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Preparing for a Comprehensive Literature Review

Focusing Your Topic

One of the challenges of conducting a review is identifying a topic that is not too broad, but not so narrow that there is little or no research to review.  Students can make use of our discovery services to scope out a topic of interest.  

Using EBSCO Discovery Service (EDS) to explore your topic

Open EDS by clicking on Search for Articles on the main library web page or click here to open this resource.      Enter terms for your general area of interest, e.g iif you know that you want to do a review on something related to pediatric oncology nursing, you could enter pediatrics cancer nursing.

After you get a search result, refine your search results by limiting to the Publication Type Academic Journals.  (See left hand side of results page.)

Apply any other applicable limits, e.g. date, language.

Browse through results and take note of the specific topics that come up frequently.  If you wish to explore a specific topic, add that term to the search.  For example, if I were noticed that there were a number of studies on resiliency related to pediatric cancer nursing, I could add terms for resilience in the second search box.  

Once you have identified a possible topic for your review, you can do some further scoping of the topic any of the subject databases relevant to your topic.  Consult one of our Subject Guides to identify appropriate databases in your subject area.