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Study Skills

Research Resolutions: refreshing your research landscape

Week 2: Get your literature searching sorted

As tempting as it sometimes is to just type a few keywords into your research literature database of choice and hit enter, being a bit more precise will almost always ensure that you get relevant results back. In the video for Week 2, we've covered a series of searching techniques that you can use to get our many databases to work a little bit harder for you. Some of these techniques also work with other tools such as Google Scholar, so try them out.

Literature searching is a huge topic with lots of different aspects to it. While we don't have time to cover them all in this short course, we wanted to give you the opportunity to either start your literature search from a good position, or review what you've been doing so far and if it is still working as efficiently for you as you need it to.

This Week's task

To help build on the principles we've covered this week, try working through our interactive activity below. This will take you through the process of preparing for your literature search, from working out what you want to search for as well as where you will search. You can email a copy of this activity to yourself at the end so you can refer back to it as you apply some of what you've thought about when doing your next search for new resources.

If the activity does not load, you can access it directly through the LibWizard website

Help and support

If you have any questions or want to speak to someone about this topic in more detail, email the Biological Sciences Libraries Team and we will be able to chat with you about your literature searching.

Further reading

Want to go into more detail on literature searching techniques? We have a longer course on Moodle that you can refer to. The current version is aimed at final year undergraduates but the principles are much the same and we are developing a postgraduate version right now!

If you need to use Google to find 'grey literature' or resources that are not typically found in literature databases, we have a short video about how to get Google to work for you.

Some people need to move beyond a standard literature review and carry out something called a systematic review. Our colleagues at the Medical Library have an excellent guide to help you through this process.