Search and Review Literature
Effective search planning
Planning is the key to successful research
- Directs your research
- Enables you to develop strategies to systematically organise and record information
- Saves time and reduces frustration by keeping your search for information focused
- Ensures your literature search is comprehensive
- Facilitates the process of recording or documenting information searching and strategies over time
- Prompts you to think critically about your topic and can contribute to the quality of your thesis, article or literature review
The following resources outline helpful preliminary steps in preparing to search the literature, and provide tips and strategies to help ensure your search is successful.
- Search planner ( Word document, 106KB)
- Identification of key concepts (PDF, 58KB)
- Searching tips (PDF, 62KB)
These presentations form part of the HDR training and are designed to help you search literature effectively
Finding Deakin theses
Deakin University theses may be found via:
Finding Australian theses
Trove (Libraries Australia) is the national database of material held in Australian libraries. To find theses, type keywords from author, title, and/or institution and add thesis in the keyword search box.
Finding international theses
- Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations
- WorldCat provide simple search tools to access theses worldwide. Use the Advanced Search function and refine search by Content: thesis/dissertations.
- OAIster (OCLC) is the global database of material held in the Worlds' libraries.
- Hong Kong University Theses Online - more than 20,000 full text theses.
Also search for theses within scholarly search engines such as Google Scholar.
How to write a thesis
Staff in the Division Student Life, Deakin University, have developed resources that focus on aspects of writing and editing a thesis.
Deposit your thesis
Deakin University has an online thesis submission process.
Past students can deposit a digital copy of their doctoral or masters thesis for preservation purposes.
- When depositing your thesis you can give permission for its public release, should you wish.
- For help with this process, see Examination Procedures and Research Degrees forms and guidelines.
Additional library resources
Research methods and literature review Library Resource Guide links you to Deakin books covering topics such as doing a PhD and writing theses.
How to find theses (PDF, 994KB) provides a quick overview of basic search tools and databases to help you find theses quickly.
How to borrow from other libraries
Options to find resources and material that Deakin may not have access to:
A literature review is generally undertaken as part of a thesis requirement and as part of the initial investigation to demonstrate the feasibility of undertaking research.
It generally involves comprehensively searching relevant literature and critically analysing and synthesising the information found so that the author may confidently state the justifications for their new research to be undertaken.
Specific information to assist with writing and understanding of literature reviews is available at Study Skills HDR resources.
Additional library resources are available at:
- The literature review (understanding the purpose of a literature review)
- Research methods and literature review Library Resource Guide links you to print and electronic library texts related to undertaking a literature review.
Research Methods Mini-Lectures
The Research Methods Mini-Lectures provide an overview of the research design process and research methodology across disciplines with an emphasis on social sciences.
These mini-lectures have been made available primarily for Honours and HDR students, but are accessible to all students undertaking research.
The lectures are presented by Dr. Brad Warren, School of Communication and Creative Arts, Faculty of Arts and Education, Deakin University. They address aspects of research including:
- What are quantitative and qualitative methods?
- How to define a clear research question?
- Key elements in research design processes
- Key research methods, e.g. survey, content analysis, depth interviews, and focus groups.
Research Methods Mini-Lectures downloads
Download presentation slides from 10 lectures:
- Quantitative and qualitative methods; Research questions (PDF, 196KB)
- Independent and dependent variables; Correlations, associations and relationships (PDF, 130KB)
- Sampling; Probability sampling (PDF, 305KB)
- Non-probability sampling (PDF, 167KB)
- Reliability and validity (PDF, 157KB)
- Concepts and constructs(1) (PDF, 211KB)
- Concepts and constructs(2); Surveys (PDF, 343KB)
- Content analysis (PDF, 204KB)
- Participant observation; Depth interviews (PDF, 128KB)
- Focus groups; Case studies (PDF, 153KB)
Stay up to date
Stay up to date with new research
It is vital to keep up to date with the latest literature, trends and developments in your research area. This task has been made easier by new communication technologies, and the increasing availability of alerting services from publishers and database providers.
To keep you informed of newly published research using RSS feeds and alerting services, a series of tutorials is below.
Journal Table of Contents (TOC) alert from journal publishers (PDF, 1.34MB) helps you subscribe to new issue notifications.
Watch tutorial videos and download presentation slides:
Introduction to alerts and RSS feeds (3 mins) | Slides (PDF, 669KB)
Using Microsoft Outlook to view your alerts (3 mins) | Slides (PDF, 666KB)
Introduction to RSS readers and Web portals (3 mins) | Slides (PDF, 734KB)
Creating a saved search alert in EbscoHost (7 mins) | Slides (PDF, 1.33MB)
Creating alerts in Google Scholar and Deakin Research Online (5 mins) | Slides (PDF, 343KB)
Creating a Journal TOC alert via Library catalogue (3 mins) | Slides (PDF, 343KB)
Creating a citation alert in Scopus (4 mins) | Slides (PDF, 343KB)