Skip to Main Content


Find key resources for agricultural sciences, including books, databases, websites, statistics and data.

What is a literature review?

A literature review is a survey and critical analysis of what has been written on a particular topic, theory, question or method.

What's its purpose?

  • justify your research
  • provide context for your research
  • ensure that the research has not been done before
  • highlight flaws in previous research
  • identify new ways, to interpret and highlight gaps in previous research
  • signpost a way forward for further research
  • show where your research fits into the existing literature

Finding the gaps and advances in your area

Original research vs review articles

Original research

Original research articles are based on an experiment or a study of a topic. They include a methodology section if an experiment was set up and conducted, a results or discussion section, and a conclusion.

Review articles

Review articles are written to bring together and summarise the results or conclusions from many original research articles or studies. They do not usually contain a methodology section, but they will contain very extensive bibliographies.

Annotated bibliography

An annotated bibliography provides:

  • a list of references presenting a brief summary of the main arguments or ideas of each resource.
  • a critique or evaluation of the resource's usefulness, reliability, objectivity or bias
  • a reflection on how the resource fits into your research.