Interdisciplinary Citation Databases:
A good place to start your research is to search a research citation database to view the scope of literature available on your topic.
TIP #1: SEED ARTICLE
Begin your research with a "seed article" - an article that strongly supports your research topic. Then use a citation database to follow the studies published by finding articles which have cited that article, either because they support it or because they disagree with it.
TIP #2: SNOWBALLING
Snowballing is the process where researchers will begin with a select number of articles they have identified relevant/strongly supports their topic and then search each articles' references reviewing the studies cited to determine if they are relevant to your research.
BONUS POINTS: This process also helps identify key highly cited authors within a topic to help establish the "experts" in the field.
Begin by constructing a focused research question to help you then convert it into an effective search strategy.
What is a literature review?
A literature review is a comprehensive and up-to-date overview of published information on a subject area. Conducting a literature review demands a careful examination of a body of literature that has been published that helps answer your research question (See PICO). Literature reviewed includes scholarly journals, scholarly books, authoritative databases, primary sources and grey literature.
A literature review attempts to answer the following:
The PICO model can help you formulate a good clinical question. Sometimes it's referred to as PICO-T, containing an optional 5th factor.
|P - Patient, Population, or Problem||
What are the most important characteristics of the patient?
How would you describe a group of patients similar to yours?
|I - Intervention, Exposure, Prognostic Factor||
What main intervention, prognostic factor, or exposure are you considering?
What do you want to do for the patient (prescribe a drug, order a test, etc.)?
|C - Comparison||What is the main alternative to compare with the intervention?|
|O - Outcome||What do you hope to accomplish, measure, improve, or affect?|
|T - Time Factor, Type of Study (optional)||
How would you categorize this question?
What would be the best study design to answer this question?
TIP – How to Locate Seminal Works
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