A literature review is one of the first things done by any student or scholar who plans to pursue new knowledge or do research in most subject areas. It involves identifying, locating, and examining information and publications on a particular topic.
Here are the reasons for doing a literature review:
A literature review is not:
A literature review allows a student or scholar to integrate and synthesize information on a topic and use it to create new knowledge.
This Research Guide Page is based on work by Kristy Padron, Librarian at Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton Campus, and used with her permission. Thank you Kristy!
Backward reference searching is identifying and examining the references or works cited in an article of interest. It is a way to learn about the development of knowledge on a topic of interest. A researcher will do this in order to study the origins and development of a theory, construct, or model of interest. Another reason to backward reference search is to identify experts or institutions specializing in an area of study.
A second-level backward reference search is when a researcher chooses to examine the sources cited by the references used in an initial article. This allows a researcher to identify inconsistencies in the literature on their topic of interest.
Backward Author Searching. The works of an author can be examined by doing a backward reference search. This allows a reseacher to review an author's previous work and publications.
Forward reference searching is when a researcher identifies articles that cite a particular article or work in a publication. This type of search focuses on the publications created after an initial original article or research publication.
Forward reference searching helps a researcher expand their knowledge on a topic by locating follow-up studies. A researcher then can identify new findings and developments.
Forward Author Searching. Forward reference searching can also be done to find a particular author and his or her works. This allows a researcher to review their later works.