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The MacOdrum Library is located on the unceded territories of the Algonquin nation. Use this guide to begin your research and consult Martha Attridge Bufton, who can help you find the materials you need to complete your assignments.
Meet Martha Attridge Bufton in the following video.
Pick a research topic
- Read your syllabus (assignment instructions).
- Pick a topic that interests you and meets the assignment instructions.
- Narrow or broaden the scope of your topic so that it is "doable."
- What's scope? Scope refers to the "people, places and things" or "who, what, when and where" that you are studying. For example, Canada or another country? Children or adults? Education or child protection services?
Identify key concepts
Use this worksheet to write out your research topic and identify key ideas.
Do an initial search for academic sources
- Here are some videos to help you pick the right search engines and sources for your assignment.
- Beware of filter bubbles: What to know about Google and filtered information.
- Search faster, search smarter: How to search using your key concepts.
- Use the CRAP test to evaluate the quality of online sources.
Open educational resources
Open education resources (OERs) include open textbooks that could be used for courses. Here are three collections that could be useful:
Choosing the right OER is critical. Use the College Libraries Ontario OER toolkit to assess if OERs are appropriate for your teaching and learning context.
Many digital and electronic resources are available through the library.
- Ebooks: The library has a number of ebook collections. These collections include:
- Journal articles
To retrieve these materials with a keyword search in the library main search engine or other databases:
- To find ebooks, use the "available online" and "books" filters in Omni.
- To find journal articles
- Use the "available online" and "articles" filters in Omni
- Use the "linked to full text" filter in other databases.
Watch the two short videos below for instructions on how to use these filters.
- Click on the Journals link under the main search field on the library home page. Use the "available online" option when available to access the digital or electronic version of a journal article.
In addition, virtual research support is also available:
- Ask a Librarian offers virtual reference desk services seven days a week.
- Individual consultations: Email your librarian or subject specialists to arrange an individual consultation via Big Blue Button.
Looking for digital or electronic materials that are not in the Carleton University Library Collection? Email your librarian or subject specialist.
Popular versus academic sources (what's the difference?) and the peer review process
Searching tips: Truncation and phrase searching
Test what you know: Play Sources (or Find that source)!
Find peer-reviewed journal articles on a variety of topics
- Use the Child Studies Quick Guide for a list of the top five (5) databases.
- Use Scopus for multidisciplinary social science research and citation chaining.
- For historical representations of childhood: America History and Life (Canada and the U.S.) or Historical Abstracts.
- For human rights related materials:
- Defence for Children International
- The Landon Pearson Resource Centre for the Study of Childhood and Children's Rights.
- Save the Children
- United Nations High Commission for Human Rights: Committee on the Rights of the Child
- For disability related materials, visit the Disability Studies subject guide.
- For education related materials, try ERIC.
Finding and using images: a Carleton University library guide (including how to cite images you use in projects and presentations)
Digital archive collections of children's books
- Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature
- Children's Literature (University of Illinois)
- Children's Literature Research Collections (University of Minnesota)
Open Access journals
- Directory of Open Access Journals
- Open access at Carleton
Recommended peer-review journals in our library collection
- Child Abuse and Neglect
- Children's Legal Rights Journal
- Jeunesse: Young People, Texts, Cultures
- Journal of the History of Childhood and Youth
- Children & Society
- Children's Geographies
- Children's Literature
- Girlhood Studies
- Global Studies of Childhood
- International Journal of Children's Rights
- International Journal of Inclusive Education
- International Journal of Law and the Family
- Journal of LGBT Youth
- Journal of Language and Politics
- Social Problems
- The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science
Peer-reviewed journals related to child development and psychology
- Canadian Journal of Children's Rights (Landon Pearson Resource Centre)
- Developmental Science
- Developmental Neuropsychology
- Child Development
- Developmental Psychology
- Psychological Science
Some publications are available either only in print or online. Others are available in both formats. Check Ulrich'sWeb for more information about individual journals.
In the search field on the library home page, use keywords to find books and ebooks (i.e., use your key concepts to search for relevant materials).
A sample of child development and child studies related library books (in print)
- Children and play
- Every image, every child. Internet-facilitated child sexual abuse in Canada
- Child development at the intersection of emotion and cognition
- Media and youth: a developmental perspective
Children's literature (print and audiobooks)
The library has a growing collection of children's books, both classic and traditional. Many of these books are located on the third floor, in the PZ section. We also have a collection of audiobooks, which also contains children's classics such as Anne of Green Gables. To search for more audiobooks, use the RBDigital database.
Our contemporary titles are collected across six major themes:
- Disability and childhood
- Indigenous children and communities
- Sex education
- Transnational childhood
Find government information
Find government and non-governmental information
- Canadian Heritage.
- Library of Parliament of Canada (use library publications on policy issues).
- Early Childhood Development (Canadian intergovernmental program)
- Employment and Social Development Canada: Early Childhood
- Public Health Agency of Canada: Community Action Program for Children
- Landon Pearson Resource Centre for the Study of Childhood and Children's Rights
Federal departments and agencies have programs that directly impact children and their families:
- Citizenship and Immigration Canada
- Canadian Human Rights Commission
- Health Canada
- Health Canada National Anti-Drug Strategy
- Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
- Public Health Agency of Canada: Childhood and Adolescence
- Public Health Agency of Canada: Safe, Health Environments
Find federal legislation
Other federal legislation
- Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
- Canadian Human Rights Act
- Constitution of 1867
- Criminal Code
Find Ontario legislation
- Child and Family Services Act (Ontario)
- Family Responsibility and Support Arrears Enforcement Act, 1996 (Ontario)
- Ontario Disability Support Program Act (Ontario)
- Ministry of Health and Long-term Care
- Ministry of the Attorney General (family law)
For other legislation, use:
- Ontario E-Laws
- Quebec Laws & Regulations
- Canadian Legal Information Institute (CANLII): for all provinces
- Statistics Canada
- Community Information Database (based on census data: socioeconomic and demographic data and information for all Canadian communities)
- Alberta Official Statistics
- British Columbia Statistics (BCStats)
- Institute de la statistique du Québec
- New Brunswick
- Newfoundland and Labrador Statistics Agency
- Northwest Territories Bureau of Statistics
- Nunavut Bureau of Statistics
- Saskatchewan Bureau of Statistics
- Yukon Bureau of Statistics