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Literature Reviews

Literature search

What do you search?

To write a good literature review, first you have to search for and identify the relevant scholarly literature. Remember that you have access to many curated scholarly databases provided by the Georgia Tech library, both within your discipline and interdisciplinary.

  • Search a subject-specific database for curated content from scholars and other experts in the field. Use the subject filter on the A-Z Databses list, or consult a library subject guide for your discipline.
  • Search a multidisciplinary database that includes article metrics, to located highly-cited papers related to your topic. Try Web of Science and Scopus, two databases with a broad range of academic content. 


How do you search?

Most databases have the now-familiar single search bar interface. The content contained therein can be searched in different ways.

  • Search the metadata: Every database will allow some sort of metadata search, allowing you to search by author name, title, or words in the abstract, and more.
  • Search the full text: Some databases include and can search the full text of an article. Especially useful for when you
  • Citations: When you find an article that’s relevant to your topic, check the references at the end for citations to articles that may also be useful.
  • If you need assistance in getting started with databases, contact a library subject expert.


How do you keep track of all the stuff you find?

Use a bibliographic management tool such as EndNoteZoteroMendeley, etc. These help you keep track of articles you want to read, and you can also use these tools to save article PDFs and make notes about the things you have already read. See the library guide on citation management software for more information.