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Literature Search & Literature Review Policy for Affiliated Users

The Wimberly Library at FAU at Boca Raton (FAU-BR) supports faculty and student research through reference services, one-on-one consultations, and workshops relevant to the research process.

As subject specialists, Library faculty in the Reference and Instructional Services Department also may provide specialized support for the University’s research and teaching endeavors by conducting literature searches and/or comprehensive literature reviews for FAU-BR faculty. The following is a detailed policy for procedures for literature searches and literature reviews, and the processes by which to request either.

(Note that the Library faculty member reserves the right to decline requests due to time, access to resources, or availability. In lieu of requesting specialized support, FAU-BR faculty can schedule a request consultation with a Library faculty member for instruction on finding suitable literature).

For requests from College of Medicine faculty, residents, students, and affiliates, please contact the medical librarians in the Medical and Health Sciences Collections & User Services Department at librarymed@health.fau.edu.

Types of Specialized Support

  • Literature Search:  Library faculty member conducts a literature search using FAU Libraries’ selected online catalog and databases, and electronically forwards relevant search results in the form of a standardized bibliography to the FAU-BR faculty who requested the search.

  • Comprehensive Literature Review: Library faculty member conducts a literature review using FAU Libraries’ selected online catalog and databases; electronically forwards a standardized bibliography of relevant search results to the requesting FAU-BR faculty member(s); and co-writes a review of the literature suitable for publication. The Library faculty member automatically is a co-author of the research project and is designated as such in resultant publications and/or presentations.

Procedure for Requesting a Literature Search

  • Request a literature search.

  • After receiving a request for a literature search through the Library’s online Literature Search Request form, the head of the RIS Department and a subject-relevant Library faculty member will review the request to ensure that the Library faculty member is able to undertake the literature search at the time of its request. The head of the RIS Department must approve a literature search request before the search commences.

  • Upon approval, the Library faculty member and the FAU-BR faculty member(s) meet in-person, online, or by telephone to discuss criteria for selecting relevant literature titles, including a time frame for selection and completion.

  • The Library faculty member conducting the literature review is not a co-author of the research unless the FAU-BR faculty member(s) chooses to designate the Library faculty member as co-author, although the terms of the literature search policy will remain.

  • The Library faculty member conducts the literature search, and electronically forwards to the FAU-BR faculty member(s) a standardized bibliography of relevant literature, with an invitation to the FAU-BR faculty to request more literature for the project, if needed.

  • Turnaround time for the delivery of the bibliography is three weeks, minimum, unless the Library faculty member, head of the RIS Department, and FAU-BR faculty member(s) all agree to a lesser time frame.

Procedure for Requesting a Literature Review

  • Request a literature review.

  • After receiving a request for a literature review through the library’s online Literature Review Request form, the head of the RIS Department and a subject-relevant Library faculty member will review the request and schedule a meeting with the requesting FAU-BR faculty members(s) to discuss the scope and time frame for the review. Once all three parties have agreed to the scope and time frame, the literature review process can begin. The head of the RIS Department must approve a comprehensive literature review request before the review commences.

  • Upon approval, the Library faculty member and the FAU-BR faculty member(s) meet in-person, online, or by telephone to discuss the research at hand and the criteria for selecting relevant literature titles, including a time frame for selection and completion. The FAU-BR faculty member(s) automatically designates the Library faculty member to be a co-author of the research project; no exceptions.

  • The Library faculty member conducts a literature review and electronically forwards to the FAU-BR faculty member(s) an annotated bibliography of relevant literature. Once the Library faculty member has gathered all relevant literature as agreed upon by the FAU-BR faculty member(s), the Library faculty member writes a review of the literature, suitable for peer review and subsequent publication.

  • Turnaround time for the delivery of the annotated bibliography is eight weeks, minimum, unless the Library and FAU-BR faculty members make other arrangements, with those arrangements approved by the head of the RIS Department. The written review of the literature may require an additional turnaround time, based on subsequent discussions about the research project and new time frames that might emerge once the project is underway.

Questions or Suggestions

Contact Reference and Instructional Services at lyref@fau.edu or by phone at (561) 297-3785.


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