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 on-demand remote learning courses and live courses on ''Planning your search', 'Conducting your search' and 'Effective Literature Searching' which, along with supplementary material for both doctoral researchers and staff, can be found in the Discovering information for your research section of Research Central on Learn.

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. An on-demand course 'Keeping-up-to-date' demonstrates how to set up alerts within databases and publisher sites and highlights a range of current awareness tools.

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 vast amounts of content, both physically and virtually. The Library Catalogue is the first place to check for content availability, such as books and journals. Specialist databases, such as Web of Science and Scopus, can be located from the Catalogue, the All databases listing or from the relevant Subject guide.

As a researcher, you may frequently need access off-campus. The Library recommends that you download the Anyconnect VPN client provided via the IT Services website to enable you to work seamlessly wherever you are located. Find more details about accessing online resources.