Skip to main content

Accounting Library Guide: Literature review

How to find information - a guide for Accounting and Auditing students

Do not forget to login to the library;s website if you are off-campus!

Understanding your topic

The aim of this guide is to help Accounting and Auditing students find information in the library and on the internet. It is not intended to be comprehensive, but rather a starting point for your literature search.

Before you begin searching for information, you should thoroughly understand the topic you are researching. Dictionaries and encyclopaedias are a good place to begin. Dictionaries provide definitions of unfamiliar terms, whilst encyclopaedias give more detailed explanations and overviews of topics. Some useful titles can be found under the Reference Books tab.

Now that you understand the basics of the topic think about the Key Concepts and any alternative terms to broaden or narrow your search.


Always evaluate the information you read. Be particularly careful when consulting Wikipedia and similar internet sites as the authority and reliability of the content cannot be guaranteed. Remember to work SMART:

Source - is the source well known, reliable, up to date?

Motivation - why does this site exist? Are they selling a product? Supporting a particular lobby?

Authority - is the author's name on the page? Is the author well known in the field?

Review - has the information been reviewed/checked by others working in the field?

Two sources - is the information supported by other reliable sources?

The databases we subscribe to generally index articles that have been peer reviewed by experts in the field before being accepted for publication.

Key Concepts

You should choose 3 or 4 main points (Key Concepts) when searching for information covering your topic.

Try to go from general to specific, eg. Accounting AND standards AND South Africa