January 10th, 2018
Literature search strategies for a literature review
Knowledge of literature search strategies can help you to adopt the best strategy for your literature review. Literature search strategies involve searching on various databases and libraries to find studies to review. When formulating your literature search strategy, you will need to have in mind various guidelines.
The first of the guidelines for developing literature search strategies is formulating relevant keywords. Having relevant keywords will help you to generate the best results from your search. To enhance the search, you can combine the keywords using various boolean operators. The boolean operators can be used to include various keywords in the search phrase, or exclude synonyms of the keyword from a search phrase. Further, you can limit your keywords to specific parts of the article, such as title and abstract, to ensure that your results will likely be of studies that focus exclusively on your selected keywords.
A second factor to consider in your literature search strategy is the credibility and reliability of the sources that you are to review. In this respect, you should limit your search criteria to the peer-reviewed resources so that you can have credible articles to review. Additionally, you can limit the date of publication for the studies that you will review to ensure that your literature review will reflect the most recent research. When formulating your literature search strategies, you thus need to not only consider the keywords, but also how current the research is.
The third approach in literature search strategies is to consider the references that the studies you have found have used. In this stage, you will scan the reference section of the studies found in the initial results so that you can identify further studies that may be relevant to your literature review. This helps you to find studies that may have not used your chosen keywords yet they are relevant to your review.
Your literature search strategies can be enhanced by having access to various online libraries that allow for use of the aforementioned strategies. Additionally, tools such as google scholar helps you to search only in scholarly publications. Using these tips will help you to have relevant studies to write your literature review.