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Biosystems Engineering: Literature Review Resources

Biosystems engineering comprises the fields of environmental engineering, bioprocess engineering, biomedical engineering, and agriculture and natural resources.


Steps to Conducting a Narrative Literature Review

1. Determine research topic. 

2. Determine relevant databases for topic.

2. Do preliminary search in selected databases. 

3. Narrow or broaden your research topic. 

5. Search for revised research topic in all databases.

6. Examine reference lists of relevant articles and articles that have cited relevant papers.

6. Add selected papers to a reference management software.

7. Read selected articles and take note of findings and methodologies used.

6. Search for additional keywords that might have been missed based on your readings. 

7. Organize papers by looking for patterns and developing subtopics. 

8. Develop your thesis or purpose statement based on the themes that emerge. 

9. Develop an outline for the paper. 

10. Write the paper.



Introduction to Literature Reviews

Reference Managers

Using a Reference Manager will help you to keep track of your documents and also be useful for writing up your literature review. 

One option is the Mendeley reference manager. More information on Mendeley is available on the Citation Management Subject Guide.

The Canadian Biosystems Engineering Journal style is not available in Mendeley but you can add the style to Mendeley using the following steps. Please report any errors with the style to Marie Speare.

To add the Canadian Biosystems Engineering Journal style into Mendeley follow these steps: 

1. In Mendeley Desktop go to View - Citation Style.

2. Select More styles and then click on Get More Styles.

3. In the Download Style box enter: and then click on Download.

4. Go to the Installed Styles tab and select the Canadian Biosystems Engineering Journal style to start using it. 

Please contact Marie Speare if you need any assistance with installing the style or if there are any issues using the style.



Locating Literature Review Examples

The Libraries has several databases that allow you to limit your search to review articles only.  After you do a search for a topic, look for Limit by Document Type or Limit by Article Type on the left-hand side of the screen.  For instance, in the Scopus database you can limit by Document Type and select Review. Similar limits can be done in PubMed and Web of Science.


Limiting by document type in Scopus


PubMed Limit by Article types

Web of Science 

Limiting by Document Types in Web of Science