Skip to Main Content

Researching: Literature Reviews


Will you be writing a literature review? We have suggestions for you in column 2.
To find literature reviews written by other authors, follow our tips in column 1.

Searching for Literature Reviews in EBSCOhost

Find a literature review article. A literature review article will provide summaries and evaluations of books, government documents, scholarly journal articles and other - significant - sources, all relevant to a specific topic; however, literature reviews will often cover just scholarly articles. Read a literature review to explore the breadth and depth of a topic and to further discover resources.

Sometimes a database search can be limited to a literature review, a systematic review, or a meta-analysis. In EBSCOhost OmniFile, literature reviews is a subject. Or, try "literature review" as a keyword.  For example:

("literature review" AND ("global warming" OR "climate change"))

Search EBSCOhost databases
Limit Your Results

Is it a Literature Review, a systematic literature review, or a Systematic Review?

Then what is a Systematic Literature Review? The term systematic literature review is sometimes used interchangeably with literature review since ideally a literature review is conducted systematically. However, when evidence based practice and statistics become part of the picture and a research article is referred to as a systematic literature review, the two are often confused. If the article is, in fact, an empirical study of other primary research--a research study of research studies, then the term systematic review (or meta-analysis) should be looked for instead.


The Difference Between a Systematic Review and a Literature Review and Why It Matters


The Difference Between a Systematic Review and a Literature Review and Why It Matters

Kysh, Lynn. Difference between a systematic review and a literature review. Figshare. 2013.


literature review vs. systematic review image


evidence-based hierarchy pyramid

Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis

"A systematic review is a summary of the medical literature that uses explicit and reproducible methods to systematically search, critically appraise, and synthesize on a specific issue. It synthesizes the results of multiple primary studies related to each other by using strategies that reduce biases and random errors. To this end, systematic reviews may or may not include a statistical synthesis called meta-analysis, depending on whether the studies are similar enough so that combining their results is meaningful."

Conducting a Literature Review

Tips on Conducting a Literature Review from the University of Toronto, Health Sciences Writing Centre 

What is a Literature Review? 

Check out these sites, too.

The Writing Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 

The Writing Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Need more info?

Ask Us


Ten Simple Rules for Literature Reviews


Rule 1: Define a Topic and Audience

Rule 2: Search and Re-search the Literature

Rule 3: Take Notes While Reading

Rule 4: Choose the Type of Review You Wish to Write

Rule 5: Keep the Review Focused, but Make it of Broad Interest


Rule 6: Be Critical and Consistent

Rule 7: Find a Logical Structure

Rule 8: Make Use of Feedback

Rule 9: Include Your Own Relevant Research, but Be Objective

Rule 10: Be Up-to-Date, but Do Not Forget Older Studies

Ten Simple Rules for Writing a Literature Review

Literature Reviews, how to books

 Chat with a librarian