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Literature Reviews

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Search Tips for Finding Literature Reviews

Most research articles include a section that reviews previous work, but there are also comprehensive article length literature reviews.  A good literature review article will provide you with a condensed accounting of all the prior review done on a topic.  Reading such an article gives you needed background and history and can greatly inform your own research. 

However, most databases don't make it very easy to limit your search to only those articles that are stand-alone literature reviews.  Here are some suggestions for databases to use and ways to limit a search to retrieve literature reviews.  Click on a discipline or a specific database for more help:

Arts                                                                  Business                                             Education

Health/Nursing                                             History                                                Literature

Multi-disciplinary                                          Psychology                                        Science 

Sociology/Social Work

 

Arts:

Web of Science (Thompson)- Arts, Humanities, Sociology, Education, Social Work, Psychology, Science

  • ·  Type in your search terms into the Basic Search box and hit the SEARCH button.

  •     Look for the Document Type limiter in the refine results list on the lower left-hand corner and click on it.

  • Click on More Options to find the term: Reviews and select the box next to it and then select refine to refine your results.

 

Academic Search Premier (EBSCO)- Multi-disciplinary

·        There is no way to limit to the document type of literature reviews but try this approach:

o   From the advanced search screen, after typing in your (topic) search terms*, type in literature N3 review in a separate search box

o   Limit to Scholarly (peer-reviewed) journals

 

Business:

ABI-Inform (ProQuest)- Business

·        From the advanced search screen, after typing in your (topic) search terms*, scroll down to the search options section.

·        Find the Document Type limitor and find Literature Review option.

Academic Search Premier (EBSCO)- Multi-disciplinary

·        There is no way to limit to the document type of literature reviews but try this approach:

o   From the advanced search screen, after typing in your (topic) search terms*, type in literature N3 review in a separate search box

o   Limit to Scholarly (peer-reviewed) journals

Business Source Premier (EBSCO)- Business

·        There is no way to limit to the document type of literature reviews but the phrase is a subject/descriptor term.  Try this:

o   From the advanced search screen, after typing in your (topic) search terms*, type the phrase, literature reviews, into a separate search box.

o   Use the dropdown box to the right of that search box to select SU subject terms, which limits the search to articles with that phrase in the subject field.

 

Education:

Academic Search Premier (EBSCO)- Multi-disciplinary

·        There is no way to limit to the document type of literature reviews but try this approach:

o   From the advanced search screen, after typing in your (topic) search terms*, type in literature N3 review in a separate search box

o   Limit to Scholarly (peer-reviewed) journals

Annual Reviews- Science, Sociology, Psychology, Education

·        Type in your search terms*.  Most of the articles retrieved will be review articles but not all will be articles that are available to you in full-text.  If you find one that asks you for money to access it, don’t forget that you can request the article via interlibrary loan for free: http://consortiumlibrary.org/services/ill

Education Journals (ProQuest)- Education

·        Type in your search terms*.

-      Underneath the search box, look for the words: Document Type, and scroll down until you find the words: Literature Review.  Check this box and click on the search button on the bottom of the page.

 

ERIC (EBSCO)- Education

·        There is no way to limit to the document type of literature reviews but the phrase is a subject/descriptor term.  Try this:

o   From the advanced search screen, after typing in your (topic) search terms*, type the phrase, literature reviews, into a separate search box.

o   Use the dropdown box to the right of that search box to select SU descriptors, which limits the search to articles with that phrase in the subject field.

Web of Science (Thompson)- Arts, Humanities, Sociology, Education, Social Work, Psychology, Science

  • Type in your search terms into the Basic Search box and hit the SEARCH button.
  • Look for the Document Type limitor in the refine results list on the lower left-hand corner and click on it
  • Click on More Options to find the term: Reviews and select the box next to it and then select refine to refine your results.

Health/Nursing:

Academic Search Premier (EBSCO)- Multi-disciplinary

·        There is no way to limit to the document type of literature reviews but try this approach:

o   From the advanced search screen, after typing in your (topic) search terms*, type in literature N3 review in a separate search box

o   Limit to Scholarly (peer-reviewed) journals

CINAHL (EBSCO)- Health, Nursing

·        Type in your (topic) search terms*

·        Select Systematic Review from the “Publication Type” dropdown menu in the “Limit Your Results” section below the search boxes.

 

History:

Academic Search Premier (EBSCO)- Multi-disciplinary

·        There is no way to limit to the document type of literature reviews but try this approach:

o   From the advanced search screen, after typing in your (topic) search terms*, type in literature N3 review in a separate search box

o   Limit to Scholarly (peer-reviewed) journals

Literature:

Academic Search Premier (EBSCO)- Multi-disciplinary

·        There is no way to limit to the document type of literature reviews but try this approach:

o   From the advanced search screen, after typing in your (topic) search terms*, type in literature N3 review in a separate search box

o   Limit to Scholarly (peer-reviewed) journals

MLA- International Bibliography 

·        There is no way to limit to the document type of literature reviews but try this approach:

o   From the advanced search screen, after typing in your (topic) search terms*, type in literature N3 review in a separate search box.

