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Literature Review - Finding the Resources

This guide assists you in finding the resources for your literature review

Find more relevant resources based on what you have found

After finding something relevant, you can build on what you have already found to continue your search and get more relevant resources. In fact, every relevant book, journal article, or database record is an introduction to new information for you.

This page shows you the various ways to get additional resources from what you have found.

Books covering similar subjects

When you find a book which is relevant to your research topic, also take a look at other library books that are shelved nearby. Since books are shelved together in subject areas by call number, you may then find other useful books on the shelves. 

When you have identified a relevant book using our CityU LibraryFind, also make use of the "Subject" field in this book record to find other resources sharing the same subject. Try to click on the hyperlinked "Subject" field (see an example below) to see what items of similar subject you can get.

You may also be interested to learn about other works written by the same author of your relevant book. Click on the hyperlinked "Author" field to search for other works by this author. 

More relevant resources from a database

To get other resources on similar topics in the same database, you can perform another search using the subject terms / subject headingssubject descriptorskeywords on the record.

The example below shows a record of a journal article from the EBSCOhost Database.

Resources from bibliographies or references

Read the bibliographies and references in the book or article that you find relevant. They contain the sources that the author has cited or consulted in his or her research. You may find some of these sources useful to you. The citing sources may also help you to trace the history and development of an idea or a concept backward in time.

Below is an example of a list of references taken from a journal article:


From: Ansari, S.M., Fiss, P.C., and Jajac, E.J. (2010). Made to fit: How practices vary as they diffuse. Academy of Management Review, 35(1), 67-92.

Sources in which the resource you find has been cited

Bibliographies and references allow you to trace a resource backward in time. You can also track the ideas presented in a resource forward in time by seeing who has cited the resource you find. This technique is called citation tracking.

The most efficient way to do this is to use a database that provides "Cited by" information. For Library-subscribed databases, you can use Web of Science (including Science Citation Index Expanded & Social Science Citation Index) and Scopus.


You can also sort a result list retrieved from these two databases by the "Times cited" or "Cited by" order to identify top papers on a topic, as papers which have been cited many times must have made certain impact on the field. However, for these two databases, since the citation sources are limited to that particular database, you will miss out other resources not included in that database.

To search across many databases, you can use Google Scholar to track cited sources.