Certain databases allow you to limit a search by document type, and in some cases this is a way to find publications that are themselves reviews of the literature. Some among them are:

ERIC (EBSCO) (access from database list):

  • Using the Advanced Search feature, you can select “Information Analyses” from the Publication Type menu. This heading encompasses literature reviews.  You can also select the field "DE Descriptors [exact]" from the pull-down Fields menu and search by the term "literature reviews."

APA PsycNET (access from database list):

  • From the pull-down Filters menu, select "Methodology" and then select "Literature Review" from the list of options.  You can then execute a subject search the results of which will be restricted to publications that are reviews of the literature.

In addition, there are a number of resources that provide examples (and instances) of literature reviews:

Annual Reviews (CU) - Reviews of topics in biomedical, physical, and social sciences published as annual journals; see series for Clinical Psychology, Medicine, Psychology, and others


Review of Educational Research - A publication of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), the RER publishes quarterly critical, integrative reviews of research literature bearing on education, including conceptualizations, interpretations, and syntheses of scholarly work.

Review of Research in Education - A publication of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), the RRE provides an annual overview and descriptive analysis of selected topics of relevant research literature through critical and synthesizing essays.

ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global - The world's most comprehensive collection of dissertations and theses, the official digital dissertations archive for the Library of Congress, and the database of record for graduate research. Includes millions of searchable citations to dissertation and theses from around the world from 1861 to the present day, together with over a million full text dissertations that are available for download in PDF format. The database offers full text for most of the dissertations added since 1997 and strong retrospective full text coverage for older graduate works.