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Conducting a comprehensive literature review is an essential step in research and publication.
Once you have decided on a research area/topic you’d like to study, and have formulated a research question, you need to review the literature on that topic.
A literature review is a critical summary of all the published works on a particular topic.
As a result, you might not be able to see other research areas that might be relevant to your paper, even if they don’t link directly.
For example, let’s assume that your research question is about studying whether plastic can be made compostable.
This will indicate the relevance of those terms in your field.
It might also shine some light on whether you should be more precise in defining your concepts as well as your keywords. If you find relevant articles, explore them in depth Having a limited number of references might work to your benefit – you get a short but comprehensive list of articles that you can explore in great detail.
Thus, there is no doubt that an effective literature review is very necessary for a good research paper.
However, while reviewing the literature in your research area, you may find that there aren’t too many journal articles, i.e., not much research seems to have been published. The global research output increases every year by approximately 2.5 million new journal articles.
Your keywords should be well defined and specifically targeted to the research papers you are looking for.
Once you have your research question, identify its main concepts and then define keywords for each concept.