Computer Science Department, Bucknell University
How To Do A Literature Search
Originally by Dan Hyde
Revised by Xiannong Meng
August 22, 2005
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 information needed was in the
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. The printed versions are found
in Reference Section at QA75.5. The on-line version can be found at http://portal.acm.org/guide.cfm.
Students, faculty, and staff of Bucknell can access the Guide
directly from the
- 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. The on-line version
can be found at http://www.reviews.com. The full service
requires ACM membership and its digital library subscription. Guest
acount is available for limited services.
- Another source of articles is to search through a collection of
on-line databases. From http://www.isr.bucknell.edu/research/
click on databases. Try IEEE Xplore and Internet &
Personal Computing Abstracts.
- The Library also has developed Research Pathfinders for
each discipline. From the above URL, click on databases then
Research Pathfinders. You find computer science under
- 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
Google or Visisimo to find some information.
- 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 or use on-line search listed below.
- If you are looking for computer science literature, especially
conference proceedings and articles, here are a few good places to
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August 22, 2005
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