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Psychology Research Guide: Search Tips

Searching with PsycINFO

Searching PsycINFO: Using advanced features.

Searching with PubMed

Searching PubMed: Tips and Tricks

Literature Review

In a  literature review you explore research that has come before you and is relevant to your topic. It can help you identify:

  • core research in the field
  • experts in the subject area
  • methodology you may want to use (or avoid)
  • gaps in the literature -- or where your research would fit in

Helpful approaches:

  • see what literature reviews already exist on your topic (databases like PubMed and PsycInfo -- can help you get started, and save you a lot of time.) For PsycInfo, restrict by literature review, for PubMed by review.
  • citation slogging (aka "snowballing") -- work your way back through citations (or footnotes) to key articles
  • forward citation -- see who has cited key articles using Google Scholar and Web of Science Citation Indexes.
  • see the American Psychological Association's Literature Review Guidelines for some helpful tips.
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