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CHEM3322: Introduction to Inorganic Chemistry


6. Evaluate Your Search Results

Evaluate Your Search Results

Scope of Your Topic (Quantitative Evaluation)

Make sure the number of results you use matches the purpose of your literature search. A thesis or dissertation literature review is based on a comprehensive search of multiple databases. For a short paper, a smaller list of highly targeted references is more appropriate.

  • If your searches return too many results, identify a subset of the topic as the focus of your assignment
  • If you are not finding enough literature to support your work, use a broader or less specific approach to your topic


Use database citation search features to see if a paper is cited by other authors. Ideally, you can find articles which get cited, in newer journal articles written by

  • Authors from other labs and institutions
  • Experts on the broad or parent topic(s) of the article