- From concept to completion : a dissertation-writing guide for history students (print only)
- Research literacies and writing pedagogies for masters and doctoral writers
- The SAGE handbook of digital dissertations and theses
Literature Review Guides
- Conducting a Literature Review web guide
- The literature review : a step-by-step guide for students
What are the purposes of a literature review?
- situate your work in its discipline/area/subfield
- develop an understanding of how knowledge in your discipline/field/area has changed over time
- develop mastery of what's known in your area, and part of the larger discipline that contains it
- compare different conceptual or sub-disciplinary approaches to your topic
- compare and contrast different theoretical schools or leading researchers in your area
- Tip: Keep Track of your searches
Theses and Dissertations Databases
- Dissertations and Theses Global - Discover dissertations and theses published by educational institutions from around the world, from 1743 to the present (some full text available from 1997 - present)
- Foreign Doctoral Dissertations - 700,000 doctoral dissertations from outside the U.S. and Canada
- View the full list of our Theses and Dissertations Databases
Consider other forms of published literature
To find journal articles, you have three options:
1. Search Omni library's main search box to find books, journal articles, newspaper articles, videos, and many other types of published literature. Omni searches almost all of our collections and databases, simultaneously. For help, consult How to find Articles in Omni or the use the Omni Search Tips guide.
2. Search Databases
3. Search Google Scholar
Most researchers regularly search Google Scholar because it is convenient, but please remember to always connect to it via the Carleton Library. It searches information on the web and provides links to full-text articles to which the Carleton Library subscribes, or to articles made freely available by publishers.
Searching for primary sources on Omni
Search your topic (or historical person of interest) using Omni the library's main search box to find primary sources (or reproductions) in our collection.
Keyword searches that include the following terms will identify primary materials most of the time: diaries or diary, correspondence, letters, memoir, personal narratives, recollections, reminiscences, journal, sources.
- Search example: nurses AND war AND diar*
Other search tips:
- Use the bibliographies and footnotes of theses and secondary sources on your topic to help identify primary source material.
- Useful e-book: History Beyond the Text: a student's guide to approaching alternative sources
- Search CURVE to view completed theses and dissertations, arranged by faculty.
- Original documents can also be found by searching our archival collections or by contacting the Archives and Special Collections, please ask the ASC staff for help. The library has many microform collections of primary sources as well so please ask for help.
Historical Newspaper Databases
- Historical Archives of newspaper Databases
- Archives and Primary Sources Databases @ Carleton
- Useful book: Historical research using British newspapers (print only)
Archives on the web
- Archives of Ontario
- Digital Public Library of America
- Internet Archive
- Hathi Trust Digital Library
- Library and Archives Canada - Services and Programs
- Library of Congress Digital Collections
- National Archives (UK)
- Center for Research Libraries (CRL) - Carleton University Library is a member of the CRL consortium. It regularly acquires and preserves newspapers, journals, documents, archives, and other traditional and digital resources for research and teaching and makes them available to member institutions.
Citing Primary Sources
Sage Research Methods database is designed to support researchers with writing a research question, choosing a method, gathering and analyzing data, to and writing up & publishing the findings.
- Tip: Browse by discipline, look for 'History' to find a number of handbooks and case studies.
- Graduate study for the twenty-first century
- Research methods for history
- The information-literate historian : a guide to research for history students (print only)
- The Routledge companion to historical studies
- Getting published in the humanities: what to know, where to aim, how to succeed
- Write it up : practical strategies for writing and publishing journal articles
- Writing for Publication (online modules)
- Scholarly Communications
- Copyright at Carleton
- CURVE is Carleton's institutional repository which collects, preserves and provides open access to the academic research output and creative works of Carleton faculty and scholars.
- Research Professional - a database of funding opportunities covering all disciplines.
Journal-level metrics (bibliometrics) is used to measure the impact of a journal as a whole. They can also be used for:
- preparing your portfolio
- assessing the impact and quality of a journal relative to a particular discipline or field through ranking
- tenure and promotion in academia
- publication venue choices
- collection building and assessment
For more information, consult: Measuring your research impact
- Thesis & Dissertations Requirements (at Carleton University)
Developing a good search strategy is important
The key to becoming a savvy online researcher is to use common search techniques that you can apply to almost any database, including journal article databases, online catalogues, and commercial search engines. Database searching is different from Google because they do not support natural language searching. You must be precise in the words that you select.
Answer the following questions:
- what is the main topic your research?
- who has an interest in that topic?
- what other language might they be using to talk about that topic? is it spelled differently?
- when was it relevant? or is it a new idea, or a long standing issue?
- what other factors play into your topic? geography, government policy, other stakeholders, etc.
Step 1: Write out your topic in sentence or question form
Step 2: Break your topic sentence up into main ideas or keywords
Step 3: Think of synonyms or alternate words to describe each concept Tip: Use a thesaurus to find alternate words.
Step 4: Add 'Boolean operators' and truncation or wildcards to create better search statements
- Use AND to limit or narrow your search to results that mention all of your keywords
- Use OR in between synonyms to broaden your search, (OR terms must be placed within brackets)
- Use NOT to exclude a word, ie: cloning NOT sheep
- Use truncation to replace various endings on words. Place an asterisk on the end of a root word: (sun* = suns, sunshine, sunny, sunlight. Truncation symbols may vary by database; common symbols include *, !, ?, #
- Use wildcards symbols to substitute one letter of a word: (wom?n - woman, women) (col!r = color, colour)
Step 5: Consider Key Phrase searching
Some databases search each word separately. To ensure that your words are evaluated as a key phrase, enclose them in double quotation marks: "First Nations"
TIP: Check the 'About' or 'HELP' pages for each Database to ensure you are using the correct Boolean operators and navigation tools for that database.
Step 6: Evaluate your results
When your are searching a database and not getting the results you expect, Ask a Librarian for help.
Cited Reference Searching
Why is this important? It is most often used for finding articles that cite a particular work. Many databases provide citation counts for individual articles.
- Keeping track of who has cited a given work can help you gauge the impact that article has in the discipline.
- To find citation counts for history, use Historical Abstracts or America, History and Life. You can also search Web of Science, or Scopus
- If the article has been cited, the database will provide a link to the citing articles.
For more help:
- Cited Reference Searching Help Guide
- Follow Citation Trails in Omni
- Use a Citation Management tool to keep track of your references, allows you to annotate PDF's and retrieve citation data.