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Disability Studies: Getting Started

Current Awareness

Bibliographies and Guides to the Literature

Bibliographies are lists of works organized around a topic, while guides to the literature are systematic introductions to the literature of a field.

Literature reviews are a handy way to get quickly into the scholarly literature. A typical literature-review article will provide a narrative that identifies and describes dozens of journal articles and books.

Encyclopedias and Dictionaries

Use dictionaries and encyclopedias to learn quickly about the state of research on your topic. A good encyclopedia article should describe major themes, current research fronts, and controversial areas; it should also provide a brief bibliography of classic, important, or definitive works on your topic.

Handbooks

Handbooks generally offer chapters on specific aspects of a topic. As a collection of essays, the handbook's chapters should provide a broad overview of the state of research; individually, chapters may be narrowly focused.