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Resources, tips, tools and data sources for economics research at Carleton

Three Tips for Writing a Literature Review

Trick #1: Find review/survey articles

Step A: Use the JEL subject classification system and the EconLit Thesaurus to identify subject terms. Perform a search in EconLit for these as descriptors.

Step B: Use the Index of Journal Titles in EconLit to perform a search for Journal of Economic Perpsectives OR Journal of Economic Literature.

Step C: Use the History search in EconLit to combine the first two searches.

Step D: Browse the results for relevant review/survey articles.


Trick #2: Mine bibliographies

With review articles, or theoretical or empirical articles you've already found, search the Social Sciences Citation Index for other articles that cite them. Pay close attention, also, to possible data sources.


Trick #3: Use the articles you've already found to search more effectively in bibliographic databases and research web sites.

When you search for articles, don't rely strictly on keyword searches.

Authors: After identifying important articles in your area, search for more articles by those authors.

Descriptors: Also, search in databases like EconLit for an articles you've already read. Look at the descriptors used by the database to describe it. Perform new searches based on those descriptors.

Organizations: Organizations publish reports, too. If you identify a relevant organization, like the Mediamark (a company that surveys the public), for example, search for that organization as an author.