Literature search & literature review – what is the difference?

Literature search & literature review – what is the difference?

It is interesting to note, that too many people confuse the terms “Literature Review” and “Literature Searching”. Long ago, I noticed this when if invited to deliver a lecture, then the topic against my name would be “Literature Review”. I needed to tell the organizers that I do not teach this, but I teach Literature Searching. Sometimes in spite of this when I was being introduced just before my talk, this term would appear again!

A literature search is the process of doing a structured, methodological search to fine the existing literature related on a topic for research, or even something one is just interested in learning more about. A literature review is the method used to demonstrate how much the author of an article has read on the topic and to synthesize the information found in the existing literature.

There are several steps in doing an effective, structured literature search. Once one retrieves search results, one needs to remove duplicates found from several databases, and then go through the results to select the papers to study for one’s own research.

Again there are several steps to carry out for writing the literature review. I found a simple blog post on both these aspects . Do go through this one to understand the basic steps involved

Then it is vital to learn literature searching in detail. This – whether you plan to do searches on your own or involve a librarian or information specialist to do them for you. Only when you give one of them the right inputs can the person do a search for you and get you the kind of results you need. QMed’s ELearning courses have been created for you to learn these skills!

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