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Literature Review

What is a literature review, what is its purpose, and how to do it.

Types of information sources

You will need to consult a wide range of information sources. Informal sources include contact with peers, colleagues, other researchers, your Liaison Librarian, and your supervisor. Just as important as the network of informal contacts are the formal sources, including:


Search Primo (library catalog) to find which books are held in the Library.

Journals –


Search the BU Journal List to find which journals are available through the Library.  To search for journal articles on a specific topic use a Library database.

Research papers

These can be found in many areas including library catalog, databases, and on the university and government web sites.

Theses/ Dissertations

Search Primo (library catalog) using the keywords "Bloomsburg" and "theses." Or search Dissertation Express for listings of theses and dissertations throughout the world.

Conference proceedings

Find by searching Primo (library catalog), databases, as well as the professional association websites.

Web sites (URLs)

When using a search engine like Google, try limiting your search by domain, e.g., org, gov, or edu, by typing in site:gov (or other domain) as one of your search terms.

Government documents

The best starting point for government documents are government websites. Refer to the Government Information page for a list of U.S. and International government web sites.


Bibliographies and references found in information sources often prove useful when looking for further information.

Encyclopedias/ Dictionaries

You'll find many encyclopedias and dictionaries in the Reference Collection (2nd floor). Search Primo (library catalog)  and/or browse the shelves. The Library also offers many online sources of reference works, including Encyclopedias, Dictionaries, etc.


Refer to the Library’s offerings of Newspaper Databases.

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