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Science Summer Research Experience: Searching for Literature

Steps for Literature Search

Steps to Conducting a Literature Search 

1. Identify your keywords based on your research question.

2. Identify your databases. 

3. Create your search statement. 

4. Evaluate your results. Broaden or narrow your search topic. 

5. Redo search. 

4. Keep track of your search results. 

5. Identify relevant papers and download to a reference management software. 


Keeping Track of Your Searches

It is useful to keep track of the searches that you have done. Most databases allow you to create an account to save the searches that you have done. Look for a "Sign in", "Register" or "My Account" option. 

Documenting your searches is not necessary for narrative literature reviews but keeping track will help you stay organized. 

Finding Journal Articles

Finding Journal Articles

To locate journal articles  you need to use a database.  There are several different databases that can be used depending on your topic.  

Interdisciplinary Databases

Subject Specific Databases

Subject Specific Databases are listed on the subject guides for each subject usually on the Articles/Databases page. 


Using Boolean Operators

Tracking Citations

Tracking Citations

You can find out who has cited a particular article in order to find related information on a topic by using several different databases including Google Scholar, Web of Science and Scopus

Library Access Browser Extension

The Lean Library browser extension makes it simple to access academic articles, journals and databases licensed by the UofM Libraries, wherever you are and whenever you need it.

Install the browser extension once and enjoy a simpler, faster way to get access.