Skip to Main Content
UNH Library home

PSYC 904: First-Year Graduate Seminar (UNH Durham)

What a LIterature Review Does

Makes you an informed researcher/applicant

Provides perspective by situating your work within the knowledge base (theory & practice) of your field

Supports your research idea/proposal or identifies a gap needing further research

Provides ideas for research design; for example, quantitative or qualitative approaches or instruments to use

Provides credibility to grant proposals

Writing LIterature Reviews

Scholarly & Peer Reviewed Articles

Scholarly (aka academic) articles are written by and for academics, researchers, and experts in the specific topic or broader subject area of the article.

Peer reviewed (aka refereed) articles are those which have been reviewed prior to publication by other experts in the topic of the article. Often reviewers are external (not members of the journal's editorial staff or board).

Peer Review?


  • the database record for the article, which sometimes indicates whether a journal uses peer review
  • the journal website, especially under About Us or Information for Authors (Example)

Article Purposes

Reports original research or experimentation

  • Empirical: analyzes data collected by the article's authors themselves or by others (for example, US Census data) (Example)

Critically surveys and analyzes the current state of published research on a particular topic; doesn't include original research

  • Includes narrative literature reviews, systematic review, meta-analysis, and meta-synthesis (Example)

Describes one or more theories, frameworks, models, etc. and tends not to include empirical data 

  • May describe development  of a theoretical approach, compare theories, or discuss issues surrounding a theory (Example)

Comments on or offers a perspective or opinion on a topic; doesn't require original research

  • May appear as an article in a column, editorial, letter to the editor, etc. (Example)

Alerts & Current Awareness Services

Alerts and RSS feeds can help you stay current in your field or with a topic of interest with only a little time and effort on your part. These services are usually available from journal publishers and databases and help you monitor recent publications related to your research interests.

For more detail on various types of alerts provided by database and journal publishers, please view the guides below that were developed by librarians at other institutions. Where these guides discuss or link to specific databases or services, please use the UNH Databases listings to connect to the UNH subscription to reach the correct authentication path.