1. Consult Annual Reviews. The Annual Review of Political Science consists of thorough literature review essays in all areas of political science, written by noted scholars. The library also subscribes to Annual Reviews in economics, law and social science, sociology, and many other disciplines.
2. Turn to handbooks, bibliographies, and other reference sources. Resources like Gale Virtual Reference and assorted handbooks (Oxford Handbook of American Political Parties and Interest Groups and other political science handbooks in our collection) are great ways to get a substantive introduction to a topic, subject area, debate, or issue. Not exactly literature reviews, but they do provide significant reference to and commentary on the relevant literature--like a heavily footnoted encyclopedia for specialists in a discipline.
3. Search databases and Google Scholar. Use the recommended databases in the "Articles, Books or Background" tab of this guide and try a search that includes the phrase "literature review."
4. Search in journals for literature review articles. Once you've identified the important journals in your field as suggested in the section above, you can target these journals and search for review articles.
5. Find book reviews. These reviews can often contain useful contextual information about the concerns and debates of a field. Ebsco databases are a good source for book reviews, as is JSTOR. To get to book reviews in JSTOR, select the advanced search option, use the title of the book as your search phrase, and narrow by item type: reviews. You can also narrow your search further by discipline.
6. Cast a wide net--don't forget dissertations. Dissertations and theses often include literature review sections. While these aren't necessarily authoritative, definitive literature reviews (you'll want to check in Annual Reviews for those), they can provide helpful suggestions for sources to consider. Try searching ProQuest and limiting to "thesis or dissertation" to find such resources.