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Universiteitsbibliotheek – LibGuides

Introduction to Literary Studies: Searching for publications

Types of publication

These are relevant types of publications and why they are relevant:

  • book (monograph): theory, extensive, contemplative, context, overview
  • book (edited volume): case studies, theory
  • dissertation: extensive, bibliography
  • article (scholarly): research output, current, peer review
  • book review: discussion and judgement of a specific monograph
  • reference works: definitions, facts, theories and descriptions
  • handbook: theory, current state of knowledge, summing-up
  • newspaper and media: news, opinion
  • social media: news, ideas, discussion

Sources for your literature review can also be divided into:

  • primary: original works
  • secondary: analysis/synthesis/critique of primary sources
  • tertiary: synthesis of primary and secondary sources, e.g. reference works.

More on this tripartition can be found in Chapter 2 ("Literature review: Not a method but a prerequisite") from the New Media Studies Method Reader.

Searching for books

A book is often a profound, scholarly study on a particular topic. Such a monograph often contains overviews, focusses on theory and is the result of years of research. It is very suitable as a first introduction to a subject, but it lacks the latest developments in and nuances of the scholarly discourse (as opposed to a journal article).

Books can be found via: 

More information can be found in the Libguide Search Strategy UBU LibGuide artikelen zoeken

Searching for journal articles

Together with books, scholarly journal articles are,the most important forms of publication in the academic world. The major search engines for articles are:

All search engines have their own strengths and weaknesses and each discipline has its own set of the best search engines. Your search will be more efficient and your list of search results more complete if you take the trouble to familiarise yourself with them. In exploring coverage and search options the systems themselves offer excellent help, but do not forget tutorials and the LibGuides.  

Another way to search for journal articles is by following references from already found publications. 
For more information go to the LibGuide Search Strategy

Journal list for checking availability in Utrecht

Usually you are searching for articles by subject in scientific search engines, but sometimes you just want to know if Utrecht University Library offers access to a particular volume of a particular journal. For that purpose, check the list of journals. There you will find lists of all electronic journals available within Utrecht University by:

  • name
  • discipline
  • publisher

You will find what years are available, with links to the publishers' sites. You will also find links containing information about print versions of the journals. But if you want to be absolutely sure that a journal is available in a print version, you will have to consult the catalogue.

Book Reviews

You can use a book review to:

  • Establish the quality of a book
  • Compare your opinion of the book to that of others
  • Decide if the book is worth the trouble in case you can't get hold of the book easily.

Book reviews are published in 

  • Scholarly journals
  • Newspapers and magazines
  • Online

sommige bladen (zoals de New York Review of Books) bevatten heel veel boekbesprekingen

UBUlink: availability of publications

In your search for scholarly literature you may sometimes find the UBU-link. This link provides information about the availability of the publication via the University Library, in digital as well as in paper format.

UBUlink, quickly to the publication

In the case of digital publications the UBU-link provides direct access. For print publications the UBU-link gives information about availability at Utrecht University Library. Sometimes the UBU-link is in the form of a yellow button, but it can also be a text link.