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Research Basics Guide: Home

This guide provides details on accessing information for your research at KCU

Beginning your Research

So you want to do some research...


Conducting research is one of the best ways to bolster your academic career. It not only serves to help you in your studies during medical school, but can also help in internships and clerkships. Being proactive with your research skills now will help you later in your career. This guide will serve to give a brief overview of how to get started on your research as well as give you some tools to simplify the process.

  • Search Basics - Overview of basic search strategies and search building
  • Find ArticlesSearch the key databases and journals
  • Find Books - Search the KCU catalog
  • Evaluating SourcesTips, tricks, and tools for evaluating resources
  • More Research Resources - More Library Guides that can help you with your research
  • Citations - Information on how to cite and citation management software
  • Get Help - We are always here to help if you get stuck or need some assistance

KCU Research Symposium

Creating Scientific Posters

Conducting a Literature Review

What is a literature review?

A literature review is an evaluative report of information found in the literature related to your selected area of study. The review should describe, summarize, evaluate and clarify this literature. It should give a theoretical base for the research and help you (the author) determine the nature of your research. Works that are irrelevant should be discarded and those that are peripheral should be looked at critically. 

A literature review is more than just a search for information. All the works should be read, evaluated, and analyzed. The relationships between the literature must also be identified and articulated in relation to your field of research. 

What's the purpose?

A literature review should provide the context for the research. It shows previous research, highlights potential flaws in previous research, and outlines the gaps in previous research. 

Getting Started

First, you need to determine the topic or subject of your research. Start brainstorming ideas and include any related terms. 

Focus in on a central research question. Be sure it is manageable: to narrow won't give you enough information, but too broad will have too many resources to get through. 

Check out these links for help with creating a research question:

Types of Literature

  • Scholarly/Peer-reviewed - articles read and evaluated by experts in the field prior to publication
  • Indexed - indexed journals are considered higher scientific quality than non-indexed journals
  • Primary Sources - original document or material; first-hand account
  • Secondary Sources - documents based on primary resources; review or meta-analysis articles