In a literature review you explore research that has come before you and is relevant to your topic. It can help you identify:
- core research in the field
- experts in the subject area
- methodology you may want to use (or avoid)
- gaps in the literature -- or where your research would fit in
- see what literature reviews already exist on your topic (databases like Oxford Bibliographies Online: Social Work, PubMed and PsycInfo -- they can help you get started, and save you a lot of time.) For PsycInfo, restrict by literature review, for PubMed by review.
- citation slogging (aka "snowballing") -- work your way back through citations (or footnotes) to key articles
- forward citation -- see who has cited key articles using Google Scholar and Web of Science Citation Indexes.
- see the American Psychological Association's Literature Review Guidelines or Purdue OWL: Social Work Literature Review for some helpful tips.
UCB: Use OskiCat to find books related to your topic at UC Berkeley. Oskicat will show you where it's located, and will also show you the Library of Congress Subject Heading -- which can help you find material other relevant books.
UC: Not enough books at Berkeley? Use Melvyl to find more books at other campuses in the UC system. Clickon the REQUEST button (in the detailed view of a catalog record) to request the item through Interlibrary Loan.
Google Books: Library catalogs don't search inside of books. Google Books can help you identify the book you need, then click on "Find in a Library" to see if we have it.
APA e-book collection Current e-books published by the American Psychological Association from 2009 to date.
ebrary Berkeley's largest e-book collection, with thousands of titles on a wide range of subjects, including social work, education and psychology. Some advanced ebrary features require downloading reader software.
Wiley Online Library Ebook Collection Fulltext books in social welfare and psychology from 2011.
MIT CogNet E-books in cognitive and brain sciences published by MIT.
We have hundreds of research databases which help you find articles (and more) on a wide variety of topics. They are organized according to academic discipline, by name, or by type of database (dissertations, e-books, etc.)
Core resources for Social Welfare:
Social Services Abstracts
Indexes journals in social work, human services, and social policy.
Core database in psychology, also includes social work.
Social Work Abstracts
Indexes hundreds of journals related to social work on a wide range of topics.
Core database in sociology, many overlaps with social welfare.
Access to citations from MEDLINE and other journals in the field of medicine -- includes psychiatry, geriatrics, public health,etc.
Interested in Social Work in the schools, or the overlap with Education? ERIC is a key source for education research and practice.
Academic Search Complete
Social Work research is often interdisciplinary, and this can be a good place to search. Includes many fulltext articles.
Family and Society Studies Worldwide
International social science research about the family and society.
UC eLinks and Citation Linker
Sometimes the database you search doesn't link to the fulltext -- it only gives the citation. Click the button to see if Berkeley has it online, and if not, it will check for a print version. And if we don't have it at all, it lets you request it through Interlibrary Loan.
What if there isn't a button??? Sometimes you find an article in a bibliography, a book or a footnote -- and you want to see if we have it. The Citation Linker searches through our online databases to see if it's available fulltext. If not, it sets up a search for the paper journal in Melvyl. And if we don't have it at Berkeley, it lets you request it through Interlibrary Loan.