Scholarly review articles can be valuable starting points for research, because they attempt to convey the research output of a discipline or topic. They report the nature of the research, in terms of its empirical findings, theoretical development, methodology or historical development.
Many article databases have features that focus your search to retrieve literature reviews. The charts below detail those features in some of the most popular databases. Even if a particular database doesn’t specifically tag review articles, though, you can often find them on your own by adding ‘literature review’ as a search keyword.
These databases cover academic journal articles across a variety of subjects. It's common to start searching for review articles in multidisciplinary databases such as these, and then move on to subject-specific databases relevant to the topic. Off-campus access to all resources (except Google Scholar) is limited to current UCSD affiliates.
|Database||What to Do|
|Academic Search Complete||SU “literature reviews”|
|Google Scholar||Use as keyword "literature review"|
|Humanities & Social Sciences Index Retrospective||Use as keyword "literature review"|
|JSTOR||Use as keyword “literature review”|
|Project Muse||Use as keyword "literature review"|
|Readers' Guide Retrospective||Use as keyword "literature review"|
|Sage Full Text Collections||Use as keyword "literature review"|
|Web of Knowledge||With Refine Results, check "Review" under Document Type|
|Database||What to Do|
|America: History & Life||SU “literature reviews”|
|Applied Science & Technology Full Text||Set the Document Type to “Bibliography” or “Review Article”|
|Communication Abstracts||SU “literature reviews”|
|Education Source||Set the Document Type to “Bibliography” or “Review Article”|
|IIBP: International Index to Black Periodicals||Document Type = Literature review|
|International Index to the Performing Arts||Document Type = Literature review|
|Music & Performing Arts Online||Document Type = Literature review|
|PAIS International (Public Affairs Information Service)||DE=”peer review”|
|PsycINFO||Methodology: Literature Review|
|Sociological Abstracts||DE=”literature review”|
|Urban Studies Abstracts||SU “literature reviews”|