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Some Info About Publishing


There are a couple of very useful guides authored by other MRU librarians that may help before you get started:

Scholarly Publishing

Undergraduate Research

The Literature Review

What is a literature review?

It describes and evaluates the research that has been done in a particular area of research. 

  • In general, a literature review should be clear, concise, cohesive, and comprehensive discussion of a narrow, well-defined research question.
  • The goal is usually to identify relationships, contradictions, controversies, gaps and potential next steps in the research.

What is it for?

  • It gives your ideas for your research topic
  • It helps you understand the big picture and background to your topic so that you can identify where your proposed research fits in the exisiting body of knowledge.
  • It gives your reader a sense of the sources examined and what research is being drawn upon, and demonstrates your knowledge of the topic.

Literature reviews should synthesize and compare studies that discuss different aspects of your topic, depending on your purpose (for example, you might compare experimental method, population studied, theoretical framework, etc.).

University of Toronto Writing Centre Explains it Well

A Successful Literature Review

  • Logically organizes different positions taken by the authors on issues relevant to your topic
  • It does not list what each source says one by one, without providing a connection between studies
  • Highlights important subthemes
  • It does not provide an argument about what methods work best or reveal the team's opinion about issues
  • Demonstrates the relationships of the works you are citing
  • It does not include studies included arbitrarily to fill in your literature review

Structuring your review

Chronological Approach - reviewing the various studies in order of their appearance in time

Methodological Approach - organizing by different methodologies used

Thematical Approach - organizing around different themes or concepts, key issues or debates or sometimes discipline/area of study

Recommended Resources

Supreme Court of Canada 

What is it?

The practice of following citation connections between materials.  Academics preform backwards chaining, following up references or sources cited in materials consulted in a paper, or forward chaining, identifying sources that has cite a particular paper.

Scopus - Use citation tracker or "cited by" in the search results

Web of Science - Use "cited by" in the results list or the cited reference search

Google Scholar - is a simple tool that does the work for you!

There are two citation management tools you may consider using to organize your research:

Take a close look at them both and decide which one would work best for your research projects.  You can also take a look at this chart for a quick look at the differences between the two products to help you make a decision about what best meets your needs.  

Other Helpful Resources

Insurgent Research (A. Gaudry) If you are doing research relating to Indigenous populations, this is a must-read.

Indigenous Studies Portal (USask) The iPortal content has a primary focus on Indigenous peoples of Canada with a secondary focus on North American materials and beyond.

Crime and Justice  -  A sub-page of the Stats Canada site with focus police, crime, and court statistics. 

Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics -  statistics related to crime and victims of crime prepared by the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP).

Canadian Network for Research on Terrorism, Security and Society - a searchable database that connects scholars with research and initiatives relating to terrorism and security policy. 

Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse and Addiction - includes quick data and statistics, fact sheets, and research publications.

Juristat -  In-depth analysis and detailed Canadian statistics on a variety of topics and issues related to justice and public safety. 

Stats Canada -  Stats Canada is the official national statistics site. 

Correctional Services Canada Contains general information for the public but also links to publications and research and special reports.

THOMAS - A one-stop site to find American federal legislation.

National Institute of Corrections (US) Resources targeted toward corrections practitioners and researchers. 



Madelaine Vanderwerff's picture
Madelaine Vanderwerff

Office: EL4441M

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