Review the literature

Assessing the current knowledge available in your research topic is key to avoiding duplicating others’ work, choosing the right methods and building the evidence for your research proposal.

A literature review is a search and evaluation of the available literature in your research topic area. Sources will likely include research papers, books and media publications amongst others. Guidance on conducting literature reviews and resources for accessing and assessing the literature can be found via the Research and Design Conduct Service and local library services.

Your literature review should aim to describe the limits of current knowledge, and the research theory and methods underpinning this knowledge. In doing so it enables you to develop your research idea in the context of what is already known and is being looked at in that topic area.

The an introduction to research methods training course provides a basic understanding of research methods. In health and social care this is essential to aid practitioners in getting actively involved in research. This course is aimed at new research staff and non-clinical staff, clinical staff and service users considering expanding their research role.