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Science Summer Research Experience

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.



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