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Literature review methods

Tags: English, General

Search strategy

The search is your method

The search strategy makes up the core of your review methodology and is meant to ensure that your review locates all relevant evidence.  Make sure you carefully develop, test and document your search.

Multiple search tools

Because the content of databases varies, it is recommended that you search in several in order to find the literature that is relevant to your review. As a result, your searches will probably result in duplicate references.  These should be identified and removed before you start the screening process.


There are pre-defined search strategies, known as filters or hedges, that can help you refine your search.  Use these to help limit search results according to characteristics such as research topic area or study design.