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Literature Reviews in Adult Education

Databases: Best bets

To find articles, you need to start at the Library Databases page.

Finding articles

Once you have chosen a database, brainstorm some search terms and enter them in the search boxes. Some tips:

  • Combine concepts using AND (bullying AND girls)
  • Combine synonyms or similar concepts using OR (native OR aboriginal)
  • Use * to truncate (canad* will find canada, canadian, etc.)
  • use quotation marks to search for a phrase ("higher education")
  • You don't have to use all your keywords in the first search. You can always add more keywords later. More search strategies.

Watch Find Peer Reviewed Articles ASAP with Academic Search Premier

What does peer-reviewed mean?

Peer-reviewed articles may also be referred to as scholarly, academic or refereed articles. These articles generally have the following characteristics:

  • written by scholars, researchers for an audience of fellow scholars and researchers
  • may contain footnotes or other notes
  • list many references
  • often contain original research
  • are usually lengthy

Before being published, a journal article must first go through a review process to ensure it meets accepted scholarly standards. The article should also contribute significant, original research to the field. 

Watch Peer Review in 3 Minutes:

Citation Chasing

One of the best ways to find the relevant articles is to look up the references in a few good articles. The video below shows you how to find articles from a bibliography. 

You can also try searching for titles of articles in Google Scholar (just make sure you are searching Google Scholar from the Library website or have set up you Library Links)

Watch The Citation Hunt

What about Google?

Google Scholar is also a great way to find out how important an article is and to find more articles. If you search for a specific article or by using keywords, you will see that some articles have been cited by others. In the example below, the highlighted article has been cited 570 times (in other words, 570 other articles or authors have used this one in their own article). You can click on the link to look at those 570 articles.

Screenshot of Google Scholar search with Cited by link highlighted.

Some more tips on using Google Scholar to find articles: