Research: Places to Go

Literature Reviews – Getting Started

“Literature review,” “research installment,” “works cited,” “bibliography”—these terms all name a common element in what we call research which is, in every case, collaboration. The common concept of research as an organized social activity is what you need to understand. The conventions and differences will vary in various academic disciplines as well as in research communities beyond educational institutions

Looking for resources to identify and search for peer-reviewed articles? Use the Guide Searching for Peer Reviewed Articles (and what is peer-review?) 

Peer-review refers to a specific publishing process where an article is reviewed prior to publication by scholars who study in the same field as the author(s) of the article.  These scholars judge how valuable the research is to the field (is it saying anything new? controversial? substantiating findings of previous research?) as well as the quality and validity of the research process used (are the methods appropriate or valid?).  They decide if the article should be published in the journal or not.  The peer-review process is often “blind” – meaning the reviewers do not know who the author(s) of the article are at the time of the review.  This is an effort to prevent reviewers from favoring individuals they may know or being biased against the research.  However, the peer-review process is only one way to judge the quality of information.  The validity of the peer-review process itself is debated by scholars across most all fields of study.

You can access these Guides and others from the “Databases & Guides” tab on the Mason Library’s website OR from the Portal for Research & Writing               

Peer-to-peer Research & Writing Help

 Drop-in at the Library’s Research & Writing Help Desk (1st floor Mason Library):

  • Sunday 4:00 – 9:00 pm
  • Monday – Wednesday 10:00 – 9:00pm 
  • Thursday 10:00 – 4:00pm

Or at the Center for Writing (81 Blake Street)

  • Sunday 6 pm – 9 pm
  • Monday 10 am – 9 pm
  • Tuesday 10 am – 9 pm
  • Wednesday 10 am -5 pm & 7 – 9 pm
  • Thursday 10 am – 5 pm
  • Friday 10 am – 1 pm

Or make an appointment!