Surveys of Research provide essays discussing the best or most important work done in a field in a particular year. Field-specialists read everything published on a particular topic, then discuss both individual critical works and trends in the field. Use these essays to identify what is essential to read. Proviso: essays focus on a single year of scholarship, so you’ll need to look at essays for a range of years to cover your topic.
|Year's Work in English Studies||
"A selective evaluative review of scholarship on English, American, and some other literatures in English. [...] Because it offers the most comprehensive evaluative survey of important studies, YWES can be an invaluable guide to significant scholarship. [...] Together, the annual volumes offer an incomparable record of scholarly and criticla trends as well as of the fluctuations of academic reputations of literary works and authors" (Harner G330).
|American Literary Scholarship||
"A selective, evaluative survey of important studies, editions, biographies, and reference works. [...] Judicious selectivity, currency, frank, authoritative evaluations (usually much fuller and more critical than in typical surveys of research) make ALS an indispensable guide to the year's important scholarship and an essential source for keeping abreast of the increasing number of publications, especially in areas outside one's immediate fields of interest. Together the volumes offer an incomparable source for studying trends in American literary scholarship and an important complement to MLA-IB (G335) and ABELL (G340), especially for the superior coverage of books" (Harner Q3265).
|Year's Work in Critical and Cultural Theory||
YWCCT is "[a] selective evaluative review of critical and cultural theory that emphasizes literature but also includes media and cultural studies," though "the only regular" guide available, Harner finds it an "inconsistent" one (G330).
AHCI indicates how often a particular article or book has been cited by other researchers in the field. You use it when you wish to see how influential or debated a particular item on your bibliography has been.
*developed with Ann R. Hawkins