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BIS 301 - Professor Tony Clark: Literature Review

This guide will provide resources for specific assignments: Profiling a Discipline (PaD) and Interdisciplinary Literature Review.

Literature Review Assignments

Assignment: ASU's Charter, Mission and Goals, and Design Aspirations talk about the importance of research and discovery of public value, enhancing our local impact and social embeddedness, and developing solutions to real-life challenges. In keeping with this, pick a real-life challenge to research in the peer-reviewed literature for your discipline(s).

Researching: Having trouble deciding what to write about? Try looking at the links below to get some ideas:

  • Times Topics
    Each topic also links to newspaper articles from the NY Times.
  • Global Insights in Context
    Use your Arizona zip code to access this database licensed by the Arizona State Library. To see an A-Z list of topics, click on VIEW ALL next to Browse Issues and Topics.
  • CQ Researcher
    An A-Z subject list of Congressional Quarterly Reports on issues in the news available in this database.

Assignment: After selecting a topic, get background information that will provide perspective on the SCOPE of the challenge.

Research: Locate data-rich information in media, government reports, and/or the reports commissioned by nonprofit advocacy organizations. Here are a few strategies for finding this sort of information:

  • Look at resources that specialize in gathering materials on issues and analyzing them. These will provide background information, analysis of the problem, data, and referrals to government agencies and nonprofit advocacy organizations that publish research on the topic.
  • Besides Google News, search newspaper databases for data-rich articles in the media:
  • Use specialized search portals for data/reports from government agencies and nonprofit advocacy organizations:
    • FedStats: U.S. federal statistics
    • Intergovernmental Organization Search Engine Customized Google search limited to searching through websites of these types of organizations (i.e., European Union, Interpol, United Nations, World Bank, World Health Organization, etc.)
    • Non-governmental Organization Search Engine Customized Google search limited to searching through websites of non-profits, advocacy organizations, research institutes, and think tanks (i.e., Amnesty International, Ford Foundation, Food Research & Action Center, etc.)
    • UNdata: United Nations data
    • USA.gov: The U.S. government official web search
       
  • Use Google to search for data/reports from the federal government agencies or nonprofit advocacy organizations. Type in the topic and add site.gov for federal government materials or site:org for nonprofit advocacy organization materials.
    Example: "Clean Water" site:org

    Tip: Once a search result leads you to material at an organization's website, take the time to look around the site for other useful information it may offer.

Assignment: Find articles from academic journals in each of your disciplines (see the ILR assignment instructions for the number of required articles). For students whose discipline is Organizational Studies, the articles can come from Organizational Studies journals and/or from journals of the disciplines that contribute to Organizational Studies.

Research: Finding articles in journals specific to a discipline is most easily done by using a discipline-specific article database. Here are some databases to choose from:

Tip: Many of these databases cover a mixture of academic journals, magazines and other publication types. It's very important to limit your results to academic,scholarly, and/or peer-reviewed journals. Make sure to select that filter option after running your search.

Researching in multidisciplinary sources: Using multidisciplinary database to search for articles specific to a discipline requires taking some additional steps to screen for journals in the discipline. For instance:

  • Library One Search - Besides filtering the results for "Scholarly & Peer-Review" and the "Journal Article" source type as you do with the discipline-specific databases, be sure to also select a discipline option to limit results to your field.
     
  • Google Scholar - The library has set up a customized ASU access point to Google Scholar that will link results to the library's journal subscriptions even when you are off campus. However, Google Scholar does not have filtering options to limit the types of sources or the disciplines appearing in the results, so you will have to screen the results manually for entries that are academic journals in your field.
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