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Literature Reviews

This guide will introduce you to how to conduct an effective literature review.

Finding Older and Newer Sources

Even with the best search strategies, you may still miss some of the research that's out there. How do you find more information and catch the most important information? You can use the existing literature you've found to work your way backward and forward.

  • Backward chaining is a strategy to find previous research. Essentially, who did this author cite in their work. Take a look at the references section of a given source. For any of the sources cited that are relevant to your literature review, look up those citations in Discovery or Worldcat to get the full text. Remember, you have to read the full text of the article to cite it in your own work - you can't base it on an abstract!
  • Forward chaining allows you to find more recent research (essentially, who cited this author?). There are two ways to do this: Web of Science Cited Reference Search and Google Scholar. The link below will take you to Web of Science's help guide. The video below will walk you through how to look for cited references in Google Scholar.
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