Disability Studies

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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 contact Martha Attridge Bufton, who is available for online consultations.

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

Do an initial search for academic sources

  • Use the CRAP test to evaluate the quality of online sources.

 

Many digital and electronic resources are available through the library.

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.

Transcript: Finding electronic resources in the main search engine of the Carleton University Library

Transcript: Finding full-text peer reviewed journal articles in a library database

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.

Reference materials (dictionaries, encyclopedias and handbooks) can help you find a definition as well as an introductory and simple coverage of a topic. You can find these resources using the library’s search system on the home page.

Try searching using terms such as:

  • dictionar* AND disab*
  • encyclopedia* AND disab*
  • Handbook AND "disability studies"

Note: When you put the quotation words around two or more words that create a single idea, you can search for materials that contain this phrase rather than for random keywords. The * (asterisk) allows you to search for multiple words with the same root and different endings (e.g., disable, disable, disability, disabilities).

Here’s a sample of what you can find in the library collection:

Dictionaries

Encyclopedias

Handbooks

 

Citation chaining made easy

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 books

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). Use the filters in the left-hand navigation to limit your results to print/physical items and books for print books.

Try searching for books using terms such as:

  • disab*
  • "disability studies"

Note: When you put the quotation words around two or more words that create a single idea, you can search for materials that contain this phrase rather than for random keywords. The * (asterisk) allows you to search for multiple words with the same root and different endings (e.g., disable, disable, disability, disabilities).

Here is a small sample of books in our collection:

Databases

Use the Disability Studies quick guide for a list of the top five (5) databases to help you find academic journal articles.

Other databases with relevant content include:

Open access journals

A sample of recommended peer-review journals in our library collection

Some publications are available either only in print or online. Others are available in both formats. Check UlrichsWeb for more information about individual journals.

Grey Literature: What is it? How to find it?

Grey literature is an important source of information in arts and social science research that:

  • adds a valuable global perspective
  • provides detailed overviews on specific populations
  • may be only source of local information

Grey literature is defined as "information produced on all levels of government, academics, business and industry in electronic and print formats not controlled by commercial publishing" ie. where publishing is not the primary activity of the producing body."  ICGL Luxembourg definition, 1997. Expanded in New York, 2004

Types of grey literature

  • Government information
  • Dissertations and theses
  • Conference proceedings
  • Newspapers and magazines
  • Library resources

Finding grey literature

 Use our Citing your sources page to guides for a range of academic styles, instructional videos and more.

Content last updated: May 2, 2020