Conducting a comprehensive literature review for a dissertation, thesis, or large-scale research project can be an arduous and overwhelming task. At the library, we receive a number of common questions about this process:
What databases should I search? Have I located all the influential studies relevant to my topic? What about the less-influential studies? Is it possible I’m missing an obscure article from an unknown journal that will completely alter the course of my research?
In other words, have I found everything?
While literature searches inevitably involve a certain amount of, well, uncertainty, we’ve put together a new research guide to help you strategize, organize, and, perhaps most importantly, stay in the good graces of a perpetually grumpy dissertation director.
Our guide suggests key library resources (as well as Google Scholar, which can be especially useful for interdisciplinary research), offers helpful search tips (do you know how to tell who has been citing your favorite article?), and lists some options for managing the search process (EndNote! EndNote! EndNote!). All of this stuff can make your life easier and your research more enjoyable and productive. Seriously.
But what about that lingering question: have you found absolutely everything of relevance? Given that new potential sources are being published by the minute (or faster) in a rapidly expanding information universe, it’s always possible to miss something. However, you can alleviate your anxiety by considering the following questions:
- Have I searched all the major databases relevant to my area of interest?
- Am I seeing the same authors/sources over and over again?
- Have I checked through the bibliographies/references of the sources I’ve found?
- Am I keeping track of new publications through database/journal alerts and regular communication with other researchers?
- Have I talked to a librarian?
It might seem a little self-serving (sorry!), but that last questions is especially important. Librarians at UofL are more than happy to meet with researchers in any discipline to discuss resources and strategies. It’s not just our job—we love research! You can request an appointment with a librarian on at Ask a Librarian. Good luck with the search!
Have you ever searched on Google Scholar and found citations that would be useful additions to the References in your EndNote Library? Well, citations from Google Scholar can be imported into EndNote. Just follow the screenshot of steps below to see how.
1. Go to Google Scholar. On the top right corner click the Options icon (the round cog next to Sign in) and select Scholar Preferences.
2. The Preferences page gives you a variety of options to set including, Finding a Library. At the bottom under the heading Bibliography Manager, select EndNote in the drop down list. Click Save Preferences on the right. Doing this will enable the import links to be shown within each record.
3. Perform a search. Each record now contains an “Import into EndNote” link located below the abstract. Click on that link for each citation needed and the citation will be imported directly into your EndNote Library.
4. Remember: If you’re using the Internet Explorer browser a File Download box will appear. From there, click open.
If using the FireFox browser, a similar box will appear. In the open with drop down list, select EndNote (whichever version of EndNote is currently installed on your computer will be listed).
Interested in learning more about the EndNote Citation Management software? Visit the Beginning EndNote guide here. Information about workshops in the UofL Libraries and how to download the software (which is free for UofL faculty, students and staff) is included.
If you have questions about this process call the Reference Desk at (502) 852-6747.
Now you can explore Louisville’s history through your phone! With this new feature you can access every image from the University of Louisville Photographic Archives that has been pinned to the Historypin Google map through your smart phone, as well as:
- Explore content nearest to your current location
- Explore the streets – holding your phone up to the street, the app uses your camera view to display nearby images. By selecting the image, it can be overlaid onto the modern view to create an historical comparison, which you can toggle or fade between.
- Capture a modern moment of history – images taken with the app are immediately pinned to the Historypin map, with any captions and stories you add. Images can also be added from your phone’s albums.
- Digitize an old photo – take photos of old pictures as an easy alternative to scanning them, then add photo details and pin them directly to the Historypin map.
- Take modern equivalents of old classics – when exploring historic content, you can snap exact contemporary replicas
- Shake history up – a simple shake of the app brings up a random piece of content from anywhere in the world
Ready to create custom groups and cite while you write in Microsoft Word? EndNote users who want to learn additional features are encouraged to attend an intermediate EndNote session in Room W102, Ekstrom Library, June 15, 10 a.m.-11 a.m., with an optional 30 minutes for practice and questions immediately following the session.
American Song is a history database that allows people to hear and feel the music from America’s past. Songs by and about American Indians, miners, immigrants, slaves, anti-war protests, the Civil War, and more are included.
Do you need a better method for organizing your bibliographic citations? EndNote can help! This first workshop will show you such things as, how to create manual references and exporting citations from a database into EndNote.
Classes are limited to 10 people. Click here to register for any of the sessions.
Visit our EndNote LibGuide or call the Ekstrom Library Reference Desk at 852-6747 for more information.