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Literature Review How to...

Librarian's Role in the Literature Review


Librarians have the following skills and expertise to offer a Literature Review assignment:

  • understanding of the organization of information
  • knowledge of complex search systems
  • expertise in operation of those search systems
  • ability to identify databases (and other literature sources) most likely to contain information on a given topic
  • can identify appropriate search terms (controlled vocabulary, natural language, subject headings, MARC records, meta data, tags, etc.)
  • can devise complex search strategies with the appropriate sensitivity and specificity to optimize results
  • easily recognize the different resource types: scholarly, popular, trade, gray literature, as well as research study types and literature formats
  • knowledge of citation styles
  • knowledge of citation management systems
  • ability to access difficult-to-find resources


With these expert skills, librarians can easily become full partners in Literature Reviews


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TWU Health Sciences Librarians