Skip to main content

Grad Students Professional Development Seminar

Library Sources


Refresher guide and examples:


Scholarly encyclopedias and other reference tools:

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

Scholarly bibliographies -  with a twist:

These can provide brief introductions to branches or areas or research, and include extensive lists of important sources in many subject areas. Try: 

Review & Survey Journals:

Articles in these specialized journals can be especially useful, as one their main tasks is always to review, survey  or circumscribe the literature related to a research topic. They include extensive bibliographies which can lead you to many other sources on your research question. Try these:



As you know, dissertations and theses include literature reviews and long bibliographies, and they often cover topics that are new or emerging.

  • see our guide How to find theses for many more details on searching for theses at Concordia and at specific institutions beyond.

  • To find Concordia theses only:


Additional Lit Review Tools & Tips:

ARTICLE DATABASES: subject-specific & multi-disciplinary

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

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

  • Use the DATABASE BY SUBJECT listing 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.

Examples of Subject-Specific Sources in Anthropology, Sociology & Other Disciplines:



Examples of Multi-Disciplinary Favourites:

Remember to find more favourites in your disciplines  and all others at Concordia by using the Subject Guides  and/or Database by Subject listing.

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

  2. You can search many databases at once using the following methods:

    • Try starting with one of our EBSCO databases such as Academic Search Complete or ProQuest databases such as Sociological Abstracts and then selecting the "Choose Databases" "Change Databases"  to identify and select additional databases to search simultaneously.

  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


You can chase and trace citations and analyze citation patterns in  many different ways. Popular databases include:

Here are four ways you can approach citation searching:

1 - Cited by/Times Cited

You can use the "Cited by" link available in many databases to get a quick view of who is citing a particular work within the confines of that database or index:

In Google Scholar:
  1. At the Google Scholar search screen enter a topic, known title or author.
  2. At the search results page, click on the Cited by link under an article or book of interest.
  3. You can then use the checkbox: search within citing articles to further focus your search.
In Web of Science:
  1. At the Web of Science Basic Search screen, enter topic keywords, a known title or an author.
  2. At the results page, click on the Times Cited number in the right column beside the article(s) of interest.
  3. [You could also select Create Citation Report to get a look at Citing Articles for the whole list of search results.]
  4. You can further focus your search in many ways
  1. At the Scopus Document Search screen, enter topic keywords, a known title or an author.
  2. At the results page, click on the Cited By number in the far right clolumn beside the article(s) of interest.
  3. [You can also click on View Citation Overview or View Cited By to get a look at citing articles for the whole list of search results.]
  4. You can further focus your search in many ways. 

**TIPYou can also find "Times Cited/Cited by" links in many subject specific article databases, but these will not appear consistently, and are confined to what is indexed in that particular databases.

2 - Related Articles:

In Web of Science and Scopus, the related articles are ones that have **references in common in their bibliographies**. This is a feature that is UNIQUE to these two databases.

  • In Web of Science,
    1. Enter topic keywords, a known title or an author.
    2. At the results page, click on the title of the article you are interested in.
    3. At the summary page for the article, click on view related records.

  • In Scopus
    1. Enter a topic, title, or author
    2. At the results page, scroll and hover over the title that interests you, and click on Related documents.
  • TIP:
    • In Google Scholar and other Subject-Specific Databases the "Related Article"or "Related Record" links may also lead to additional articles that your own keyword searching did not retrieve, but these are based on shared keywords and authors, NOT on shared references in the bibliography. 

Back to top  

3 - Cited Refererence Searching


When following the trail of foundational works you should use Cited Reference Searching to find all the variants of that work and to then obtain and analyze a full set of citing articles.


4 - GS Citation Profiles [take them with a grain of salt!]:

Google Scholar has also launched Google Scholar Profiles, which allows you to organize your own citations, but also:


RESEARCH METHODS: useful sources & tools

Virtually all of the tools listed on this page can help you find material about the research method(s)/design you are considering.

But you 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. 

BOOKS: library catalogues

at Concordia:

BEYOND Concordia:

  • The Sofia Discovery tool can simultaneously search the catalogues of all Quebec university libraries, and of more than 10,000 libraries worldwide. Under the Library facet on the left, simply select: Bibliothèques universitaires du Québec or Libraries worldwide
  • See  also our other library catalogues page to check for material at other specialized institutions locally and worldwide, including the BANQ (Bibliothèque et Acrhives nationales du Québec)

  • Google Books. Unlike simple library catalogues, this tool searches inside the pages of books

News, Archives & Primary Sources

JUST FOR YOU: grad student perks & privileges

Our Graduate Students Library Guide tries to bring together all the library-related resources and services you will need for your studies at Concordia. It can help you pinpoint the best spots on the library web site for graduate students and discover the perks reserved for grad students only.

Bibliographic MANAGEMENT Tools:

You can oganize and manage the citations you find in your searches in many different ways.  Try out more than one bibliographic management tool and pick your favourite: 

Zotero & Competitors

ZOTERO is a free and popular citation tool
(and our new alternative to RefWorkswhich was phased out  April 2020)

To begin:

  1. Register for a free account
  2. At the Download page select:

    • Zotero 5.0 for your Windows/Mac desktop
    • Zotero Connector for your browser

You can also try other alternatives to  both RefWorks and  Zotero:

Bibliography Basics

Optimizing your access from on & off campus

YOUR research, data, writing and publishing - Library Guides:

Back to top

© Concordia University