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Writing a Literature Review in STEM

This guide will help those in the STEM disciplines get started on writing a literature review.

Finding Review Articles

In review articles you will find works that review, critique, and synthesize representative literature on a topic. It is a good place to learn about the topic and the most relevant publications on the topic. 

Review articles typically (but not always) contain the word "review" or "literature review" in their titles. 

To find review articles in STEM literature, try

1. Google Scholar 
2. Article Databases, and/or 
3. Annual Reviews journal collection

Here we'll show you how to find review articles at the three search systems, using the same topic for the search.

  • Topic:open pit mining 

If the FSU Libraries does not have the journal, request an Interlibary Loan.

1. Google Scholar

1) Go to Google Scholar

2) Enter a search keyword (or a phrase) and add intitle:review to the search statement.
            "open pit mining" intitle:review

For the above search statement, Google Scholar will retrieve web documents on the corporate social responsibility where the titles of the documents include the search term, review

Sample search results on Google Scholar



2. Article Databases

1) At Earth Science Collection database (a Proquest database) 

2) Enter the keywords and search in "Title" field. If you are to conduct an extensive search on the topic, then do not limit your search to the "Title" field. 

3) Limit your search by Full-Text, Scholarly Journals, and References available 


Sample search: "(open pit mining) AND review" narrowed by "Full text" and "Peer reviewed"

3. Annual Reviews Journal Collection

1) The Annual Reviews database is a wonderful source to check out for finding review articles in most disciplines

2) At the "Annual Reviews " database enter the search keywords to conduct a search. Because you are already searching a "review articles" database, you don't have to add a word "review" to your search statement


Sample Annual Reviews search for "open pit mining"

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