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Accounting and Finance: Research Methods

Notes Research Methods Workshop

Steps for conducting a Literature Review

Search Strategy

Once you have defined the scope of your research topic, the next step is to think about the range of resources available.

Library Search

This is your first port of call and contains a record of  all the material catalogued by the Library.   Search the catalogue to find the location of books on your reading lists.


These are more advanced than textbooks and normally contain essay contributions from key writers in a particular subject field,  providing a holistic approach to a topic.


Scholarly or peer reviewed journals provide a forum for academic debate and contain the latest research in a subject. They can be published monthly, quarterly, half yearly, annually or even biannually. Available in  two formats either  print or electronic (online).


To access the content of an online journal you normally link to a database. Some database may only provide an abstract to a journal article rather than full text access.

Institutional Repository (Open Access)

A good source for working paper


Researchers are using blogs to communicate progress updates on various stages of  projects they are engaged with.

Social Media:

Most research organisations are using Twitter and Facebook  as outlets to publicise their latest reports.

Academic Phrasebank

The Academic Phrasebank is a general resource for academic writers. It aims to provide you with examples of some of the phraseological ‘nuts and bolts’ of writing organised according to the main sections of a research paper or dissertation (see the top menu ). Other phrases are listed under the more general communicative functions of academic writing (see the menu on the left). The resource should be particularly useful for writers who need to report their research work.The phrases, and the headings under which they are listed, can be used simply to assist you in thinking about the content and organisation of your own writing, or the phrases can be incorporated into your writing where this is appropriate. In most cases, a certain amount of creativity and adaptation will be necessary when a phrase is used.The items in the Academic Phrasebank are mostly content neutral and generic in nature; in using them, therefore, you are not stealing other people’s ideas and this does not constitute plagiarism. For some of the entries, specific content words have been included for illustrative purposes, and these should be substituted when the phrases are used.The resource was designed primarily for academic and scientific writers who are non-native speakers of English. However, native speaker writers may still find much of the material helpful. In fact, recent data suggest that the majority of users are native speakers of English. More about Academic Phrasebank.


This site was created by John Morley. If you could spare just two or three minutes of your time, I would be extremely grateful for any feedback on Academic Phrasebank: Please click here to access a very short questionnaire. Thank you.


Linking Google Scholar to UL Library

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