What kind of literature review is appropriate for my research question? This will depend on your area of research, but in the health sciences, you will most often rely on scholarly journal articles, patents, conference proceedings, & data sets. You also may need to use books, newspaper articles, & new media, such as Twitter & blog posts.
How much literature should I use? There is no standard answer to this question, but make sure that you have enough literature to tell your story. You may find examples in the workshops that are occasionally given for graduate students by the Rackham Graduate School & English Language Institute. Discuss this question with your advisor & peers.
How will I find all appropriate information to inform my research? You should consult multiple databases & resources appropriate for your research area so that you can have a comprehensive view of the research that has already been done in your area. Browse the research guides for your department or subject for databases & other resources recommended for your specific area. Also consult with your informationist at the Taubman Health Sciences Library to determine the resources you should investigate.
Do I need to document my searches in any way? If you are going to publish this project, then the answer is a most emphatic "yes," as you'll need to include a description of your searches in the methodology section. Even if this is just a class research project, keeping track of the search strategies that you used can help you prevent making the same mistake twice. At the least, you'll want to include y) our final search strategy for each database, 2) the number of records deleting duplicates, 3) (depending on the type of review that you're doing) the number of articles that were relevant to your topic & were used in your study. Consult an informationist for specific examples
How will I evaluate the literature to include trustworthy information and eliminate unnecessary or untrustworthy information? Start with scholarly sources, such as peer-reviewed journal articles & books. Always pay attention to creditability of the source(s) & the author(s) you cite. Citation analysis (http://guides.lib.umich.edu/citeanalysis & http://guides.lib.umich.edu/citation) can be useful to check the creditability of sources & authors.
How should I organize my literature? What citation management program is best for me? Citation management software, such as EndNote, Mendeley, & Zotero, helps you collect & organize references & easily insert citations & format citations & bibliographies in thousands of styles in your Word document.
To choose the program that's right for you, consider which one works best with your literature search & writing process. This guide compares different types of citation management software & provides tutorials for each type. You may also ask your liaison librarian for advice.
How do I ensure academic integrity (i.e., avoid plagiarism)? Familiarize yourself with different types of intentional and unintentional plagiarism and learn about the University's standards for academic integrity. Start with this guide. Remember, citation management tools can help you avoid unintentional plagiarism by making it easy to collect & cite sources.