 

Multi-disciplinary:

Academic Search Premier (EBSCO)- Multi-disciplinary

·        There is no way to limit to the document type of literature reviews but try this approach:

o   From the advanced search screen, after typing in your (topic) search terms*, type in literature N3 review in a separate search box

o   Limit to Scholarly (peer-reviewed) journals

Annual Reviews- Science, Sociology, Psychology, Education

·        Type in your search terms*.  Most of the articles retrieved will be review articles but not all will be articles that are available to you in full-text.  If you find one that asks you for money to access it, don’t forget that you can request the article via interlibrary loan for free: http://consortiumlibrary.org/services/ill

 

Web of Science (Thompson)- Arts, Humanities, Sociology, Education, Social Work, Psychology, Science

  •  Type in your search terms into the Basic Search box and hit the SEARCH button.

  •     Look for the Document Type limitor in the refine results list on the lower left-hand corner and click on it.

  • Click on More Options to find the term: Reviews and select the box next to it and then select refine to refine your results.

 

 

Psychology:

Academic Search Premier (EBSCO)- Multi-disciplinary

·        There is no way to limit to the document type of literature reviews but try this approach:

o   From the advanced search screen, after typing in your (topic) search terms*, type in literature N3 review in a separate search box

o   Limit to Scholarly (peer-reviewed) journals

Annual Reviews- Science, Sociology, Psychology, Education

·        Type in your search terms*.  Most of the articles retrieved will be review articles but not all will be articles that are available to you in full-text.  If you find one that asks you for money to access it, don’t forget that you can request the article via interlibrary loan for free: http://consortiumlibrary.org/services/ill

PsycInfo (EBSCO)- Psychology, Social Work, Sociology

·        Type in your (topic) search terms*

·        Select Literature Review from the “Methodology” dropdown menu in the “Limit Your Results” section below the search boxes.

Web of Science (Thompson)- Arts, Humanities, Sociology, Education, Social Work, Psychology, Science

    •  Type in your search terms into the Basic Search box and hit the SEARCH button.

    •     Look for the Document Type limitor in the refine results list on the lower left-hand corner and click on it.

    • Click on More Options to find the term: Reviews and select the box next to it and then select refine to refine your results.

 

 

Science:

Academic Search Premier (EBSCO)- Multi-disciplinary

·        There is no way to limit to the document type of literature reviews but try this approach:

o   From the advanced search screen, after typing in your (topic) search terms*, type in literature N3 review in a separate search box

o   Limit to Scholarly (peer-reviewed) journals

Annual Reviews- Science, Sociology, Psychology, Education

·        Type in your search terms*.  Most of the articles retrieved will be review articles but not all will be articles that are available to you in full-text.  If you find one that asks you for money to access it, don’t forget that you can request the article via interlibrary loan for free: http://consortiumlibrary.org/services/ill

Web of Science (Thompson)- Arts, Humanities, Sociology, Education, Social Work, Psychology, Science

    •  Type in your search terms into the Basic Search box and hit the SEARCH button.

    •     Look for the Document Type limitor in the refine results list on the lower left-hand corner and click on it.

    • Click on More Options to find the term: Reviews and select the box next to it and then select refine to refine your results.

     

 

 

Sociology/Social Work:

Academic Search Premier (EBSCO)- Multi-disciplinary

·        There is no way to limit to the document type of literature reviews but try this approach:

o   From the advanced search screen, after typing in your (topic) search terms*, type in literature N3 review in a separate search box

o   Limit to Scholarly (peer-reviewed) journals

Annual Reviews- Science, Sociology, Psychology, Education

·        Type in your search terms*.  Most of the articles retrieved will be review articles but not all will be articles that are available to you in full-text.  If you find one that asks you for money to access it, don’t forget that you can request the article via interlibrary loan for free: http://consortiumlibrary.org/services/ill

PsycInfo (EBSCO)- Psychology, Social Work, Sociology

·        Type in your (topic) search terms*

·        Select Literature Review from the “Methodology” dropdown menu in the “Limit Your Results” section below the search boxes.

Web of Science (Thompson)- Arts, Humanities, Sociology, Education, Social Work, Psychology, Science

 

  •  Type in your search terms into the Basic Search box and hit the SEARCH button.

  •     Look for the Document Type limitor in the refine results list on the lower left-hand corner and click on it.

  • Click on More Options to find the term: Reviews and select the box next to it and then select refine to refine your results.