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The Research Process: Find Sources

Find Your Sources

  • Search library databases:  Northwestern has access to millions of articles not available through Google
  • Use keyword searching effectively
  • Limit your search to fit the parameters of your topic
  • Evaluate the types of resources available
  • If full text is not available through a database obtain articles using FindIt button and Interlibrary Loan

You can start looking for articles in Academic Search Complete, an interdisciplinary database:

Academic Search Complete and NUSearch both have a wide variety of publications that could be either from scholarly publications or popular publications. What's the difference? Explore below!

Search for literature review articles in subject databases:

  1. Type the phrase "Literature Review" (with quotation marks) as a search term
  2. Look to see if there is an option to limit your search results by Document Type (this may appear underneath the search box or among the filters on the left side of the search results display).

Be careful
The document type "Review" is often used and may identify articles that are book reviews, software reviews or reviews of films, performances, art exhibits, etc.


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I Need It But You Don't Have It

If materials are unavailable at Northwestern, you may be able to borrow them for free from another library via Interlibrary Loan (ILL)

It takes an average of 7 to 10 days for loan materials to arrive. Journal articles and book chapters are usually available more quickly.

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