Literature Review: A Self-Guided Tutorial

When should I stop searching?

researcher asleep over their books and notesWhen you start to see the same books and articles over and over again in your search results and in reference lists, you have done your due diligence and can consider your lit review complete. That isn't to say an article or book might not slip through, but if you have done the steps below, then the chances of something really important slipping past you is pretty slim.

  • Searched all relevant article databases and the library catalog using a variety of keywords and subject headings.
  • Mined bibliographies for their cited references (backward citation searching).
  • Searched in Google Scholar and Web of Science to see who has cited those articles (forward citation searching).