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BIOL 696

Library research tips for biology masters students.

Search Strategy for Literature Review

A literature review is a critical account of the methodologies and data on your research topic by accredited researchers in the field.  The following is a list of search techniques to guide the process:

  • Identify keywords associated with your topic
    • Test your keywords by using them in the recommended databases
    • Are your keywords included in the titles of the results you are getting?
    • If your keywords are not included in the titles, search MeSH to determine what keyword(s) to use
    • Also, identify author supplied keywords in the relevant articles you find 
  • Run keywords search for relevant publications
    • Find recommended databases in the Databases tab 
    • Literature reviews, systematic reviews, meta-analyses, journal articles or books
  • Bibliography / References List searches 
    • scan references sections of these materials to find additional materials
    • Practice bibliography / reference list searching using Web of Science.
  • Map the literature
    • Organize literature according to key elements of the research studies such as methodology
      • Use Mendely to organize sources/materials into folder/sub-folders