To undertake an effective review of the literature in your chosen topic you will need to plan your review carefully. This includes setting aside enough time in which to undertake your review. In planning there are several aspects you need to think about:
- What sources of information are most relevant to your chosen research question?
- What gaps in knowledge have you identified in your chosen topic and used as a basis for your research question?
- What search terms will you use and how will you refine these?
- How will you record your sources?
- How will you interrogate those sources?
- How will you continue to review the literature as you progress with your research in order to keep as up to date as possible?
- Are you able to easily access all the sources you need?
- What arrangements may you need to make to access any hard copy materials?
- Will you join one of the legal alert services to keep you abreast of changes in your chosen topic (such as new court judgments)?
- What notes of progress will you record in your research diary?
Spending time thinking about all aspects of the literature review, planning your time and setting yourself targets will help to keep your research on track and will enable you to record your progress and any adjustments you make, along with the reasons for those adjustments.