Adult and Continuing Education

About This Guide

This guide presents the resources the education librarian considers to be the most important academic databases to search, the leading journals to follow, and so forth.  You’ll also find some tips to help you evaluate sources, organize your work, and accomplish your literature review.

If you are new to this topic, you may want to begin by finding background information through an encyclopedia such as Wikipedia or Britannica Online, though in most cases it is not appropriate to cite these in a college-level paper. Anyone can contribute content in Wikipedia – so watch out for biased viewpoints, incomplete or simply incorrect material.


Use these databases to discover articles, books, and other literature on your topic. Note that if you come across a citation without full text attached, do not assume the library has no access. Learn this nearly foolproof way to Get the Full Text of an Article.

Two largest:

BU Libraries Search
Our Search represents by far the most comprehensive grouping of resources we’ve ever been able to provide.  You can find extensive search tips on our site, build an eShelf, and export citations to RefWorks.

Google Scholar
Off-campus users need to set two “Scholar Preferences” to take advantage of library subscriptions: type “Boston University” in Library Links and also choose RefWorks next to Bibliography Manager.

Other important databases:

Academic oneFile
Academic search premier
Education full text (H.W. Wilson)
ERIC Education Resources Information Center.
PsycINFO (Online)


The best way to discover articles is to search databases (try Search) – you will be searching millions of records at once. But following journal literature periodically is still a very important aspect of scholarship. Depending on the provider, you may be able to set up Table of Contents alerts, save personalized searches, or even contribute to the editorial process.

Find each title below through our Search. The following journals are leading in this field.

Adult Education and Development
Adult Education Quarterly (American Association for Adult and Continuing Education)
Adult Learning (Washington, D.C.)
Studies in the Education of Adults


Discovering our print books and eBooks can be done through Search. Additionally, for more comprehensive literature reviews I suggest going beyond what BU already owns by using WorldCat. Current members of the BU community can borrow books that we don’t own through our interlibrary borrowing services. Other important book tools include the Internet Archive, Google Books, and of course

Subject Headings

  • Adult Education
  • Adult Learning
  • Continuing Education

Selected List of Titles

Adult Learning  and Le Recherche Feminine : Reading Resilience and Helene Cixous

Mugar  LC5225 .L42 H677 2012

Art of Freedom : Teaching the Humanities to the Poor

Mugar AZ183 .U5 S56 2013

Facilitating Group Learning : Strategies for Success with Diverse Adult Learners

Mugar LC5225.L42 L35 2010

Handbook of Transformative Learning : Theory, Research, and Practice

Mugar LC1100 .H363 2012

Improving Learning through the Lifecourse : Learning Lives

Mugar LC5219 .I486 2011

The Jossey-Bass Reader On Contemporary Issues in Adult Education

Mugar LC5251 .J775 2011

The Learning Self : Understanding the Potential for Transformation

Mugar LC1100 .T46 2012

Radicalizing Learning: Adult Education for a Just World

Mugar LC5251 .B74 2011

The Struggle for Democracy in Adult Education

Mugar LC5251 .N48 no. 128 2010

Transformations : A History of UBC Continuing Studies

Mugar LC5254.3 .V36 M35 2012

Understanding and Supporting Adult Learners : A Guide for Colleges and Universities

Mugar LC5225 .L42 J33 2010



Education and Work