Literature searching

Image of a lighthouse.Our sessions on how to carry out a literature search usually include the following aspects:

  • choosing bibliographic databases
  • developing a comprehensive search strategy
  • performing your search efficiently and effectively
  • limiting your search
  • expanding your search
  • exporting results
  • using referencing software

We can tailor sessions to your specific interests upon request.

 Chris Hart "A core transferable skill for all researchers is the ability to search the literature efficiently and effectively." (Doing a literature search, 2001)


For a quick overview of the topic we have updated our 6-step guide to a successful literature search.

We have also prepared a more comprehensive introduction to the principles governing the search process, and this short training module also includes a search strategy sheet which you may find to be a helpful tool when starting out on a search.

For those working within the NHS we provide training sessions specifically for using NHS Evidence. For a quick overview on how to search this database look here. 

Finally, the ScHARR Library in Sheffield produced the video below on how to develop a search strategy which is worth having a look at.