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DCCL Orientation & Dissertation Workshop

Guide to FLITE's resources for DCCL students, especially those working on their dissertation.

white puzzle with one piece missing

Journal articles are obviously an essential part of your dissertation literature review. I like to say they're our bread and butter - essential to the process. (This is actually to the detriment of the use of books sometimes.) Scholarly articles are king; you may include some popular information but your work is scholarly in nature and continues the work of other scholars. Consequently, your literature review needs to engage past scholarship.

Journal articles are found in databases. Ferris has access to over 100 databases on a great variety of topics. I hesitate to list databases because I don't want you to limit yourself to those suggestions. Remember, your topic possibly has an interdisciplinary component. 

Discover FLITE's databases:

Like searching for books, keyword searching is the most natural way of searching for most people. It allows you to brainstorm for possible words to describe your topic. 

Again, like searching for books, subject heading searches are more precise; they are what we librarians call "controlled vocabulary". One of the better ways to determine the correct subject heading for a topic is to "back into it" with a keyword search. When you find a relevant article, using keywords, you can then check out the subject headings and search on those as well. 

However, some keywords will work better than others depending on the database. And each database will utilize different subject headings. This is why it is very important to note which database you searched and what you searched for to avoid repeating yourself and wasting your time!

Suggested Databases