There is often a lot of confusion and ambiguity about creating a Literature Review. The scenario isn’t the same as it used to be. People have moved from physical libraries and hard copies of the research paper to finding almost everything online. Still, the basic principles haven’t changed much. Technology has surely simplified things. University students can access their libraries online these days and apart from that, Google Scholar is largely free for most of the content. There are certain mechanics that are associated with the creation of the Literature Review. Here are few suggestive:
- Know precisely what you are looking for. It is difficult to know right in the beginning about what you need. Extensive reading would bring in more and more clarity. But begin with some relevant keywords, lead authors, and terms.
- Be aware of the top ranked journals in the field of your study. Find an electronic database to search for all those journals and their published research.
- This initial screening and scanning will give you some information and put you on the next level where you will know of the prominent scholars in your field who have good publications. Try to look for more research publications from them, outside the premium journals.
- Always ensure to read the future scope of research in all the papers. All the papers, towards the end, give information about the scope for future research. From each paper, ensure to note down the following things: the assumptions that are made by the author, which are the root theories that they are relying upon for their paper and what kind of a research methodology are they adopting. After reading any paper, you should be in a position to critically comment on each of these areas. After which, you are ready to move on to the next paper.
- Be structured and systematic in your research. You must know who said what in the research that you are studying and it is always better to make notes for each paper. Years down the line, you wouldn’t have to go through the papers again to retrieve any important information. You notes would suffice and help you to have the information handy. If you miss this step at the initial level and avoid making notes because of the effort it requires, you would have to do it all over again at a later stage. So, don’t skip this step.