Skip to main content

HD FS 479: Family Interaction Dynamics


A yellow and a blue circle with a green overlap


OR: expands your search to both things you connect it with

Yellow, Green, Blue. Everything in the drawing

AND: limits your search to both things you connect with it

The overlapping area of the circles so just Green

NOT: limits your search to exclude what you specify

Finding Literature Reviews

What is a literature review?

Also known as: meta-analysis, systematic review, meta-synthesis, review of literature, overview, etc.

This scholarly article summarizes who is doing what in your research area, a “too long; didn’t read” of current research about a topic. Literature reviews are incorporated in scholarly articles, most researchers want to show why what they are doing is necessary and how it relates to what was done before, but for this tutorial we are focusing on the type that are published on their own.

In PsycINFO 

In PsycINFO Advance Search under Methodology check off the facets for Literature Review, Meta Analysis, metasynthesis, Systematic Review.

In Library Quick Search

Use either title or any field contains: “literature review” OR “review of literature” OR “systematic review” OR “meta analysis” OR “meta synthesis”


Any field Is exact or contains: “Your topic” OR “related words” OR “related words”

Check off the facet for peer reviewed journals.

In EBSCO databases, such as Family Studies Abstracts:

Advanced Search and choose the Boolean search option

“literature review” OR “review of literature” OR “systematic review” OR “meta analysis” OR “meta synthesis” in Abstract

Topic in search in All text (Abstract also works and might be more accurate)

In Web of Science Core Collection

Web of Science Core Collection Advanced Search:

TS=(literature review OR review of literature OR systematic review OR meta analysis OR meta synthesis) AND TS=(Your topic)

The results are not super obvious and you have to click on the linked number of results in the Results column after running the search.

You can set up a search that sends you an email anytime it updates. Web of Science can save searches for you and works with Endnote.

Research Methods Overview

Reference Works