Literature Review

This guide provides information to understand the purpose of a Literature review, search for information, analysis; synthesis of the literature and writing the review.

Saving citations

As you search, the complete bibliographic details of information you find (i.e. citations), need to be saved and stored in one place, thus eliminating the need to repeat searches unnecessarily.

Methods for saving citations include using:

  • An Excel spreadsheet – use headings such as the following:
    • Databases searched – record the name
    • Date searched
    • Date range of search e.g. 2008 - 2018, Jan 1, 2010 - 31 Dec 2018
    • Search terms you used (including the use of truncation, wildcards, etc.)
    • Any other limitations you applied – age range, demographic, location etc.
    • Exclusions
    • Number of results returned
    • Reasons for inclusion of selected results.
    • You will need to repeat this recording process for each resource searched.

Here's an example from Griffith University – Creating my own database

  • Saving copies of your search history and results within each database. Most databases provide folders where you can save your searches. To do this you need to set up a free personal account in each relevant database. e.g. EBSCOhost, ScienceDirect

  • A citation management tool, e.g. EndNote
    • Using EndNote has the advantage that the software is supported by CQUniversity and being able to use CWYW (Cite While You Write) which allows you to insert references into your text as you write the review.
    • For general usage information please refer to the CQUniversity EndNote guide.