How to create a literature map for your social research project

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Literature maps help researchers review literature for gaps and points of impact. They are useful in both academic and industry related research projects to help gain traction and market interest. The are especially helpful for qualitative and social research projects.

Research projects usually start with a Literature Review which involves using tools such as search engines ( e.g. google scholar) and document management and reference systems (e.g. Endnote and Mandalay).

The literature review will attempt to create a space for the research project that has not been covered or is yet to be developed.

Literature Mapping uses graphical methods to plot your literature in a graphical format. There are many types of graphical method from mind mapping to infographic formats.

See our Research Gate Forum where leading experts have discussed the various graphical literature tools from Mind Maps through to Quiqqa and other methods.

Dr Jonathan Drane has developed a unique but simple literature mapping method which streamlines your literature review and helps you refine your topic and its place in the literature universe.

‘In our method we prefer to use a ‘cards on desktop’ graphical logic.  It uses cards (like the icons on your desktop) and allocates identifiers to the cards including different colours as well as other key information points. Think of each card as if it was a library card which is also linked back to the actual publication it refers to’. Dr Jonathan Drane

Learn More:

How to create a literature map web page by Dr Jon Drane

Youtube short video ‘How to create a literature map‘ by Dr Jon Drane



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