- 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 Writing 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
- identify methodologies that you might use in your work
Keep Track of your searches
- Literature Reviews: Keep Track (UBC)
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.
Tips for effective searching
If you find one relevant article for your research it can lead to other relevant papers by the following:
- using the databases, including Omni, look to find all papers & books published by the author or co-authors
- explore the bibliography in the paper for sources
- using Web of Science or Scopus, look for articles that cite the article you found. Remember, some databases will also list citing articles but those lists are limited to the current database. The Web of Science and Scopus are more comprehensive, with coverage from multiple databases.
- Remember to see if an citing article has itself been cited.
2. Search Databases
Important note: If the library does not have what you need, you can order electronic material from other libraries through RACER.
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.
Google Scholar is a large search engine that 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. It provides articles from academic publishers, professional societies, preprint repositories and scholarly articles posted on the web. Although it is easy to use and includes 'cited by' and ranking features, it does not provide full text without a library subscription, and the coverage for the humanities and social sciences is uneven. There is no 'filter option' for just scholarly publications and very few options to limit or narrow your search results.
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:
- Primary, Secondary and Tertiary Sources overview guide
Searching for primary sources:
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: diar*, 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 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 by Faculty.
- Original documents can also be found by searching our archival collections or by contacting the Archives and Special Collections (ASC) staff for help. The library has many microform collections of primary sources as well. Please ask for help.
Historical Newspaper Databases
- Historical Archives of newspaper (databases)
- Useful book: Historical research using British newspapers (print only)
Primary Sources on the web
- Archives and Primary Sources Databases
- 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) - 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 through your RACER account.
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.
- 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:
- Thesis & Dissertations Requirements (at Carleton University)