The aim of your literature search is to find relevant publications to enable you to gain an understanding of the area you are working in, and to identify a knowledge gap which your project can address. You should concentrate on finding peer-reviewed journal articles, but these can be supplemented with information from books. Websites should be used with caution. All the literature you use should be cited and referenced following the guidance given on the 'Citing references' page in this guide:
Doing a literature-based project?
If you are doing a literature-based project then constructing your literature search (choice of search words, search strategy and selection of appropriate databases) will be a key part of your project and you should include this in the methodology section of your report. See the page on doing a systematic literature search for more guidance:
Journal articles are usually short papers on specific topics. They are published in issues or parts of journals (also called periodicals) which appear regularly. Use articles to find:
You can find journal articles via our Summon discovery service or online databases.
Search the Summon discovery service using the box below to find full-text journal articles available via the Library. Search using topic words or use it to find out if we have access to a specific article by searching for the article title.
Search databases covering your subject
You should also search relevant databases to widen your search. See the lists below of key and additional databases. They will give you references to journal articles and other publications - they may also give you the full-text of the article. They are not limited to the Library's journal subscriptions, so you may need to use the inter-library loans service to get hold of some articles.
If you are doing a lab-based project your should at least search Web of Science. If you are doing a literature-based project you will need to search all which are relevant to your topic.
Resources for finding articles on business and marketing
Market research (UK)
These resources cover UK market information only.
Market research (global)
THE portal for sources of food law compiled by Dr David Jukes from the University of Reading. Includes links to the main sources of legislation and key legal topics including additives, flavourings and labelling.
LexisLibrary and Westlaw UK provide the text of Acts and Statutory Instruments in force. The UK's Government's official Legislation.gov.uk website provides free access to original and revised versions of legislation, but this is not as up-to-date as LexisLibrary and Westlaw UK.
Legislation from other countries
This can be harder to find. The following are useful portals.
For more detailed information on finding legislation consult the Law guide:
See also our guide to finding statistics:
If you are on campus you will be able to access most e-journals and e-books, and some databases, without entering a username and password because your IP address identifies you as being at the University of Reading.
For any that require a login, see the Off-campus tab.
When you are off-campus you will need to login to identify yourself as a member of the University of Reading to gain access to our protected databases, e-books and e-journals.
Your login details
You login in the same way as for Blackboard - via Microsoft. Just enter your University username followed by @student.reading.ac.uk (e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org) and your password. If this is the first time you have logged in via this method when off-campus you will be asked to complete a Multi-Factor Authentication. For more information see:
Getting to the login page...
Watch this short video on how you login to use Library resources.
If you are unable to view this video on YouTube it is also available on YuJa - view the Logging in to the Library video on YuJa (University username and password required)
The ILL service can obtain a wide range of academic books, journals, and conference proceedings. Because of the costs involved it is meant only for material which is essential to your studies or research.
For more information see our Inter-Library Loans webpages:
This playlist of three videos shows you how to prepare for and perform a literature search. The first video introduces literature searches and their role. The second video covers using the search operators AND and OR to create a search statement, and explains the role of wildcards and truncation in constructing a comprehensive search. This information is also available in written guides - see the links below. The third video covers selecting relevant resources from your search results.
If you are unable to view these videos on YouTube they are also available on YuJa or Stream (University username and password required):
Use the template below to help plan out your own literature search - identifying keywords and synonyms. There's also an example to help guide you.
The Food Science and Technology Abstracts database (FSTA) is produced by IFIS (International Food Information Service). They have produced a range of support materials to help you make the most of this valuable resource for research in food and nutrition.