Literature Review

Guides to literature reviews from universities

Sample titles from Carleton's book collection:

Finding Books & eBooks

Introductory texts:

Finding Books

Use our discovery tool, Omni to find books, government documents, conference proceedings, journals and more. Only the titles of journals are included in Omni: use the databases to search for individual article titles.

Begin with a KEYWORD search.

Search Tips:
Join concepts together using AND and OR.

Use AND when the concepts are not related such as religion AND society. This narrows the search as both of those words must be in the information that is being returned.

Use OR when the concepts are similar, and it does not matter which word is found in the information that is being returned. For instance, church OR religion. This broadens the search.

Use truncation when you want to allow for several spellings or variations on a word. For instance, religi* will retrieve religion, religions, religious.

Once you find one or more good books, look at the SUBJECT headings that have been used. Do a SUBJECT search for best results.

Finding Book Reviews

ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials search by author or keywords from title and select Review under the option Publication Type.
Reviews in religion and theology Online from 1994 -
Book Review Digest Retrospective 1908 - 1982
Canadian Book Review Annual Online

Key Resources

Oxford Reference (Online) - includes over 100 dictionary, encyclopedias, and subject reference works published by Oxford University Press. Search the entire collection or limit by specific subject area.






To find a copy of a sacred text search by title in Omni. Texts are arranged according to:
1) the language of translation
2) the version, i.e. a personal name, place name or phrase identifying the translator or translating body
3) the date of publication.

Koran. Arabic
Bible. O.T. Hebrew
Bible. English. New Revised Standard
Adi-Granth. English
Book of Mormon

Search by keyword to find secondary sources:
Koran AND commentaries
Bible AND concordance
Bible O.T. AND commentaries
Talmud AND dictionaries


Sacred texts are often available online.
Internet Sacred Text Archive - searchable archive of texts and online books about religion, mythology and folklore.
Religious Studies Web Guide - extensive list of sacred texts and resources, maintained by a librarian at the U. of Calgary.
BibleGateway - megasite for full text access to multiple languages and editions of the Bible.
Project Gutenberg - holds a vast collection of public domain books Best place to find Hindu materials.
Buddhism Sacred Texts

Primary Sources

A primary source is a document or physical object which was written or created during the time under study. These sources were present during an experience or time period and offer an inside view of a particular event. They may also present original thinking, new discoveries or new information collected at the time of an event.

Consult the library's guide Primary, Secondary and Tertiary Sources for more information.

Use the suggested databases below to find scholarly journal articles.  For interdisciplinary topics in religion, consult the library's subject guides for additional databases and key resources.   

A few tips:
1.  Look at all writings by a relevant author and co-authors.
2.  Explore the bibliography of a relevant article for more articles.
3.  Discover if the articles have been cited since publication.  Scroll further down to Citation Searching for information and examples.   


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.  

Citation Searching
Citation searching will help you identify important journals and articles.

Use Journal Citation Reports to evaluate and compare the impact of scholarly journals. While arts journals are not included in the JCR, data on key social science titles is available.  The impact factor (IF) measures the average number of citations to articles published in a journal.

Use Citation Indexes 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
"Public-life and hostility to religion" Gedicks, FM Virginia Law Review Volume: 78& Issue: 3 Pages: 671-698 APR 1992

Enter the author in cited author box
Gedicks F* (use surname, first initial and truncation symbol)
Retrieve abbreviation of journal name from list provided, and enter year of publication. VA LAW REV 1992

Deselect disciplines not relevant from listing under Citation Databases

From the list, select the article and click on Finish Search at the top of the list.
Results show the article has been cited 27 times - the most recent in 2013.

Note the option Create Alert to be notified of any future citings of this article.

Select Author Search from menu bar.
Enter author's name and affiliation if known.
Hemming P*
Select displayed result. On right hand side all published articles by the author will be listed.Click on article for citing references.

Remember to see if an citing article has itself been cited.


We maintain a video collection of DVDs and VHS videotapes that support teaching and research at Carleton. Most DVD and VHS collections are located at Circulation Desk and some VHS tapes are housed in the Storage Facility. You may borrow videos for viewing at home or in the library. To book a video,  email

There are two viewing stations for DVD and VHS located on the 1st floor. DVD's may also be viewed at regular computer workstations.
Headphones may be borrowed from the Library Services Desk for use at the video viewing stations.

We also have online collections of movies. To find videos in our collection do KEYWORD search, and limit Material Type to Video/Film.

A few sample titles:

What Americans Do and Don't Know About Religion / MacNeil/Lehrer productions (2013)
Religion as a window on culture / Tom Cockrun (1999) STV V2197

News Sources

Keep up to date on current issues by using our News sources.

Key news sources:

  • Canadian Newsstream -  over 280 Canadian news sources from across Canada, including the Globe & Mail. 
  • Factiva - provides global news sources
  • PressReader - provides current online access to over 5,000 newspapers and magazines from over 100 countries.


Yahoo! - Society and Culture: Religion & Spirituality
Guide to Internet Resources for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion
The Internet Sacred Text Archive
BBC (Archived Content) - Religions and Religion & Ethics
Virtual Religion Index gateway to global resources and organizations relevant to religious studies.

Organizations, websites, etc.

The Holy See
Organisation of the Islamic Cooperation
Quakers - the Religious Society of Friends and Quakers in Canada
World Jewish Congress
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

Content last reviewed: August 9, 2020