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What is a literature search?

Writing an essay, report, dissertation or other assignment usually involves searching the available literature on the topic. You may also want to keep up-to-date with information in your field of study, find out if other people are doing similar research to yourself, or do some research on a company, product or service before a job interview.

A literature search can be defined as:

"…a systematic and thorough search of all types of published literature in order to identify as many items as possible that are relevant to a particular topic."

(Gash, 1999)