Maximise the quality, scope and appropriateness of the literature you end up reviewing.
Commencing a search:
- Determine key concepts and issues surrounding them.
- Establish terminology so you can develop lists of key words and synonyms to use in your search. Dictionaries will help you in defining terminology.
- Encyclopedias and key articles will often introduce topics and provide lists of key references.
Make sure you get a good range of the available literature that covers your area of study:
- The age of material is important - start with the most recent sources and work backwards.
- Use a variety of resources - books, journal articles, theses, conference papers and reports.
- Search by keyword, subject, and also author.
- Evaluate the information - is a journal refereed (peer-reviewed)? Is a source authoritative?
- Develop good referencing skills (see Keeping track of reading materials - referencing skills).
- You can broaden your search by looking laterally for literature in related fields.