Researchers usually starts with doing a literature search by going through what's been written about the same subject.
How to start your literature search?
1- Develop a search strategy
- Define the topic and define your research question. What is the purpose of your research? What do you know about the topic? What is the scope? What is the date range e.g latest researches done in this topic or 10 years range?
- Before you start writing your research you have to develop a search strategy to help you find and locate the information you need.
- Start compiling your research keywords or phrases, including all the key concepts related to your research question or questions. It might be useful also to think about general terms and very specific terms for broadening and narrowing your research.
- It is useful to use subject dictionaries, encyclopedias, indexes, and thesaurus to help you find common terminologies of you research subject area.
- After you gather all the information and resources you need for your search start to evaluate the search results to determine whether you need to narrow or broaden your search or modify your search.
2- Identify information resources
Information can be in different types of formats, so it's very important to understand the significance to know what will best suit your information requirements. What type of resources you need for your research? Books, Reference materials, Journals, Conference papers, Dissertations, Internet,....etc.