Running some initial literature searches at this stage is crucial – searching will help you to:
- understand the volume and type of the existing literature in your research area
- help you to decide if you need to broaden or narrow your research focus
- identify gaps in the existing literature and research
- identify controversies in the literature
- identify seminal papers and important authors in your research area(s)
You’ll need to include some key references in your CARE form. In addition, if you’re planning to conduct a systematic review project, you will need to outline your proposed search methodology in your CARE form – it’s likely that it will take you a few attempts to develop a search strategy that you are happy with, so the sooner you begin to do this, the better!
The generic template for the MSc Project Handbook is also available – it provides detailed guidance to help you through every step of your project, from initial planning right through to writing up. You should also check the Moodle pages for your course to access the specific handbook for your MSc!
We can provide support for your literature searching. Our website guidance pages contain a lot of useful text and video guides that demonstrate how to follow our ‘six steps to an effective literature search’.
You can access the databases that you’ll need to use on the library database pages.
If you need more help and advice, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Feel free also to post comments and replies to this blog post!
We’re happy to answer questions and provide feedback via email, and one to one appointments with expert library staff are also available. If you’re stuck, let us know!