Skip to Main Content

Literature reviews

Information providing guidance on starting a literature review, including resources, techniques and approaches to searching the literature and writing the review.

Recommended sources

When searching the literature you should aim to be as comprehensive as possible. This includes knowing where to search. 

While Google Scholar and LibrarySearch can provide good starting places, you will need to move beyond these to comprehensively retrieve relevant literature.


Search the RMIT University Library’s search engine, LibrarySearch, to discover print and online resources available, including: Books and E-books, Journal and newspaper articles, DVDs and streaming video, Theses and more.

Google and Google Scholar

Using Advanced Google or Google Scholar improves your chance of obtaining relevant information.

Google Advanced lets you choose combinations of words – e.g. all these words, exact phrase or word etc., and narrow results by language, region, last update, site or domain, file type, etc.

Sign in to Google Scholar with access to personal Google account that allows exporting citations to EndNote and other bibliographic management tools.

Citation databases

Scopus and Web of Science are two large citation databases that can be important starting points for subject areas particularly in the sciences. Further information on searching these is below.

Subject specific databases

There are also other databases available and many of these are subject specific. To locate databases relevant to your research area you can consult the Library's Subject Guides or book a Research Consultation with a librarian.

Research Repository

The RMIT Research Repository is an open-access institutional repository providing free, searchable access to research publications authored by RMIT University staff and students.

Grey literature

For your research it may also be important to locate resources outside of academic databases. See the page on Finding grey literature in this guide.