay collection will often review scholarship that has come before and influenced the present discussion in some way. <
- A recent dissertation can be a gold mine for an extended literature review. Try our ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Global database.
- A handbook or companion on your topic (or the nearest equivalent to your topic). Oxford Handbooks Online and Cambridge Companions are two famous and well-respected examples of this genre, but there are other good publishing houses producing handbooks, too. Sometimes, just adding the keyword handbook (or companion) to a HOLLIS search will surface one or more titles you can examine.
3. Historiography: the literature review in special disciplinary terms
This is the term of art, in history and its subfields, for what is essentially a literature review -- a study of how historians, over time, have approached a particular question, phenomenon, event, etc. Sometimes adding the keyword historiography (or historiograph* )to a search in HOLLIS, Google Scholar, or one of our library databases will help surface an essay of this type.
The ultimate methods library, it has more than 1000 books, reference works, journal articles, case studies, and instructional videos by world-leading academics from across the social sciences. It also boasts the largest collection of qualitative methods books available online from any scholarly publisher.
Users can browse content by topic, discipline, or format type (reference works, book chapters, definitions, etc.). SRM offers several research tools as well: a methods map; user- created readng lists; a project planner' and advice on choosing statistical tests.