Search for Literature review using subject terms
Hint : Search for broad topics or areas where review article are likely to exist.
Search for literature reviews in FindMore@NUSL - NUS Libraries' broadest article search service. Just enter your keywords (with quotes if necessary) and the search box will do the rest.
This works by matching your keyword with relevant subject terms such as "Literature review", "Systematic review", "meta-analysis" etc.
Hint : Search for broad topics or areas where review article are likely to exist
Search for review articles, survey papers, bibliographies and systematic reviews in Google Scholar. Just enter your keywords (with quotes if necessary) and the search box will do the rest. Remember to use the proxy bookmarklet to check for full text access
What is a review article? Why is it useful for your literature review?
Review articles sometimes known as review papers or survey papers or survey articles, are attempts by authors to summarise the state of research in a particularly area. No original research is presented but usually the paper will attempt to summarise and even synthese all (or most important) prior research in an area into a coherent whole.
This above is an example of a review article summarising studies on effectiveness of class sizes and student achievement.
Somewhat related are meta-analysis papers and systematic reviews (from the medicial field). meta-analysis papers attempt to combine statistical findings from various similar independent studies using statistical methods. For more about meta-analysis and systematic reviews from the medical field watch this video.
Such papers are very helpful for your literature review because they
- provide a broad overview of the area
- are a rich source of refernces for you to mine
- provide clues on jargon, language used and leading researchers to help you use as search terms for more precise searching.
Similarly bibliographies (listing of resources in a given area often with brief annotations) and thesis and dissertations can prove very helpful for you when you first begin your research or when you are considering topics for your thesis.
Some good sources of such material are
Finding review articles
One of the major sources of review articles is to search the Annual Reviews publications.
But there are many other ways to find review articles in various databases. Each requires a different technique.
You can use a subject specific database or a broad cross disciplinary database like Scopus, Web of Science or even mega databases like Google Scholar or FindMore@NUSL (use search boxes on left)
Do note that such reviews don't exist for every topic, if you find your topic getting few or no hits , try a broader topic.