The word literature (in 'literature review') broadly refers to the scholarly or scientific writing on a topic.
Common sources of written works include:
A good quality literature review involves searching a number of databases individually.
The Library databases are an excellent resource for finding peer-reviewed journal articles (and also book chapters and conference papers).
Databases may be multidisciplinary or discipline-specific. The best way to find the relevant databases for your review is to consult a list of databases such as the ones found in:
Books are often useful for background information when learning about a topic. They may be general, such as textbooks, or specialised.
A good way to find books is to use an online catalogue such as the Monash University Library Search catalogue.
Grey literature is information which has been published informally or non-commercially (where the main purpose of the producing body is not commercial publishing) or remains unpublished.
It can include a range of material, such as government reports, policy documents, statistics, discussion papers, dissertations, conference proceedings and unpublished trial data. The quality of grey literature can vary greatly - some may be peer reviewed whereas some may not have been through a traditional editorial process.
Grey literature may be included in a literature review to minimise publication bias.
Key ways of finding grey literature include using search engines, databases, government or organisation websites and grey literature directories. For example:
See the Government publications library guide for information on locating federal and state government publications for Australia and selected other countries. See also the Grey Literature libguide for further information
Statistical data can be found in the following selected sources:
Additional statistics are available from many government websites. Try limiting by site or domain in Google Advanced Search and using the keyword Statistics.
For a list of databases that include statistics see: Databases by Subject: Statistics
The Monash University Library Theses library guide provides resources and guidelines for locating and accessing theses produced by Monash University as well as other universities in Australia and internationally.
Theses that are available in the library can be found using the Search catalogue.
Formats include print (not available for loan), microfiche and online (some may have access restrictions).
See the Theses library guide for more information on finding theses.
Trove includes doctoral, masters and some honours theses from all Australian and New Zealand universities, as well as theses awarded elsewhere but held by Australian institutions.
For more information see the Trove website.
There are a number of thesis databases and repositories.
A popular source is:
For more sources of international theses see the Theses library guide
Conference papers are typically published in conference proceedings (the collection of papers presented at a conference), and may be found on an organisation or Society's website, as a journal, or as a special issue of journal.
In some disciplinary areas (such as computer science), conference papers may be a particularly well regarded as a form of scholarly communication; the conferences are highly selective, the papers are generally peer reviewed, and papers are published in proceedings affiliated with high-quality publishing houses.
Some indexes of conference papers are listed below:
Tips for finding conference papers:
Honours students and postgraduates may request conference papers through Document Delivery. However, conference paper requests may take longer than traditional article requests as they can be difficult to locate; they may have been only supplied to attendees or not formally published. Sometimes only the abstract is available.
The library has a large collection of Australian and overseas newspapers, both current and historical.
To search the full text of newspapers in electronic format use a database such as Newsbank newspapers : Australia and the world.
See the Newspapers library guide for comprehensive information on newspaper sources available via Monash University library and open source databases, as well as searching tips, online videos and more.
We acknowledge and pay respects to the Elders and Traditional Owners of the land on which our four Australian campuses stand. Information for Indigenous Australians