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Literature Review

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

Organizing information (information management)

Early in your research, select a strategy for managing your information.  It is vital that full reference be recorded accurately for later use.  Everyone has experienced the frustration associated with not being able to locate a reference when it is needed.

Most researchers use an electronic system to organize their references and PDFs, and create bibliographies.

Andruss Library offers access to the EndNote Web and RefWorks programs, which permit Bloomsburg University staff and students to use the software both at work and home using a web browser. The main functions of both programs are:

  • maintenance of a database of references
  • downloading references from other databases
  • using the database to link to references in word-processed documents
  • generating a bibliography in the correct style for publication

Filing systems

Whichever system you use, if you choose to keep paper copies of your references, you will need to devise a filing system. Here are some suggestions:

  • alphabetical by author
  • by running number or EndNote record number
  • by topic or project area
  • alphabetic within topic or subject area
  • by stage of research - introduction, methodology, data collection 
  • currency or date retrieved
  • by unique code number

Make sure that you are consistent within your system, and that you link your physical files with your information management system.  That is, if using a paper-based system, include the relevant code number in your "database" record or card files.

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