8 steps to organized research


  1. Pick a topic and start to brainstorm the key concepts and issues to investigate
  •  Consider using the PICO framework to develop the question.


  1. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Complete some background research to see what's been written about the topic
  • You may find it helpful to search books and journals through the Falvey catalog, as well as databases that may be relevant to your topic. UpToDate can be a good source for background information on a topic.
  1. Think about narrowing down the topic
  • Sometimes your original question will be too broad. Consider honing in more.  At this point you should have a better idea of what specifically you are interested in.
  1. Decide on the scope and nature of your review
  • What are you hoping to address with your research?
  1. Create and execute database searches
  • Searching can be time intensive. It is also an iterative process.  Be aware that you will need to test different types of search and refine them before setting on your final search strategy.  
  1.  Evaluate your results
  • Are the results in line with your original research question?
  1. Export and screen your results
  • Consider using Zotero as citation manager. This will assist in removing duplicate results when you start to screen. See the Zotero guide for step by step instructions and tips.
  1. Examine data and evidence to ultimately culminate your research topic.
  •  There are many types of literature reviews such as systematic reviews, integrative reviews, scoping reviews, umbrella reviews, amongst others. Talk to your librarian for specific guidance on the best approach to your research.