Literature Review

Picture of library shelves

This theme helps you to develop search strategies, select search terms and appraise references you retrieve in order to differentiate between helpful and irrelevant literature sources. In addition, it looks at ways in which you can manage your references and develop understanding and skills to become an effective and efficient user of Library resources and services.

Exploration of, and familiarity with the literature of a discipline is an important aspect of research. The pace of publication and production of research outputs at the start of the 21st century is enormous. As an effective researcher, you need to understand how to identify the best quality and most relevant places to access data and information. In addition, you need to be able to identify terms for searching that yield the most useful and relevant results. Developing the skills to differentiate between, and to make an informed selection of both relevant and appropriate sources, will contribute to your development in the research process. You need to understand the variety of forms which your research sources may take and appreciate that there are sophisticated tools available that can support management of your references.



Learning Outcomes

After working through this theme you will be able to:
  • access a range of the literature forms, and associated citation and referencing patterns.
  • identify and use the vocabulary of a selected aspect of an academic discipline, in relation to both the historic dimension and emergent inter-disciplinarity.
  • critically analyse the range of relevant, academically appropriate and reliable bibliographic sources as well as the criteria for identifying quality of references.
  • critically evaluate issues relating to academic integrity, including plagiarism, and contributing to the community of academic practice.
  • critically appraise the soundness, relevance and rigour of the results of your searches.
  • use bibliographic software packages in the research process.