Annual Reviews

Open in another browser window to work through this tutorial side by side.


Welcome to the Annual Reviews tutorial.

Annual Reviews publishes critical, and summary, reviews of significant topics in a number of disciplines in the sciences and social sciences. Each year a volume is published in each field summarizing recent work on major topics in the discipline. The topics vary by year. An editor of the review asks major scholars in the field to write these summary articles. It is a good place to begin research and can substitute for an encyclopedia article on a specific topic. Annual Reviews has been publishing since 1932.

Take a moment to look over the Annual Review homepage to the right. You may need to use the right and bottom scroll bars to view the entire screen. The Search Tips section is very useful and will cover suggestions (such as "wild cards") which will not be addressed in this tutorial.

Searching for Reviews

1 of 2

Since Annual Reviews covers a wide range of disciplines it is unlikely you will want to do a general search using the search box at the top of the page. The Advanced Search is the only practical option. And the most likely search will be in journal content in selected journals. Click on the "Selected Journals" button.

You have options as to where in the content of the article you search: All Fields, Abstract, Article Title, etc. You may end up playing around by searching in different fields to get the most relevant reviews.

Searching for Reviews

2 of 2

Scroll down to the list of disciplines.

Since we are searching for a summary article on educational attainment we will search in Sociology since this is an often treated topic in that discipline. You can search several disciplines simultaneously. It may be best to consult with your course professor when deciding which disciplines to search in.

It is also important to set a date range, which will vary by topic and discipline. Again consult with your professor. We will set 2000 to 2013. 

Having set your limiters scroll back up to the search boxes at the top of the page. As stated we have many options. We will search in the "Abstract" field, realizing that we may have to revise our search later on. An abstract is a short summary of the article usually occurring on the first page. Since it describes what the article is about words in the abstract are probably highly relevant. An "Any Field" search will bring up many more articles but they may not be as relevant. A "Title" search may bring up a few very relevant articles but may leave some out which do not have the phrase "educational attainment" in the title. Put words which you want searched as a phrase on one line, and other words on the other lines. We will search for educational achievement of Latinos or Hispanics. (We use both words since we don't know what terms the authors of the reviews will use.) We can use an "Or" command to do this.

In this database place the "Or" command first and the "And" second. You want reviews which contain either the term "Hispanics" or "Latinos" in the abstract and which also contain the phrase "educational attainment." If you have difficulty run your searches separately. Run one search for "Hispanics" and "educational attainment" and one for "Latinos" and "educational attainment".

Scroll down again and hit the Search button. The results list comes up sorted by relevance.

Other options are sort by "Most Recent", "Most Cited" and "Most Downloaded". These are all useful options but Relevance is probably best initially. And if you have set your date range narrowly enough the reviews will also be timely.

Look at the titles to determine however how relevant the reviews are and click on the title to look at the abstract. The reviews discussed here will not necessarily be the ones you will see as Annual Reviews uploads new reviews into the database on a regular basis.

In this search only one article came up. Often more than one will appear and should click on the titles, or the abstract links under the title, to read the abstracts to determine which article or articles are really relevant to your research.

 After reading the abstract you have two options for reading and accessing the article. We will discuss those in the next section.

Accessing Your Review

 You have two ways of accessing your review, as a PDF or as a full-text HTML document.

Both have advantages. The full-text HTML document has hyperlinks embedded in its bibliography to other articles which may be held in Hofstra University databases. Clicking on the hyperlinks may be a good way to do additional research.

Click on the Find Article box which should search most of Hofstra University Library's databases to see if the article is held there.

Sometime you will be directed to use CrossRef or other links to find to access the article in the references. If one of these takes you to a website where you are asked to pay for the item do not do so. Never pay for material. Use Interlibrary Loan to get material for free even though it is not held at Hofstra. Consult a reference librarian about how to set up and use an Interlibrary Loan account if you have not already done so.

If the item is a book and not an article Journal Finder should supply a link suggesting you try the Hofstra University catalog. If Hofstra University Library does not own the book you may use Interlibrary to request it.

Most people prefer a PDF for printing and downloading. Since a PDF is an exact replica of the article it is easier to use for in-text citations in your paper when you need to give a page for the quotation cited. It should always be printed using the print icon as many PDF's will not respond to the drop-down menu for printing.
The print icon is in the middle.



Please enter your name and email address to retrieve a copy of your completed quiz.

You can enter multiple email addresses separated by commas. If you are doing this for a class, you may need to enter your instructor's email address also.