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What is literature searching?

a woman reading papers

Literature Searching

Comprehensive literature searching involves capturing the key literature about a topic so that you can synthesise it and learn about key trends and gaps in particular subject areas.

For background reading or an introduction to a subject, you can use a shorter and more basic search in Search@Library.

Detailed research requires a more comprehensive search strategy. The search process is discussed in this guide, you can work your way through the stages of the process by clicking the links on the left hand side.  

Systematic Reviews

A systematic review is a complex piece of research which aims to identify, select and synthesise all research published on a particular question or topic.

Systematic reviews adhere to a strict scientific design based on pre-specified and reproducible methods. They provide reliable estimates about the effects of interventions. As well as illustrating knowledge about a particular intervention, systematic reviews can also show where knowledge is lacking. This can then be used to guide future research.

To find out more about the process of a systematic review, you may find this in depth guide useful.

If you want to see examples of successful systematic reviews, you can search for them in various places such as on Cochrane library. Our information on clinical trials and systematic reviews provides more information.