All research, whatever the discipline, needs to be situated in relation to what has already been done in the field. So the first step in any project is "research about research". This might mean:
This guide provides information on planning and carrying out searches. The Communicating Research tab has information on reporting literature research.
The contact librarian for your subject can:
Make an appointment to discuss your project in the early stages of your planning
What are the key journals in my area?
Use the Theses library guide to access theses submitted at Monash University and also theses from other universities in Australia and internationally.
Planning a literature search before you start will improve your results. Refer to the Researching for your literature review library guide for guidance in developing a comprehensive search strategy.
Further tips to improve your searching are available via help links and tutorials in individual databases or in the library's search strategy tutorial.
There are many different methods to search databases, and the method you use will depend on how comprehensive you want your search to be.
A Systematic Review (SR) aims to "identify, appraise and synthesize" all studies, published and unpublished, relevant to a specific research question. Explicit, systematic methods are used to minimise bias and enable verification and replication. These reviews can be used to inform policy and decision making, or to target areas for future research. They are undertaken predominantly in Medicine and allied health, but are also produced in other disciplines such as education, social welfare, crime and justice.
Major organisations/collaborations involved in the production of systematic reviews include:
Contact your subject librarian for advice with your systematic search strategy and to locate relevant guidelines for undertaking a systematic review.
Keep up-to-date with new research literature in your field. Save database search histories and receive email alerts when new articles are published that match your search query. Receive the contents pages from the lastest issue of relevant journals.
Refer to the Help pages of individual databases for further details
EndNote software can help you organise and manage the references that underpin your literature review. It integrates with common word processors to format citations and reference lists in your documents. Windows and Mac versions available.