Writing instructions for literature reviews
In academic world it is often needed to do a literature review on the subject being studied. This considers master's theses, doctoral theses, and special assignments written for the Metrology Research Institute (MRI) as well. Very often "literature review" is considered a synonym for "to google" which it really shoudn't be. Internet is full of rubbish, and hits of Google contain mainly garbage. Google is a good tool to get an overall picture of the subject being studied. It is also usefull for getting information on markets or for finding suppliers for components and systems. However, in academic thesis this is not enough for literature review.
This page contains usefull links for literature review. There are various search engines that find information in scientific journals. Popular engines used by the researchers of MRI have been listed in this page. There are also direct links to scientific journals publishing material which is close to the research/teaching areas of MRI.
General procedure for literature review
- Use search engines with key words you think might describe the information you need. Try several keywords because people may not use exactly the same words that you think.
- When you find a usefull article in (or close to) your research subject, look at the references of the article. This shows you the history of the presented study and related works. Authors may also mention subjects close to their research field, which might be exactly what you are looking for. Find the referred articles you consider interesting.
- See also who are the authors that have written the paper. Repeat engine searches to find out what else the authors have written. People very seldom change research fields completely so it is likely that the authors may have published new papers on the same subject.
- See where the authors work and look at the web pages of their laboratories. Annual reports and publications lists of the laboratories may give you usefull information on articles.
- Remember that world has not always been digital. Some journals and older issues of journals only exist on paper. You can order practically any imaginable article from the Aalto University library by filling in a simple form.To reduce costs, please see first whether the journal is available in Otaniemi, and copy it yourself if possible.
Search engines for scientific articles
Journals related to activities at MRI
Please send comments and ideas to petri.karha [at] aalto [dot] fi (Petri Kärhä). Information on new journals and search engines worth listing are most welcome.