Another task you have to do is a comprehensive survey and a summary of the scientific production in your area of study. This summary is called a literature review.
In order to produce a good literature review you need to go in line with developments that are being made in order to not only keep updated, but above all to identify and analyze all the relevant material. The quality of your literature review is only as good as the material you find, if you know how the information is published in your subject area and how you should perform the search.
You may have to search and do a literature in various stages of your research.
At first you might want to do a search for:
- improve your knowledge of the subject area
- get ideas on how to make your searches
- identify gaps in research
- identify trends and predict future studies
- identify keywords / phrases and descriptors
- Identify main authors and studies.
During the research process may want to do further review of the literature:
- review your own progress and reassess its position
- check for new studies that may impact your research
- check the relevant literature in related areas
- use keywords that have not been used previously
When writing your work you can use the literature review that made for:
- introduce your theme
- contextualize your research
- support your findings or your methodologies
- assess your knowledge of the topic of study
What constitutes a good review of the literature may vary according to subject in study.
Some databases provide articles with links allowing access to the articles cited.