Literature Reviews

Colloquium: Thursday, February 5, 14:00 to 16:00  in room A 2.35 (inside the CBS Library at Solbjerg Plads)

As a scholar you have to have a good sense of the state your field. The value of your contribution will always be relative to what is already known by your peers, and your awareness of their work is part of your qualifications as a scholar. This is why literature reviews are such an important part of scholarship. They tell you what your peers are thinking and, while you don’t have to agree with them on every point, as a member of the community your work will build on theirs.

All scholars will usually carry our a review of the literature several times during the course of their careers. Sometimes they will do this in order to publish a so-called “review article”, which is an important community service. Ideally, it will save others the trouble of reviewing the same literature themselves, at least for a while. At other times, a scholar will carry our a mini-review of a particular corner of the literature, mainly to see what’s new, or because they moving into an area that had previously been peripheral to their interests. At the start of the career, as part of one’s PhD research, one will normally do a thorough search of several literatures, trying to find a place that feels like “home”. This process is formative; it shapes a scholars sense of self along with a sense of the community. It helps to define the “I” by identifying the “we”.

Our first “Craft Thursday” this year will be devoted the art of reviewing the literature. We will show you a number of tricks for searching bodies of literature that may be relevant to you, and identifying the key texts and central authors in your tradition. We will also talk about how to find already published literature reviews.

Liv Bjerge Laursen will guide us through the library’s databases “live”. So do please bring your own question and problems for us to work through.

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