Literature Search & Literature Review Policy

FAU Libraries at the Boca Raton campus supports faculty and student research through reference services, one-on-one consultations, and workshops relevant to the research process.

As subject specialists, librarians in the Instruction and Engagement Services Department may provide specialized support for the University’s research and teaching endeavors by conducting literature searches or comprehensive literature reviews for Boca Raton faculty. The following is a detailed policy for procedures for literature searches and literature reviews, and the processes by which to request either.

Note that requests may be declined due to time, access to resources, or availability. In lieu of requesting a literature search or review, a research consultation can be arranged for instruction on finding suitable literature.

Requests from affiliates in the FAU College of Medicine can be made through the Libraries' Medical and Health Sciences Collections and User Services Department at librarymed@health.fau.edu.

Types of Specialized Support

  • Literature Search:  A librarian conducts a literature search using FAU Libraries’ online catalog and databases, and electronically forwards relevant search results in the form of a standardized bibliography to the faculty who requested the search.
  • Literature Review: A librarian conducts a literature review using FAU Libraries’ online catalog and databases; electronically forwards a standardized bibliography of relevant search results to the requesting faculty member; and co-writes a review of the literature suitable for publication. The librarian automatically is a co-author of the research project and is designated as such in resultant publications and/or presentations.

Procedure for Requesting a Literature Search

Request a literature search.

  1. After receiving a request for a literature search through the Literature Search Request Form, the head of Instruction and Engagement Services Department and a subject specialist librarian will review the request to ensure that the librarian is able to undertake the literature search at the time of its request. The department head must approve a literature search request before the search commences.
  2. Upon approval, the librarian and the faculty member will meet in-person, online, or by telephone to discuss criteria for selecting relevant literature titles, including a time frame for selection and completion.
  3. The librarian conducting the literature review is not a co-author of the research unless the faculty member chooses to designate him or her, although the terms of the literature search policy will remain.
  4. The librarian will conduct the literature search, and electronically forward to the faculty member(s) a standardized bibliography of relevant literature, with an invitation to the faculty to request more literature for the project, if needed.
  5. Turnaround time for the delivery of the bibliography is three weeks, minimum, unless the librarian, department head, and faculty member(s) agree to a lesser time frame.

Procedure for Requesting a Literature Review

Request a literature review.

  1. After receiving a request for a literature review through the library’s online Literature Review Request form, the department head and librarian will meet with the requesting faculty members to discuss the scope and time frame for the review. Once all three parties have agreed to the scope and time frame, the literature review process can begin. The department head must approve a comprehensive literature review request before the review commences.
  2. Upon approval, the librarian and faculty member meet in-person, online, or by telephone to discuss the research at hand and the criteria for selecting relevant literature titles, including a time frame for selection and completion. The faculty member automatically designates the librarian to be a co-author of the research project; no exceptions.
  3. The librarian conducts a literature review and electronically forwards to the faculty member an annotated bibliography of relevant literature. Once the librarian has gathered all relevant literature as agreed upon by the faculty member, he or she writes a review of the literature, suitable for peer review and subsequent publication.
  4. Turnaround time for the delivery of the annotated bibliography is eight weeks, minimum, unless the department head, librarian, and faculty member makes other arrangements. The written review of the literature may require an additional turnaround time, based on subsequent discussions about the research project and new time frames that might emerge once the project is underway.

Questions or Suggestions

Contact the Instruction and Engagement Services Department at lyref@fau.edu or by phone at (561) 297-3785.

Last modified at 06/11/2018 - 11:21 AM