How can I execute a better literature study in order to get the journal to accept my article?

casesliterature study

An academic researcher working in the humanities and social sciences faculty sent his article to a specific journal, however it was sent back with a comment that the literature study was insufficient and not adequately presented.

The researcher calls the library contact person for the department and they arrange a meeting. The researcher sends the article to the librarian for preparation. The researcher had not systematised his search terms or use of databases, but had primarily drawn his literature from already known articles. 

Preparation before the meeting

  • Reading/skimming through the articles
  • Setting up search aspects/search words
  • Choice of databases  


A short explanation was provided on how to set up search aspects and use them to find relevant search terms, including synonyms, quasi synonyms and acronyms. Next, techniques for searching Boolean operators, phrase searches and truncation were described briefly and an outline provided of relevant databases where searches are carried out.

The researcher appreciated being helped further along in the search process and was hopeful about getting the article included in the journal.


  • 17.05.2012 Oprettet af Gudrun Hansen