Conduct your literature search

How to carry out an effective and comprehensive search of your literature.
This set of online resources mirrors our face to face ‘Conducting your literature search’ workshop for PhD students.

Search magnifying glass greenBefore starting it might be helpful to look at our resource: Plan your literature search

  1. Getting started with databases video [Video, 2 minutes]
    This tutorial will demonstrate a popular database and show how to search with limits and follow citations.

  2. Now have a go at applying your literature search plan.
    Use your subject pages or our Databases A-Z listing to find suitable databases.

  3. Use the search summary formWord icon [Word] to reflect on the search options used and the results you found.

  4. How can you evaluate your search and revise your search plan? video [Video, 4 minutes]
    This section focuses on what to do if your search generates too many results or not enough.

  5. Now have a go at refining your search.
    Visit your subject page to try a different database.

  6. How can you get hold of the materials? video [Video, 2 minutes]
    A step-by-step guide to obtaining different types of material. You can use Document Supply or visit other libraries. Our guide to finding conference papers will also be useful.

  7. What stage comes next in your literature search? video [Video, 3 minutes]
    Take a look at the different stages involved in conducting and evaluating your literature search.

Now you have experience in conducting and refining your search you might like to work through our Make research information come to you materials.

We recommend you use a system for managing your references.  There are various pieces of software that can help you do this – find out which one is right for you. The University provides access to EndNote and RefWorks.

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