- Becoming a Historian: An Informal Guide
- From concept to completion : a dissertation-writing guide for history students (print)
- Research literacies and writing pedagogies for masters and doctoral writers
- The SAGE handbook of digital dissertations and theses
What is the purpose 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 using Citation management tools
Literature Review Guides
- Conducting a Literature Review web guide
- Systematic Reviews and other Knowledge Syntheses
- The literature review : a step-by-step guide for students
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
Use Omni to find books, journal articles, newspaper articles, videos, and many other types of publications or media. Omni searches almost all of our collections and databases, simultaneously. For help, consult the Omni Search Tips guide.
Search Google Scholar
Most researchers regularly search Google Scholar because it is convenient, but 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.
What is Grey Literature?
- Grey Literature web guide
Searching for primary sources on Omni
- Search your topic (or historical person of interest) on Omni to find primary sources (or reproductions)
- Keyword searches on Omni that include the following terms will identify primary materials: diaries or diary, correspondence, interviews, letters, memoir, personal narratives, recollections, reminiscences, journal, sources.
Historical Newspaper Databases
- Historical Archives of newspaper Databases
- 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
- Library of Congress Digital Collections
- National Archives (UK)
- Center for Research Libraries (CRL) - 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
Consult the Citation Management Help Guide for more information. There are many free citation management systems available. The library provides support for the following:
If you want to learn more, please book an appointment via: firstname.lastname@example.org
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
- Nvivo is qualitative data analysis software intended to help researchers organize and analyze data, identify trends, and cross examine information in a variety of ways. Consult the NVIVO service web page for more information about this tool and online training.
- Coding for Qualitative Research guide
- 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
- 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 librarians
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 databases 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 you search to ensure you are using the 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:
Use a Citation Management tool to keep track of your references. Most allow you to annotate PDF's, retrieve citation data and add images from your computer.