Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Literature Searching

Follow our step-by-step guide to help you carry out a good literature search


There's nothing wrong with using Google or Google Scholar to get started Use these search tips to get better results.

But, at University, you must learn how to use the right databases which will give you much better focussed search results. 

Try some of the search databases relevant to your subject. You'll find better and more evidence-based information through various links on the library website.


Click on maximiser button to expand to full screen.

Look at Reference Lists and/or Related Readings

1. Look at the reference list at the end of journal articles and book chapters to find other useful references. Then try and find relevant ones to use in your piece of work. If you're lucky (and looking at the articles/books online) some may have a hypertext link which might open other articles for you.

2. In many databases, you get the option cited by. This means that you can follow a particular cited reference to more current articles which have also cited that research. The higher the number of cited by sometimes indicates the quality of the research too.

3. Another option is related reading. Have a look at the related reading suggestions that sometimes appears on search pages. These might give you other papers or ideas for your assignments.



Peer Review in 3 minutes

This video by North Carolina State University Library describes the peer-review process.

You can find more information about the peer review process in the following document