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Understanding your reading list

For a paper you need to write, the professor has given you the following reading list to read:

Reading List

Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (1985). Intrinsic Motivation and Self-determination in Human Behavior. New York/ London: Plenum.

Dawson, A., & Valentini, G. (2013). Acquisition and diversification behaviour in large family firms. In K. Smyrnios, P. Poutziouris, & S. Goel (Eds.), Handbook of Research on Family Business, Second Edition (pp. 719-733). Edward Elgar Publishing.

Baker, G. (2000). The Use of Performance Measures in Incentive Contracting. American Economic Review, 90(2), 415-420.

The World Bank (Österreichische Nationalbank (ed.) (n.d.). World Bank Group Summary Results 2015. URL: (accessed on 11/01/2016).

Publication Type

To start your search, it’s important to know what type of literature you are looking for. The search tools and strategy you will need depend on this information. Let’s take a closer look at the reading list above.

The four types of publication you are most likely to encounter during your studies are:

  1. Books – sometimes also referred to as monographs
  2. Book chapters – also known as contributions to an edited volume
  3. Journal articles – are published in academic journals, not to be confused with articles in magazines or newspapers
  4. Web pages.

We are now going to use the reading list above to demonstrate how to identify what type of media each item describes.

1. Books

Books can be recognized by the fact that a publisher and place of publication are indicated in the listing.

2. Book chapters

The author of a book chapter is listed first, followed by the title of the chapter. Editor and title of the edited volume are also given, and of course the publisher and the place of publication. The word "In:" can help identify if the work you are looking for is a book chapter, but please note: Articles in journals or other periodicals can also include "In:" in the listing.

3. Journal articles

Bibliographic data on journal articles include the name of the journal, information on the year and volume number of the journal, and the page number of the article. Place of publication, publisher, and editor are not given.

4. Web pages

You can recognize web pages in your reading list by the date of last access (this has to be provided in case the contents of a web page have changed in the meantime) and the web address (URL).

Now that we have learned to identify the main types of publications, let’s look at the fastest ways to find the literature you need.

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