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Doing the literature review: Overview

Overview: Doing the literature review

This self-paced module is designed to get you though the process of doing your (systematic) literature review. The focus in this module is on the literature review for a dissertation or a thesis, but many of the ideas are transferable to other kinds of writing, such as a peer-reviewed publication (article or book chapter), or a report. The approach you take to the literature review depends on your research question and intended readers.
This module contains short texts, some videos and exercises/activities, and handouts about:

  • Types of literature review
  • Selecting databases
  • Scoping your search (using the visualization tool VOSviewer)
  • Using a database thesaurus
  • Advanced search in a (literature) database
  • Citing information & Using a reference manager
  • Reporting your search strategy
  • Writing & structuring
  • And last but not least: When to stop! This is one of the most asked questions when doing your literature review: when should I stop reading and start writing?

After finishing this module you will have an understanding of the basic concepts of a literature review, have examples of types of literature reviews and know how to create a literature review. 

Books about literature reviews