Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Starting Out on a Literature Review
Find existing lit reviews
You can jumpstart your lit review by finding lit reviews on similar topics that have already been written.
Tip: Use Thesaurus or Index to indentify useful terms for searching.
Tip: Use proximity searching to catch variations.
E.g., literature near/3 review (ProQuest)
The work of doctoral students, dissertations may never be published in book form, but they can be rich resources. They invariably include a lit review as a chapter, and often have extensive bibliographies.
The Annual Reviews series of journals are entirely composed of extensive lit reviews.
Trace citations backward and forward in time to see the reception of ideas
Indexes most peer reviewed journals in science, technology, and medicine, and many in the social sciences, arts, and humanities. Scopus also includes a number of trade publications and conference papers, and can perform author and affiliation searching.
Access to Google Scholar with Penn-only links to full-text articles. Once authenticated through Penn's proxy, full-text articles to which Penn Libraries subscribe will become available within the Google Scholar search results.