how to do literature search

Q1: What is literature search

A: A literature search is a systematic and thorough search of all types of published literature in order to identify a breadth of good quality references relevant to a specific topic.

Q2: Why we do literature search

A: The success of your research project is dependent on a thorough review of the academic literature at the outset. It is therefore a fundamental element of the methodology of any research project. Effective literature searching is a critical skill in its own right and will prove valuable for any future information gathering activity whether in academia or not. Getting
the literature search right will save hours of time through the course of your research project and will inform and improve the quality of the research you go on to do for yourself.

Q3: Where is the start point of the search

A:

Method 1: Look into the University Library.

The university library always provides the search engine where you can input your keys words for your topic, the following link leads to the library of U of M Dearborn:
University of Michigan Dearborn Library: http://library.umd.umich.edu/

Method 2: Use Google Scholar search engine:

Google Scholar: https://scholar.google.com
If you are familiar with using Google to do the search, Google Scholar is a better way for you to do the literature search since it provides all the literature search result in the format just like Google web page search does. The search if fast however the search result cloud be bad if you don't provide specific enough information. Try to change your search input in different presentation format such as using synonymous words or trying different words combination, which may provide you different search result.

Method 3: Look into the Database / Publications directly

As long as a researcher devotes his time in one research filed, he will gradually remember a bunch of publications, which collect the contributions of all the researchers around the world in this domain. Searching the articles collected in those publications is a very efficient way to help research to acquire the state-of-the-art research outcome and review peers' work.

The following link provides a group of publications in Data Mining and Analysis filed ranked by Google Scholar, which provides a basic idea about where can be your start point to conduct the literature search.
Top publications – Data Mining & Analysis

Method 4: Use professional softwares

Several desktop applications can also facilities researchers to do the literature survey. Here are two of them that I want to recommend to you.
1. Mendeley
2. ReadCube
For more details about what are the features of these softwares, please look into their office websites.

What's more:
The content above just provide you the entrance of doing literature survey. There is a .pdf file attached in this mail I found is worth reading if you want to know more about how to do literature search.

In the end:
I spent almost one hour to write this mail and I hope it is useful for you. Thank you for your time.

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