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    Get an overview


The better you know your field of study and the search tools available to you, the easier it will get to find relevant literature.

You should therefore start by getting a brief overview of your specific field:

  • Skim through broad sources on your topic
    e.g. Store Norske Leksikon, Wikipedia,
  • Find out what type of publications are most important in your field
    e.g. Books, scientific articles, academic journals, reports, technical standards, statistics, company information

    Check out the University Library's resources


The University Library has many different resources available to help you:

    Decide on limits for your search


  • Define your problem statement
  • Are there any limits to your search?
    e.g. only literature from 1970-1990, only studies conducted in Norway..
  • Where will you search?
    e.g. Oria, a selection of databases, Google Scholar.. 

    Identify key concepts and keywords for searching


First, identify the key concepts you are interested in.
Example: You want to investigate how digital tools make the workplace less productive.

Key concepts could be: 

  1. Digital tools
  2. Workplace
  3. Productivity

Then, find alternative keywords to these concepts that you will use for searching:

Digital tools Workplace Productivity
Instant messaging Work Productiveness
E-mail Job Capacity
Digital technology Office Efficiency

To find keywords for searching, think about:

  • Synonyms
  • Alternative spellings
  • Antonyms
  • Broader and narrower terms
  • Common abbreviations and acronyms
  • Specific cases you want to include

    Decide on how you will store your references


A literature search can result in many relevant sources you want to read and reference to at a later stage.
There are different software available to help you manage your references efficiently. Check out our site on Managing References for more information.

Getting started

1. Get an overview 

2. Plan your search

3. Decide on searching strategy

Important sites



Useful sites for literature searches, academic writing and referencing sources.