A systematic literature search aims to find as much relevant literature as possible in order to get an overview of what has already been written on a particular question or topic. If you have to make a literature review this is the place to start. If you proceed systematically, the search will also be documentable and verifiable.
A systematic literature search consists of several steps:
- Define the search question by dividing it into different main elements. Read more at PhD on track
- Select databases/ sources.
- Develop search strategies - find relevant keywords (terms) for the different categories of the question. Read more at PhD on track
- Evaluate the results and, if necessary, refine your search strategies: if the search provides too many irrelevant results and / or omits relevant references, reconsider your search strategy.
- Manage your information by importing references from different sources to available reference management tools (such as EndNote). Read more at PhD on track
- Document and report the search – decisions made during the search process should be logged. The search must be described in the report's chapter on methodology.
- If necessary update the search - if the summary is to be updated or the project has been going on for a long period of time, the search must also be done again.
A number of databases and publishers offer literature alert services, i.e. you can receive alerts when new articles or journals that match your search are published.
Here you can find instructions on how to create alerts in selected databases that you have access to through HiOA.
Go to guidelines for:
- EBSCOhost-basene (Academic Search Premier, Business Source Elite, Cinahl, EconLit, ERIC, Food Science Source, GreenFILE, Library Information Science & Technology (LISTA), Medline and SPORTDiscus)
- Web of Science-basene (Science Citation Index Expanded, Social Sciences Citation Index, Journal Citation Reports and Arts & Humanities Citation Index)
Register as a user
- Go to the desired base and click Sign in
- Click Create new account
- Fill out the form (name, email, choose username and password, etc.).
- Click Save changes
- Click Search History at the top of the results list
- The search history, i.e. a list of the searches you have made in this session will then appear. Here you can tick off the searches you want to save as alerts. Click Save Searches / Alerts
- If you are not already signed in, do so now
- Select Alert under Save Search As and fill in the fields (name, how often, for how long, the email address the alerts should be sent to, etc.)
- Click the Save button to save
- A receipt will appear on the screen. Click Continue to return to Search History
- You will receive a receipt by email. After a while you will receive emails with a list of new articles that match your search. How often depends on the frequency you selected when you set up the alert and whether new articles have actually been published.
= A table of contents sent by email when new a number of a journal is published.
- Under Publications (top of the screen) a list of databases and publications will appear. Select the desired base to see which journals are analysed there.
- Browse the alphabetical list or search for a title in the Browse For-field to find the relevant journal. Click on the name of the journal (you can set up alerts on journals with and without full text)
- Click Alert / Save / Share
- If you are not already signed in, do so now (If you are not registered, register by clicking "Create new account" and choose a username and password)
- Click Email Alert
- In the next screen, select recipient(s), format etc. (click on Advanced Settings for ulterior choices)
- Save the alert by clicking Save
- You will receive a receipt by email. You will then receive an email with a table of contents each time a new issue of the journal is published
Notification via RSS
All EBSCOhost databases support RSS notification. Follow the instructions above but with the following exceptions:
Search Alerts: Point 5: Fill out / select from the options (name, how often, for how long, etc.) and tick off for No email (RSS only).
Point 7: Copy the RSS feed to your RSS reader before clicking Continue
Journal Alerts: Point 2: Click the RSS icon at the desired journal and proceed straight to point 7.
Point 7: Copy the RSS feed to your RSS reader before saving by clicking the Save button
Register as a user
- Go toScienceDirect
- Click Register (top right corner)
- Fill out and click Show Alert & Other Settings to view the alert setup and, if necessary, make changes
- Click Register
- Sign in and make a search
- Click Save as search alert in the result list. Fill in/ choose among the alternatives and click Save Alert
- Click on the tab Browse
- Then choose which journals you wish to receive e-mail alerts or notifications via RSS from
Register as a user
- Go tol Web of Science and click Sign in
- Select Register
- Fill in the form and click Submit registration
My Saved Searches (SearchAlerts)
- Make a search
- Click Search History (all your searches will be saved as alerts, so if necessary, delete those you do not wish to set up alerts for)
- Click Save History / Create Alert
- Fill in / choose among the alternatives: tick off for Send me email alert, Alert type: Select Biblio + abstract or Full Record or Email format: Select Field tagged if you are using EndNote, if not, select Plain text
- Click Save
My Citation Alerts
= get a notification when an article is cited
- Search for / go to the desired article and click on the title (so that you are in Full Record)
- Click Create Citation Alert
- Click Done