This guide is designed for graduate students in the School of Public Policy and Administration, though anyone doing research on philanthropy, or nonprofits may find help here. If you need further assistance, get in touch!
Most databases, whether they are a library catalogue or a specialized database, allow you to search for books, journal articles, and more, with a single search. You can then narrow your results with filters, or more advanced search options.
- Some suggested subject headings or keyword search terms:
- social surveys
- qualitative research
- Once you've decided which terms are the most useful for your search, combine them in a boolean search. For example:
- (philanthropy or nonprofit) and canad*
- the brackets keep together a variation in phrasing
- the * will look for alternate endings
- AND/OR will modify a component to narrow or expand your results
- if you had a multi-word phrase, putting quotes around it will search specifically for those words, in that sequence, side by side
- (philanthropy or nonprofit) and canad*
- Some filters to consider applying are: books, or Journals, or Scholarly and/or Peer Review
- You can then narrow your search further by: Publication Date or Discipline, or Subject, etc.
- watch for any other words that are being used in your results, for example, 'charity' may be more common in some contexts than 'philanthropy', search both
- Never limit to full-text only as we may subscribe to the journal you find from another vendor. Use the Get it! icon to search for the full text when it is not immediately available.
- Look for the option to set up an RSS feed or to Create an Alert. You are then notified when a new entry is added to the database that meets your search criteria.
- Use the Interlibrary Loans RACER form to request items not held at Carleton’s library.
- For additional relevant databases, look at the Subject Guides that best relate to your topic, such as Public Policy and Administration, Canadian Studies, Business, Sociology etc.
Borrowing from Other Libraries
- RACER is our online interlibrary loan system. Use it to search for and order books, journal articles, and other items that you can't find in our collection. Journal articles will be sent to you electronically. For more information please see Interlibrary Loans.
- CRL catalog (Center for Research Libraries): Collects research materials not targeted by other North American research institutions. We are a member which allows you to get long-term loans of much of their material.
- WorldCat: Search the library catalogues of 1000's of libraries around the world.
- If you can't find what you need here, you can use Interlibrary Loans to get the article or book, or you can Borrow directly from other libraries.
Adding to our Library's Collection
- You can also send suggestions for purchase directly to me! If our budget allows and the requested item falls within our collection profile, we can usually purchase suggested titles. E-book formats will be purchased whenever possible.
Citing and Citation Management tools
We offer a variety of support options for citing your sources and citation management. If you are not already using a citation management tool, I strongly suggest you look into one now. Most of these tools will also allow you to turn your references into properly formatted bibliographies, and with additional plug-ins they can allow you to easily insert your citations into your papers as you write.
- Business Source Complete
- Canadian Business and Current Affairs Database
- Canadian Public Documents Collection
- CPI.Q (Canadian Periodical Index)
- EconLit with Full Text
- PAIS Index
- Policy File Index
- PRO: Philanthropy Resources Online
- Sociological Abstracts
Databases for theses and dissertations:
- Theses Canada / Thèses Canada
- Dissertations and Theses Global
- Dissertations and Theses@Carleton
- EThOS The UK’s national thesis service
- Foreign Doctoral Dissertations
Use Citation Indexes to find if a particular author and/or paper has been cited by other authors.
- Select Cited Reference Search from just above search box.
- You have the article
- "Street Credentials and Management Backgrounds: Careers of Nonprofit Executives in an Evolving Sector" by Suarez, DF (Suarez, David F.) Nonprofit and voluntary sector quarterly Volume: 39 Issue: 4 Pages: 696-716 AUG 2010
- Enter the author in cited author box
- Suarez, D (use surname, first initial and truncation symbol)
- Retrieve abbreviation of journal name from list provided, and enter year of publication. NONPROF VOLUNT SEC Q 2010
- From the list, select the article and click on Finish Search - top right.
- Results show the article has been cited 30 times - the most recent in 2018.
- You have the article
- Note the option Searches and alerts to create a citation alert, and be notified of any future citings of this article.
- Choose Author Search from top tool bar.
- Enter author's name and affiliation if known
- Waters, R.D.
- North Carolina State University
- Select, and show documents. All published articles by the author will be listed. Click on article for citing references. "What do Stakeholders Like on Facebook? Examing Public Reactions to Nonprofit Organizations' Informational, Promotional, and Community-Building Messages" by Saxton, G.D., and Waters, R.D.. Journal of Public Relations Research Volume 26, Issue 3, May 2914, Pages 280-299
- Look to the right hand side of the screen - this article has been cited 87 times. Click to 'view all citing documents'.
- Note #2: "Do CSR Messages Resonate? Examing Public Reactions to Firms' CSR Efforts on Social Media" Journal of Business Ethics Volume 155, Issue 2, June 2019, Pages 359-377 has been citied 3 times.
- Enter author's name and affiliation if known
- Remember to see if a citing article has itself been cited!
