A literature review is a written approach to examining published information on a particular topic or field. An author uses this review of literature to create a foundation and justification for his or her research or to demonstrate knowledge on the current state of a field.
The cornerstone of scholarly research is the peer review process. Articles are reviewed by experts prior to publication. These experts (peers) consider the validity of the author(s) methods, findings and conclusions.
Prior to searching library databases, take a few minutes to consider which search terms or keywords best describe your topic.
Sample Topic: Using music to improve recovery experience for kids after surgery.
Step 1 - Identify the main ideas - Using music to improve recovery experience for kids after surgery.
Step 2 - Brainstorm Broader, Related and Narrower Terms. Remember that Scholarly articles are published by experts, consider the language that an expert would use.
|Music Intervention||Adolescents||Postoperative Care|
During the research process, you may discover that your topic needs to be adjusted based on the research available from 2010 to present. Here are a few examples:
Use Boolean Operators AND, OR and NOT to create Search Statements.
Truncation allows you to search for multiple terms with the same root at once by using an asterisk.
Problem: No Results. Broaden your results. Try using OR instead of AND. Try fewer keywords, use broader keywords.
Problem: Too Many Results. Narrow your results. Use AND or NOT. Use limiters such as Date Range or Subject. Add more keywords.
Once you find a good article, go through the Reference List. Often, authors will cite other articles on your topic. Check to see if the library has these articles by searching for the Journal Title in Journal Search.
In addition to reviewing an article's reference list, you can check to see if other articles have cited a particular article. In Google Scholar, type the Article Title. Then look for the Cited By and Related Article links.