Searching for Research Literature

My post is about the research literature, specifically where to look for resources for the literature review. I decided to write about it because I am struggling now with searching for the relevant literature for my review.

A review of the literature is an essential part of our research project and we have to spend a lot of time on it. According to Creswell (2014) a literature review is a written summary of journal articles, books and other documents that describes the past and current state of information on the topic of your study (p. 96). Well…all of you (hopefully) read Creswell and know all these stuff about why is it important and how to write literature review so I skip for now talking about it and focus on “places” where to find a literature. Let’s see places where I look for articles, empirical studies and books.

We are lucky and we have a huge catalog in our NU library and have access to many databases.

First of all, library catalogs which are helpful for looking for books that typically are most useful to areas like the humanities and history.

Secondly, university databases which are usually (unfortunately, not always) free to students through the library and provide access to scholarly journals and periodicals.

Thirdly, when I find an article relevant to my topic and go looking through References where I can find useful articles for my thesis. On the one hand, it is very helpful and save time but on the other hand, it is not guarantee that I can find this article on the Internet because sometimes there is no freely access to it.

Certainly, Google Scholar is very useful and accessible web search “machine” and I would recommend to check RefSeek web search where I found some interesting articles for my thesis.

Also, here you can find a lot of useful links to the search engines for academic research.

Finally, people who I worked with helped me a lot. Most of them are teachers and administrative staff (foreigners) who are luckily familiar with my topic and shared with some articles with me.

To sum up, I know that information I shared with you today is quite familiar to you but the purpose of my post is to get advices from you. It would be great if you add and share with an information where you look for necessary literature.

I wish everyone good luck and thank you in advance for sharing ideas with us.


Creswell, J. (2014). Educational research: Planning, conducting and evaluating quantitative and qualitative research (4th ed., Pearson new international ed.). Harlow, Essex: Pearson.


4 thoughts on “Searching for Research Literature

  1. aizhajan, it is always a relevant topic and ongoing process in our study. Thanks for sharing some useful steps in literature review.
    In addition, I would recommend to find all journals pertinent to your topic and search your key words in their page, Sometimes the whole issue might be dedicated to your topic.
    Last semester I found RefWorks a useful tool in literature review. Sometimes when I was not inspired to read an abstract at that moment, I saved articles in RefWorks and later I could find these articles to read in depth. So, this might help us in searching process, because in all databases there is a function “to save in RefWorks” and NU library subscribed to it.


  2. Thanks a lot for reminding me how it was difficult to find relevant articles books or other resources to my topic of literature review. Especially, it is very challenging to find resources about Kazakhstan. There are few authors, researchers who have written or conducted the research about our country in the field of education. Moreover, if you find some articles about education in Kazakhstan they can be in Russian. So, you have to translate for yourself some parts for your literature review. Sometimes foreign professors are helpless in searching relevant information to your topic because they can be misinformed about education in our country. Some of them can have general picture of knowledge about education in Kazakhstan.


  3. Very useful information, especially for future graduates! Wish you success in writing and defending your thesis paper this year

    I would like to share my experience. I also have difficulties with searching reliable sources. Unfortunately, at school nobody teaches us how to surf the internet and search for information. Nowadays, all researches are based on literature review that impose that we have to look for appropriate literature and filled that gap on our topic.
    I agree with you, thanks to the huge NU library catalog and subscriptions we may find a lot of useful articles.
    Sometimes I rely on the official pages of national or public newspapers. Of course, we have to be aware of is that or this source is reliable or not.


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