You should always document how you have searched each database, what keywords or index terms were used, the date on which the search was performed, how many results you retrieved, and if you use RefWorks to deduplicate results record how many were removed as duplicates and the final number of discrete studies you subjected to your first sift through of study selection. Here is an example of how to document a literature search on an Excel spreadsheet , this example records a search of the hematology literature for articles about sickle cell disease. Here is another example of how to document a literature search, this time on one page of a Word document , this example records a search of the medical literature for a poster on Emergency Department throughput. In the final report add as an appendix the full electronic search strategy for each database searched for the literature review e. No one database can search all the medical literature.
Literature Search: Databases and Gray Literature
Literature review made easy with new software
A literature review is an integrated analysis-- not just a summary-- of scholarly writings that are related directly to your research question. That is, it represents the literature that provides background information on your topic and shows a correspondence between those writings and your research question. A literature review may be a stand alone work or the introduction to a larger research paper, depending on the assignment. Rely heavily on the guidelines your instructor has given you. Your opinion counts!
Literature Review: The What, Why and How-to Guide — Strategies to Find Sources
Goldacre, B. Less scrupulous researchers are sometimes known to selectively report the results of trials, reporting results that show treatments in a good light while glossing over ones which show that it is ineffective in a process called HARKing — Hypothesizing After the Results are Known. Looking for grey literature can unearth the unpublished trials which show interventions in a less-than-glowing light and can significantly affect the outcome of a systematic review.
Most of the specialized databases will have scholarly articles that are either Literature Reviews or have a review of the literature as an introduction to the research. Keys to finding them are listed below each database. Can also try Eric Digests, which are brief, page, full text articles that describe the current state of an issue.