Computer Science Department, Bucknell University
How To Do A Literature Search
By Dan Hyde
Updated August, 2004
What resources are available for a scholarly literature search? How
do you get started? How to be effective in your search?
Below is a list of possible resources.
- A chapter or section in a book may have some introductory
material. Search the bibliography at the end of the book for useful
articles and books. Note that some
textbooks have a bibliographic section at the end of each chapter.
- For overview articles consult the Encyclopedia of Computer
Science, third edition (1993) and fourth edition (2000) by editors
Anthony Ralston and Edwin D. Reilly, Van Nostrand Reinhold, publisher. Both
editions are in the Reference Section of Library under QA76.15.
The newer edition does not
replace the third edition. Many times I have found what I wanted was in
third edition and not in the fourth. Other useful encylopedias
of computer science are on the same and nearby shelves.
- The ACM Guide to Computing Literature supplies a good
coverage of the computing literature. Unfortunately, it takes several
years to compile. Therefore, the latest year is 2002. This annual
publication is indexed by author, title and keyword. The keyword
search is the most valuable. The volumes are found in Reference
Section at QA75.5.
- Computing Reviews is another publication of the ACM. In
Computing Reviews (CR), experts review current books
and articles in the field of computing. CR organizes all of computer
science into a classification scheme. Authors of articles for ACM
publications must supply the CR Classification as well as keywords.
The CR issues are found on level 2 of the library.
- Another source of articles is to search through a collection of
on-line databases. From http://www.isr.bucknell.edu/Doing_Research/Databases/index.html
click on databases and E-Journals. Try IEEE Xplore and Internet &
Personal Computing Abstracts.
- The Library also has developed Research by Subject web
each discipline. From the above URL, click on Research by Subject then select
- A valuable resource is the Science Citation Index. This
resource has the usual author, title and keyword index. However, it
also contains a citation index, i. e., all the works in that year that
cited a previous work. Once you have found a key article, you can use
this tool to find all the articles that cited the key article in later
- Select several key journals in your area and browse through
the last several years for possible articles. This is especially
useful if you have drawn a blank on a keyword search or are not sure
what keywords to use in a search.
- Find or ask for a current bibliography on the Internet. Also,
many abstracts and even whole articles are now on the Internet. Use
your favorite search engine such as
- Attend a conference or workshop. Conference proceedings are
more up to date then journal articles. Unfortunately, very few
conference proceedings are in the library. If you
know the reference, the article
can be acquired by Interlibrary Loan.
Page maintained by Dan Hyde, hyde at bucknell.edu Last update
August 20, 2004
CSCI 475's Home page.