The scientific activity is the result of a cumulative process of knowledge acquisition. The developing search is made to from the set of accumulated data from all other previous research carried out in that area, on a particular subject. Each search adds an additional link of knowledge to form a complex network of results on a particular phenomenon. So, to start a search, you must read and be aware of accumulated knowledge together on the problem that you want to investigate. Conduct a literature review is part of the daily lives of all students and scientists. It is one of the tasks that drive more learning and maturation in the study area. Currently, digital libraries have facilitated and simplified this task, as it bring search capabilities and cross-reference information that make life easier for everyone.
Analyze the literature
In fact, in PhD, the actual search problem formulation requires reading and prior knowledge of some key research on the subject. The greater the number of research that we read about a subject, the conditions will have to formulate a problem. Student search interesting, relevant and original content when he is willing to do PhD.
Knowing what has been done and what is already known on a subject, student should be able to determine what the next step to be taken to increase his knowledge. By doing a literature review on the problem student usually want to investigate, and make clear how this problem is within the area of knowledge of the subject and at what point is the state of knowledge on that subject. He/she explains, on one side, the theoretical context in which the problem is located, i.e., what the theoretical models have been developed to explain the phenomenon.
Synthesize the literature prior to writing your review
Student should clarify the status of empirical and experimental knowledge has been accumulated so far on that issue, or is, how much and what is known about it. This includes both the established knowledge on that problem, as the aspects that have not yet been investigated, as well as contradictions that exist on the results and doubts about the explanation.
For this, student need to describe in the literature review, the main published research on the subject and a critical analysis of them. The main sources to be consulted for the preparation of the literature review are articles in scientific journals, books, theses, dissertations and abstracts in congress. As there is currently a heightened pressure for publication of scientific articles, it’s likely that that thesis or dissertation has also been published in the form of article and conference abstracts.
Thus, the preference for articles published in scientific journals, with committee of editors and peer review process is recommended. A good tip is to carefully observe the bibliographic references of texts already published on the subject and thus identify the authors and journals that are a reference in the area.