Module 2: Formulating a Research Question and Searching for Sources
In this module we go over the framework for searching the literature. Keep in mind that searching is a non-linear and potentially iterative process; as such you may need to review and revise earlier steps at any point.
The steps to searching the literature are:
- Formulating a research question
- Identify search terms (keywords)
- Brainstorm more search terms
- Construct a search strategy
- Select and Search Databases
- Manage your search strategies and results (Covered in Module 3: Organizing, Managing and Screening Sources)
We will show you how to use special techniques like forward and backward citation searching to find more sources. Finally, if you are conducting a systematic review you should check out our special section on how to document your search strategy and results.
By the end of this module, you will be able to:
- Determine your research question
- Design and refine your own search strategy
- Choose appropriate resources to search
- Know how to use other serendipitous methods of information gathering and when to stop searching
- Document your search strategy