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Embedded Resources: SNC

MCST 4200

Welcome. I am so happy to serve as your library liaison! 

Think of me as your research partner...I can assist you with finding articles, developing a research topic, citing sources... you name it! Visit our homepage to learn more.

To meet with me for specialized research assistance, schedule a research appointment or reach out directly: 

JWU librarians are available for research appointments in-person, over the phone, and online. We would be more than happy to help you! 

Looking for immediate research assistance? Chat or Text us.


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Let's explore where we each are with respect to research, and how I can best support you in this session.

Please fill out this Google Doc.

Finding Existing Literature Reviews
Start on the library's homepage, by clicking Articles and then Advanced Search.
As literature reviews may already exist on some aspect of your topic, it is often useful to search databases for them. However, while many databases do not permit one to limit to the specific document type of literature reviews, some do. At any rate, it is usually a good idea when searching a database to enter the particular search term(s) in the first search box and then "literature review" (or the truncated "literature review*" that will retrieve "literature review" and "literature reviews") in the second search box. Here's an example from the database Academic Source Complete
Below are selected other databases that might be searched for literature reviews:
LGBT Life with Full Text Provides abstracts and citations to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender literature published worldwide. Citations represent periodical articles, books, newspapers, newsletters, case studies, speeches, and other formats. Also includes full text for LGBT journals, magazines and regional newspapers, as well as numerous full text books.

Communication SourceMany full-text articles in this databases from over 600 journals cover Mass Media Studies, Communication Theory, Linguistics, Organizational Communication, Phonetics, and Speech-Language Pathology.
Sage Full-text journal articles in such fields as Administration & Leadership, Business/Management, Clothing & Textiles, Criminal Justice, Cultures, Education, Entrepreneurship, Food Science, Hospitality, Information Science, Literature, Marketing, Sports, Travel & Tourism. FOR FULL-TEXT ARTICLES PUBLISHED FROM 1999 TO THE PRESENT: (1) Checkmark “SAGE Content Available to Me” and (2) Specify a DATE RANGE from 1999 through [current year].
As many dissertations and theses have a specific literature review section, the database ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Full-Text is often worthwhile searching. Though one may not limit to the particular document type "literature review" in this database, one might search for the term literature review in, say, the abstract:

Moreover, many dissertations have a "literature review" chapter. In the field of Education, it is often the second chapter.

Citation chaining means searching backwards and forwards in time for materials that are cited by and also that cite an article or resource that you already have.

Backwards chaining is the process of looking at an awesome article(s) you've already found and searching for items in the works cited of those sources, which could be relevant and amazing for your research paper.

Here, you are looking back at past research in an attempt to track the development of the concept you are researching. As you find more resources, and use the citations listed in those reference lists, your network of resources will expand very quickly.

To access the resources you found by backwards chaining, simply copy the citation titles from the reference lists you have and paste them into the library's databases

Forwards chaining is the process of finding sources which have cited the awesome articles you are already using.

Here, you are looking forward at research conducted after your existing article, tracking the development of the concept you are researching.

Forwards Chaining

Using Google Scholar  we can also view a list of publications in which the authors' have cited this same article in their work. 

Open Google Scholar and paste the most intriguing article title into the search box from your original search

Underneath the article details, you'll see a Cited by link.  Simply click this link to access those titles/authors which have cited your title in their new research.

Let's start!

Activity: Practicing backwards and forwards citation chaining

  • Start by writing down a few search terms on your specific topic.  You might have to try a few terms before you find a good hit.
  • Next, head to the Databases & Journals tab in ulearn, under Library & Resources
  • Choose one of the databases from the list provided, or click the Everything tab on the library's homepage
  • Enter in your keywords, choose Full Text, choose Articles and limit date range to 2005-2019.
  • Scroll through your first page of results, and choose an article that "pops" out at you.
  • Open the red PDF Full Text to read the article
  • Scroll to the last page of the article, until you get to Reference List or Works Cited
  • Choose an article or book from the works cited that "pops" at you, to start your "Chain"
  • You've got your first article on the chain - now let's practice Forward Citation Chaining, using Google Scholar.
  • Choose the best article (the one closest to your dream topic) and copy the title
  • Paste the title into Google Scholar
  • Click the "Cited by..." link, to see all of the articles that have cited this article in their research.
  • Choose one of the articles listed, and POW! You have your second link in the chain.
  • Repeat as needed, until you've found your 6-8 articles.

Tip: articles published in the last few years might be too recent to have any other articles citing them. 

Backward and forward citation chaining
  Resources cited in the article

  Resources that cite the article

  • will be older than the article
  • help you identify past resources on the same topic 
    (such as theories or classic articles)
  • will be newer than the article you've already found  
  • help you identify more recent, relevant research  

The JWU library has two style guides: 

MLA Style Guide

APA Style Guide

However, if you need more in depth guidance on formatting go to the Purdue OWL

Need to talk to someone and seek guidance in real time?

  • If you are an online student, you can go to the online writing center for information about how to contact a writing coach. 
  • If you are a PVD campus student you can schedule an appointment with the writing coach through uSucceed.