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If you are embarking on research with no previous knowledge
of the literature of the subject, you could save time
by first checking whether anyone has already covered the
Systematic lists of books on a particular subject or theme, known as bibliographies, often provide a more or less complete list of everything published within a specific field and time scale. Naturally you will have to search for records of any works which may have appeared since the date of publication of the bibliography.
In the Robinson Library, subject bibliographies are usually given the shelfmark 016 followed by the same numbers as are used for general books on the subject e.g. a bibliography of British history will be found at 016.941.
You can search Library Search using the word Bibliography as one of your keywords or subject words to see whether the library has any bibliographies for your subject.
Another form of bibliography is the list of references or further reading given in monographs or textbooks on a particular subject. Once you find a book that is appropriate to your needs, check to see whether the author has included such a list.
Be aware, however, that a list of references covers only the literature up to the date of publication of the work in which it is found. New editions of the work will probably bring the list up to date.
In some subjects the literature including books is regularly reviewed in annual publications. You can look at the Library catalogue to find titles beginning with the words
- Advances in....
- Progress in....
- Years work in....