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Literature reviews

Planning your search strategy and how to find, store, organise, evaluate and critique information for your literature review.

Managing your literature

Citing information and details from references when you are ready to start writing:

EndNote referencing software

You can download EndNote referencing software via UQ and get instructions on how to use it.

Learn how to use EndNote with online tutorials.

Grouping references in EndNote

Set up groups in your EndNote Library to classify and organise your references.

Add labels to your references

Organise references based on important themes or concepts by adding a label to each reference.

  1. Open a reference in your EndNote Library
  2. Scroll down to the Label field and enter an appropriate label (something meaningful to you)
  3. Close the reference and select Save if prompted
  4. Go to Preferences if Labels are not displaying in your panel 
  5. Select Display Fields
  6. Under one of the columns select Label from the dropdown
  7. Click Apply and OK

Labels should display in your panel. Click on the Label heading in your panel view to sort the references by label.

Using NVivo for your literature review

Use NVivo to organise your literature so that you can:

  • Locate key terms
  • Identify frequently used terms
  • Code or tag important themes or concepts
  • Track your thoughts and insights
  • Display your information to look across authors and themes

Our Text Analysis tools page has information on accessing and using NVivo.

NVivo training

EndNote and NVivo

You can export references and any attached PDFs from EndNote into NVivo and then organise the references in various ways to explore key concepts.


  1. Go to your EndNote Library
  2. Select all the references you want to export
  3. Go to File
  4. Select Export
  5. Choose XML file at Save as type
  6. Tick Export selected references
  7. Check the save location and then click Save
  8. Go to NVivo and select New Project
  9. Click the Data section
  10. Choose From Other Sources
  11. Locate the XML file
  12. Click Open
  13. In the box leave as is or -
    • At Name Sources by choose Author and Year
    • At Assign Sources choose Different classification based on record type
  14. Click Import

You can then use NVivo to find patterns and gaps, and sort and categorise your references.