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Literature reviews: Health: Home

For level 6/7 students

Doing your literature review

This guide is designed to help you with a literature review. It takes you through the five main steps you need to take in order to find relevant articles and be able to demonstrate a thorough search:

  • Forming your search strategy - helps you develop your question using frameworks such as PICO and PEO, and outlines how we develop keywords to use in searching.
  • Database Searching - takes you through the process of searching in a database using mySearch as an example, with help for searching in specific databases as well.
  • Other ways to search - you can also find articles using other means such as Google Scholar, citation searching or using reference lists.
  • Evaluating your results - this explains how you work to develop your search and work through the results applying your inclusion and exclusion criteria.
  • PRISMA - follow the steps outlined here to build your PRISMA flow chart and record the details of your findings.

At the bottom of each page there is a reminder of the steps you should complete for this stage of your literature searching.


The methodology section of your literature review should include the following:

  • search strategy: keywords used and filters
  • databases you have searched
  • inclusion and exclusion criteria (why you have selected those articles and excluded others?
  • analysis methodology (how are you going to appraise and compare the results from the articles you have selected?)

Library Team

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Faculty of Health & Social Sciences Library Team