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Top 5 tips for a comprehensive literature review

Meteorology, University of Reading

Judith Fox

on 24 January 2017

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Transcript of Top 5 tips for a comprehensive literature review

Top 5 tips for a comprehensive literature review
1 Define your search before you start
Think about:
What research has already been done on this topic?
What are the sub-areas of the topic you need to explore?
What other research (perhaps not directly on the topic) might be relevant to your investigation?
How do these sub-topics and other research overlap with your investigation?
2 Think about your search terms
What are the keywords of the topic?
Are there any related words which might be used?
How do the keywords link together?
Be prepared to change your keywords as you research the topic
3 Search more than one database
Don't just use Google! Try:
Google Scholar
Web of Science
4 Keep records
Record what you do and what results you get by using a particular combination of keywords
When you find relevant material, keep a full bibliographic record as you go so you don't have to find the same thing again
Consider using bibliographic software to help with this e.g. EndNote, LaTeX
More information:
More information:


More information:
Guides to LaTeX in the Library at 655.28 or online (search Enterprise)
5 Make the most of your database
Summon will only find material in University of Reading Library

Google Scholar/ScienceDirect:
Set options to find material in University of Reading Library

Web of Science/GEOBASE/Scopus:
Use search operators to produce a precise search
Use the 'Search for items at Reading' button for full text
Register (free) to allow you to save and re-run searches

Web of Science:
Use the cited search option to search for key texts

More information:
Library guides or Tips sheets are available for Web of Science, GEOBASE and Scopus, or use the database Help pages
Backup your data!
Credit: Wellcome Library, London
"The scream".
Lithograph 1895 By: Edvard Munch
Collection: Wellcome Images
Full transcript