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Conducting a Literature Review

Searching Tips

Tips for searching the literature

Major Databases

A literature review will require a search of one or more databases. Keep track of the databases that you search, the dates when you searched, and your search strategy, so that you may report this information in your review.

PubMed or Ovid 

Both contain references to scholarly journals in the areas of biomedicine and health from the MEDLINE database. See the LibGuides.

CINAHL Plus with Full Text

Provides indexing for 3,000+ journals from the fields of nursing and allied health.


A collection of abstracts and citations for peer-reviewed literature in the scientific, technical, medical, and social sciences. See the LibGuide.

Education Resource Information Center (ERIC)

Provides a range of publication types, including articles, books, conference papers, technical reports, and policy papers related to the field of education.


An American Psychological Association (APA) collection devoted to peer-reviewed literature in behavioral science and mental health.

Cochrane Library

Includes full-text systematic reviews (of the highest level) of methodological studies and protocols.

Browse the Databases page or LibGuides in your specific discipline for additional database suggestions.

Citation Management

When you find articles of interest in a database or search engine, bibliographic management programs make it easy to create a collection of references (citations and/or articles) and cite them in your document in the citation style of your choice.

Bibliographic Citation Managers

  • EndNote: This guide provides an overview of EndNotes' features and provides information on purchasing from TechZone.
  • Zotero: Provides and overview of Zotero's features and how to install and use.

Information on other free reference managers: