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Literature Searching for Research: Home

Concept and Context

Getting Started on Your Research!

Start your research off on the right foot with a thorough investigation and review of the literature!

  • Clarify your research idea.
  • Refine/focus your research question.
  • Choose the best methodological approach.

Criteria for a Good Research Question

Will your research question translate into a good study plan?

From: Designing Research, 4th ed., 2013

Medical Library Resources

Find out more about library resources and services on the CCAG Medical Library home page!

Develop Your Research Question

How to develop your research question?

Step 1:
Master the Literature

  • Conduct a literature review to fully understand your area of interest.
  • Develop the background for your research proposal and research report.
  • What is already known about the topic?
  • Does the literature justify studying my topic?

Step 2:
Formulate the Question

  • Focus your question using the PICO tool.
  • Will your research be innovative and impactful?
  • Will your research fill a research gap?
  • What is the best way to answer your question?

For more, read this article: Formulating a researchable question: A critical step for facilitating good clinical research.

Your Reference List

Your literature review should:

  • Provide a justification for your research.
  • Tell the story of why you did the work.
  • Demonstrate the novelty of your project.
  • Reflect a comprehensive review of related research.
  • Cite reputable works.

Your literature review should not:

  • Reflect a bias toward a specific conclusion.
  • Neglect works contrary to your conclusion.
  • Omit recently published works.
  • Include unnecessary self-citation.

From: Turning a Critical Eye on Reference Lists

Literature Review

Use the Matrix Method to manage your review!

The Matrix Method of Literature Reviews OhioLINK EJC access
This 2004 article by Goldman and Schmalz summarizes the method!