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ResMAP: Getting Started

Mapping the research journey for Post Graduate and Doctoral Researchers

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Getting Started with the Literature Review

Mapping is a good technique for exploring what you know of a topic before you start writing about it. Scoping the literature can help to identify conceptual frameworks and language as well as giving an impression of where the key areas of current interest lie. Your understanding of the language (terminology) will determine the success of the search strategy to identify the literature and is therefore critical to the review.

As you are creating your search strategy you need to ask yourself:

* When was this topic investigated?

* What has been investigated?

* Where was it investigated?

* Who has investigated it? 

When developing your search strategy it is essential to keep detailed notes as you go along, ensuring that you accurately record the references and the source in which they were found (database / web / data source), even those you later discard. 

A search strategy will usually include multiple resources. It is worth seeking advice and guidance from your Liaison Librarian who will have specialist knowledge of the information landscape (the information resources and services) of your area of study.

Referencing Managers can help you manage your referencing.

For example EndNote, RefWorks, Mendeley (Please note that the University may not provide institutional access to all of these - please check on availability). Check with your supervisor on the preferred referencing system - Harvard, Vancouver, OSCOLA, MLA, APA etc - in your field of research. If your intended route is by publication, check the journals preferred system, it may differ from the standard forms.