Concordia University

Social Sciences Research Essentials
for Grad Students

Literature Reviews & Theses

Virtually all of the resources listed on this page can be helpful when you are preparing your literature review.

Some tools, however, can be especially useful in this area. Here are a few:

  • Annual Review Journals
    • One of the main tasks of the articles in these journals is to review the literature related to a particular research topic. Finding a ready-made review on a topic similar to yours can get you an important head start. Concordia subscribes to Annual Reviews in multiple Social Science subject areas. See also the Wiley Compass series of journals, young competitors of  the Annual Reviews. 
  • Theses & Dissertations at Concordia and beyond
    • As you may know, dissertations and theses include literature reviews and long bibliographies, and they cover topics that are new or emerging. In addition to using the tools listed in the guide above, note that Google Scholar can also be a great tool to find recent theses.


For new or unfamiliar fields, scholarly encyclopedias can also provide useful topic surveys, as well as handy bibliographies listing some of the "major" sources and authors in a subject area. See:

Research Methods: Useful Sources & Tools

Virtually all of the resources listed on this page can help you find material about research method(s) you may be considering.

But anyone in the Social Sciences should also try out our new specialized tool:

  • Sage Research Methods Online
    • This tool contains encyclopedias, dictionaries, books, journal articles and videos dealing with research methods in both theoretical and practical terms. It also includes Methods Map, a visualization tool that tries to map relationships between methods. 


ARTICLE DATABASES for the Social Sciences

There are several possible ways to identify databases that might be relevant for Social Sciences at Concordia. You might:

  • Use the appropriate RESEARCH GUIDE BY SUBJECT to discover and access the article databases recommended by the Subject Librarian for a particular discipline or subject area

  • Use the DATABASE FINDER on our homepage for quick alphabetical access to your favourite database, more subject access, and browsing by database type, such as Book ReviewsNews & Current EventsPrimary SourcesSoundVideo.

Select examples of a few subject-specific favourites:

Examples of multi-disciplinary favourites:

  • **Our new BETA Discovery Search which aims to include the great majority of our book and article databases.** 

Citation databases:

Specialized databases:

  1. For search strategies which can be used in most of the above databases, see this one-page CHEAT-SHEET.

  2. In addition to using the Discovery Search you can search many databases at once using the following methods:

    • Try starting with one of our EBSCO databases, such as Academic Search Complete, and then selecting the "Choose Databases" link near the top of the screen to identify and select additional databases to search simultaneously.

    • You can try the same trick with ProQuest databases: Select all ProQuest Databases at once or choose only a few by using the "Searching: Databases" link at the top of the screen. 
  3. Even MORE databases are available to you beyond Concordia at Other Local Libraries, including the BAnQ, which Quebec residents can access online from home. 

  4. Google Scholar tips:
    • Download and install the Concordia VPN [Virtual Private Network] to seamlessly access many of the resources from your Google Scholar search results, as if you were connecting from within the university.

    • Set up your Google Scholar Preferences to use Findit@Concordia.

    • Set up your Google Scholar Preferences to use RefWorks.



RefWorks can help you keep track of your references and automate the creation of your bibliography.


Government Information, Laws & Polls


  • Our Government Information portal page allows you to search by keyword and to find information by specific region.

  •  See also our specialized guides:
    • Law & Criminal Justice
    • Opinion Polls


Data & Statistics

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