University LibraryStaff and researchers

Research support

Literature searching

From the basic literature scoping search to kick start your research to the more advanced systematic review, the Library can help you formulate a strategy to find the information and data you need. If you are not sure where to start, make an appointment with your Academic Librarian or look at the frequently asked question responses below.

What type of search?

There are several types of search which are used for literature searching, the most popular being literature and systematic reviews, although there are others such as state-of-the-art and scoping reviews. If you are a doctoral researcher (DR), your supervisor can advise you on which method is best for your particular research topic or the stage you are at in your research. The Library runs DR courses on Finding Research Information throughout the year which can be booked via the Doctoral College's booking system on Learn, whilst supplementary material for both doctoral researchers and staff can be found in the Idea Discovery section of Research Central on Learn: (please note: you will need to log in to Learn and accept an enrolment key to view it). 

How can I keep up-to-date?

There are a variety of tools to help you to keep up to date, such as database alerts for saving keyword or citation searches; ZETOC or JournalTOCS for e-journal updates. To find out more, there are training sessions for Doctoral Researchers on Keeping Up To Date which take place throughout the year and you can book on these via the Doctoral College's booking system.You can also find out more in the Idea Discovery section of Research Central on Learn: (please note: you will need to log in to Learn and accept an enrolment key to view this). 

When you do your searching and set up alerts, remember that it is important to evaluate the effectiveness of your initial search. Your alerts and saved searches are only as effective as the search strategy you use to create them - be prepared to constantly revise this. Ask your Academic Librarian for hints and tips about search strategies and keeping up to date.

What can I access at Loughborough?


The Library has over 500,000 books – many of which are available electronically, 90,000 bound volumes of journals and around 30,000 e-journals. The Library Catalogue is the first place to check for stock availability with many specialist databases such as Web of Science and Scopus available either from the Catalogue or from the relevant Subject Guide:

As a researcher, you may frequently need access off-campus. The Library recommends that you download the CISCO Anyconnect client provided via the IT Services website to enable you to work seamlessly wherever you are located. You may also need to access some services using the Athens authentication system. Your Athens details can be found in the Staff Resources tab of Learn.