Searching the Literature

My supervisor suggested I start my literature review and I said 'yeah, OK' but, to tell the truth, I'm not really sure how to do one. It's a couple of years since I did Honours and my supervisor gave me most of the articles then. I don't know what databases I should use or how to find the latest material.

If you are unsure where to start to review the literature related to your research topic, this module is for you. It offers explanations and worked examples of database searches that will help you:

  • Understand what a literature review is and why it’s so important to conduct one
  • Search for and locate appropriate articles and papers to include in your review
  • Analyse and evaluate existing research and its relevance to your project
  • Become familiar with the features of EndNote and its use in managing bibliographic sources


  • Have you begun to review the literature in your research field? If so, what issues have you encountered?
  • Are particular studies and/or authors inspiring your research? Why?
  • Are you puzzled or overwhelmed by the range of material that appears to be relevant to your topic?