Public Affairs & Policy Management

Literature Review

Guides to literature reviews from universities

Sample titles from Carleton's book collection:

Encyclopedias and Dictionaries


Country Information

Policy Reports and Working Papers

Custom Google Search for Government Information

Book borrowing Information:

  • You can have up to 100 books checked out at any one time
  • Undergraduates can borrow books for 2 weeks at a time (with up to 5 renewals); graduate students for 4 months (with 1 renewal)
  • You can also borrow books from the University of Ottawa
  • If a book you want is checked out, you can use the Hold/Request button to request it
  • To renew your books, place requests, connect to e-books, journals, & databases from off-campus you only need your MyCarletonOne login and password

Summon Searching

The library has a new search tool that lets you do just one search to find books, newspaper articles, journal articles... You can also search for books in our library catalogue and use our various journal article databases to find journal articles, but the Summon search tool give you another option that lets you do both at the same time.    Caution: Summon does not include databases used when searching for data, statistics and some grey literature. 

  • Use keywords only, do not search using a full sentence.
  • Combine keywords for different ideas with AND
  • Combine synonyms or similar words for an idea with OR
  • Use the * at the end of the root of a word to find all the forms of that word

                     Summon Search box

  Example:    Click on Advanced search and key in your search statement.  You may limit to the subject field for better results.


When you get your results, use the links on the left side of the screen to look at the books in our library, or the newspaper articles, or journal articles...


Results for books and ebooks are often higher in Summon than the Catalogue as Summon is retrieving relevant articles or chapters within books.

If something is available in paper copy in the library Summon will give you the floor location and the call number (which you need in order to find the item on the shelf).   If something is available online, click on the "Full-text online" link.


Catalogue Searching

Use the CATALOGUE to find books, government documents, conference proceedings, and journals.  Only the titles of journals are included in the catalogue: use the databases to search for individual article titles.

If you know the title of the item you seek, perform a TITLE search.

If you know the author, perform an AUTHOR search.  Enter the author's name with the surname first.

Otherwise, try a KEYWORD search. 
    Search Tips:
Use boolean operators AND/OR to create a relevant search statement.
Use the truncation symbol * when you want to allow for several spellings or variations on a word.

                 Example:  government  and employ* and canad*

When keyword searching, if a keyword exists in the subject heading or in the title, the resource is much more likely to be about that topic.  You can construct sophisticated searches by specifying that your search terms must exist in particular fields of the catalogue record.  Prefix the search term with a: to restrict to authors, t: to restrict to titles, s: to restrict to subject headings, and n: to restrict to the notes (where tables of contents are loaded). 

                  Example: government and employee* and s:canad*

       Scroll down to see the subject headings.

                  Example  Civil service -- Canada

For more information, consult the keyword search help in the catalogue.


eBooks can be found in the catalogue by author, title, subject and keyword searching. 
Do a search and then limit your search to retrieve only ebooks by using the drop down menu:

eBook Collections

See a full list of ebook collections.

Other Catalogues:


Key Databases:

Additional Databases:

Good to know:

  1. Within a database, limit your search to scholarly articles when it is appropriate to disregard other resources.
  2. 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.
  3. Use available options to search more than one database at a time.
  4. 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.
  5. Use the Interlibrary Loans RACER form to request items not held at Carleton’s library.  

‚ÄčPolicy Reports

Think Tanks

Citation Searching

Use Web of Science and Scopus to find if a particular author and/or paper has been cited by other authors.


Web of Science
       Select Cited Reference Search from top tool bar.
You have the article
         Randell Hansen and Desmond King, 2001.  "Eugenic Ideas, Political Interests, and Policy Variance... "  World Politics 53.2:237-263. 

       Enter author in cited author box
                 Hansen R*  (use surname, first initial and truncation symbol)          
       Retrieve abbreviation of journal name from list provided, and enter year of publication.  World Polit
Note the option Create Alert to be notified of any future citing of this article.

       Choose Author Search from top tool bar
       Enter author's name and affiliation if known
               Trimble, Linda

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 Summon, 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. 

News Sources

Tips for Newspaper Searching

The following titles are a small sample of news sources available online through the Library catalogue:


Find theses and dissertations in our databases, starting with:



The library has many data sources available.   Get help at the Research Help Desk (main level), or consult the library guide for Data.

Relevant databases include:

  • The Institute of Public Administration of Canada (IPAC)
  • Political Information - search engines for politics, policy, and political news
  • Fundrace - Searchable database of presidential campaign contributions
  • -the Canadian political twitter & social media site
  • iPolitics - is independent, non-partisan and committed to providing timely, relevant, insightful content related to political developments in Ottawa and the provinces.  Database is free for students.
  • Politics Watch - provides news, resources and tools on governments and politics in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom and around the world
Content last updated: September 19, 2019