- Journal Citation Reports - Provides evaluation of journals by the impact factor within a given discipline
- ABDC Journal Quality List from the Australian Business Deans Council
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, 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.
Once you've used the Search strategies, and tried Databases for finding journal articles above, you may want to see what grey literature exists within your subject area. This is an important source of information for research in public policy.
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
Government Information custom search will search only government agencies. Filter your search by geographic area (try searching multiple regions for your topic, including Intergovernmental Organizations). Look at which agencies are doing research for your topic, going directly to the agency website may offer further areas for investigation. Don't forget to search for countries that have similar circumstances - they may be doing relevant work.
- Government Information subject guide to help organize and define your search process
- Taxation subject guide
- Canadian Research Index - indexes publications from all levels of government in Canada
- Government and Legislative Libraries Online Publications Portal (Gallop)
- Think Tank Search (Harvard University custom search) - think tanks can give an appreciation of government action or inaction in an area
- findpolicy - results from 17 leading think tanks working on foreign policy in the US and Europe
- Consult the News Guide for details of news sources. Tips for searching.
- For current Canadian newspapers/news:
For historical Canadian & other newspapers:
For international sources:
- Continuum Economics (formerly Roubini Global Economics) news monitoring service
- World News Connection
- Journalist's resource: research on today's news topics
- Brookings Institute
- Canadian Public Documents Collection - publications in the area of Canadian public policy, health and medical research.
- Conference Board of Canada eLibrary - Centre for the North, Centre for Food in Canada, How Canada Performs, etc.
- National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) Working Papers
- Policy File Index - Indexes research in U.S. public policy with content from think tanks, university research programs, research organizations, etc.
- Social Research and Demonstration Corporation - develops, field tests, and rigorously evaluates new programs
- Charity Intelligence Canada (Ci)
- Charity Village - provides listing of Canadian and international professional associations
- Imagine Canada
- Social Enterprise Council of Canada
- Canadian Social Enterpreneurship Foundation
- GreyNet International directory of organizations in grey literature
- Grey Matters
- Alternative Press Index
- Economics Search Engine (American Economic Association)
There are many excellent online guides to doing a literature review. Samples include:
- The Literature Review: A Few Tips on Conducting It - University of Toronto
- Academic writing: what is a literature review - Simon Fraser University
- Conducting a Literature Review - Georgetown University Medical Centre
- Literature Review - Deakin University Library
- Learn how to write a review of literature - University of Wisconsin - Madison
- Guidelines for writing a literature review - University of Minnesota, Duluth
What is the Difference Between Data and Statistics?
Data are the raw materials out of which statistics are produced, usually available as digital files for manipulation in statistical software. Statistics are facts or figures that tend to be aggregate counts, totals, sums, or averages.
- use the Data Services searches to find data holdings for energy related data
- CANSIM II (via University of Toronto) - different possibilities for manipulation than the free version of CANSIM at the Statistics Canada website . Video tutorials on CANSIM II.
- Scholar's Portal <odesi>. Video tutorials
- Canada Survey of Giving, Volunteering and Participating (2004, 2007, 2010)
- National Survey of Giving, Volunteering and Participating (1997, 2000)
- Highlights of the ... Survey of Giving, Volunteering and Participating - 1997, 2000, 2004 and 2007 were published as Caring Canadians, Involved Canadians
- Satellite Account of Nonprofit Institutions and Volunteering (discontinued in 2010)
- National Survey of Nonprofit and Voluntary Organizations 2003 - data is unavailable, but see:
- Cornerstones of Community: Highlights of the National Survey of Nonprofit and Voluntary Organizations
- Summary of the Findings of the National Survey of Nonprofit and Voluntary Organizations
- Capacity to Serve: a Qualitative Study of the Challenges Facing Canada's Nonprofit and Voluntary Organizations
- Labour Inputs to Nonprofit Organizations
- Government Information custom search, as described above, will be helpful - add 'statistics' to your search string
- CANSIM II (Canadian Socio-Economic Information Management System)
- Imagine Canada - Search by charity name, directors or keyword; Research and Impact
- Canada Revenue Agency
- Taxation data – shows use of charitable deduction
- List of charities - Official financial information of charities
- Income Statistics and GST/HST Statistics to access T1 Final Statistics:
- Item 86: Allowable charitable donations and government gifts
- Item 87: Eligible cultural, ecological gifts
- Item 88: Total tax credit on donations and gifts
- Passport search Canada: Country Pulse then using find command, search for charities
- Statistics Canada
- Vividata go to Personal Characteristics --> Personal and Social Views --> Willing to Volunteer
United States - National Center for Charitable Statistics
International - World Giving Index
Qualitative Research at Carleton University
NVivo is a software package that helps with qualitative data analysis. Check the NVivo guide for information on getting a license, attending a training session and links to online tutorials.