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Advanced Health Sciences Research: Literature Reviews

This guide is designed to assist Nursing and Health Sciences students with research projects.

Using Literature Reviews

Literature reviews are a good place to start your research. They give an overview of the research that has been done in a specific field, review the most important points of current knowledge on a specific topic, and list seminal articles. Just note that possibly not all topics will be covered in a literature review article.

Effective Literature Searching

Read these articles to learn about Literature Searching for BSN Students

Tips for Finding Literature Reviews in Databases


  • choose Review or Systematic Review as Publication Type

Academic Search Complete and HealthSource Nursing

  • search Literature Reviews in the Subject Terms field on the search page

ProQuest Nursing

  • use Review as a Document type under 'More Search Options'


  • from the Advanced Search page, choose Review from the Type of Article box under "Limit by Topics, Languages and Journal Groups". You can also choose Nursing Journals from the Subsets box in the same area.
  • choose Classical Article in the Type of Article limit box to access articles which are identified as a classic/seminal article for your topic.

In all these databases:

  • for quantitative studies try the keyword meta-analysis and for qualitative studies try meta-synthesis
  • add literature review* as a search term along with your subject
  • try searching the term literature in the title field

For help in writing a literature review and annotated bibliography see The Literature Review from the University of Toronto., and Literature Reviews from the University of North Carolina.



Subject Guide

Fiona Inglis's picture
Fiona Inglis