Educational resources and simple solutions for your research journey

How to identify gaps in the research

How to search for research papers effectively

how to find relevant research papers

With the abundance of information available on the internet today, it is important for researchers to know how to search for research papers effectively online.

Online searches are an indispensable component of research for any researcher; right from researching relevant research topics in your field to publishing your research in journals, you need to perform countless searches for online research papers. Today, a majority of journals are accessible online, and there is an abundance of research papers, books, videos, infographics, presentations, and manuals online for you to choose from. There are many a website for searching research papers, and skimming through the large number of sources will eat up your time. Hence, it is increasingly important to learn how to search for research papers effectively so that you can filter the correct information from a sea of unnecessary information.

It is crucial for early career researchers to learn to refine their research paper search to save time and maximize their efforts.

There are a few things you can do to get the most out of your online search. Here is a list of five simple yet effective answers to this common question by researchers, how to search for research papers effectively .

  • Private browsing and playing around with different search engines

For the same search term, different search engines return varying results; each has their own strengths and shortcomings. In order to avoid missing any pertinent research in your field, it is advisable to try out multiple search engines. Using different search engines to search for research papers will expand the variety of articles you can read. The most popular ones are Yahoo, Bing, and Google. Researchers can find research articles and more using specialized search engines like Google Scholar, which is an excellent resource for accessing research articles. Other options include Microsoft Academic, Pubmed Central,, Worldcat, and Refseek, to name a few 1 .

A great tip here is to search for research papers in a private browser to prevent Google from using information about your device, past search history, and data from other Google services to determine and influence the search results.

  • Common commands to use on the search engines for improved results

Millions of websites are indexed by search engines for research papers, and the words and phrases you enter while you search for research papers can bring up a list of several websites that might be relevant to your search. However, the outcome of your search query can be improved by using some commands to fish out the most applicable information and websites for searching research papers. Quotation marks (“) can be used to search for specific phrases to narrow down the search results. For instance, a search for “research paper” would only return results that included this phrase in the same order. Others are, when a word is preceded by a plus sign (+), it must appear in all search results. When a word is preceded by a minus sign (-), it is excluded.

With some little tricks like these, you can learn how to search for research papers online easily.

how to find relevant research papers

  • Adding asterisks between search terms

This is another important command you can use to optimize your search results. When two search terms are separated by the symbol *, the search engine can retrieve pages that contain not only the two search terms but also websites that contain these terms spaced out by one to five words. When you enter the search term “climate*change,” the following pages will come up: “What is climate change,” “Climate change: evidence and causes,” and “Cities and Climate Change.” Here, the asterisk serves as a wildcard or simply a placeholder that can be changed to any word or phrase.

  • Changing the order of search terms

Another cool hack for improving your results while you search for research papers is to use a different order for your query term. For example, if you have previously used “blood pressure caffeine effect” and it did not fetch satisfactory results, you can try using “caffeine effect blood pressure” to receive different outcomes.

  • Restricting searches by dates

To quickly get the relevant research paper, search websites by date because, by default, search engines use the term “anytime” to determine how recent the information is. You have the option to change this default setting to the most recent time, the previous 24 hours, or any other time in the last week, month, or year. On Google, users can access these options for various time periods by going to the settings option, clicking “advanced search,” and then clicking “last update.”

An effective online search can not only save time but can also advance your productivity as a researcher as you would have access to a wide range of information, including occasionally the precise information you seek. Therefore, it is crucial for researchers to learn these tips and tricks for searching for research articles and other helpful resources.

To simplify your online search for research papers, tools and apps are there to help you. R Discovery can be your go-to app the next time you find yourself wondering how to search for research papers effectively.

Use and download the R Discovery app, which simplifies your online research paper search by creating a personalized reading feed for you. Just put in your preferences and get daily research recommendations on the most relevant literature online. It’s simple to set up, keeps you updated on the latest research and is absolutely free to use. Click on the link below to get started.

Table of Contents

  • 15 Educational Search Engines College Students Should Know About. Rasmussen University. Accessed September 6, 2022. .

Related Posts

Introducing Ask R Discovery: Get Factual Answers, Validated by Scientific Research

Introducing Ask R Discovery: Get Factual Answers, Validated by Scientific Research

How to Avoid Plagiarism in Literature Review

How to Avoid Plagiarism in Literature Review: A Detailed Guide

  • For candidates
  • For employers

How to find papers when you do your literature review

how to find relevant research papers

When you start your  literature review , you may feel intimidated by the quantity of work that you should go through. You may as well be worrying  where to start in the first place.

In today's post, we look at different places where you can find (references to) papers that could be of your interest. Not all papers will eventually be equally important for your thesis. Depending on the article and its contents,  you may simply browse the article for the main findings in less than 20 minutes, or you may sit down with the article for a week, pulling apart all its calculations and equations.  But of course, you can't know how important a reference is until you find it and have a first look at it.

Here are nine different places where you can find (references to) papers that you may want to check:

1. Ask your supervisor where to start

If your supervisor gave you your thesis topic, he/she may already have a folder with information on the topic. Especially when you are hired on a funded project, your supervisor must have already been doing some preliminary work to write the proposal.  Your first destination for your literature review is thus to ask your supervisor for references that can get you started.

2. Read up on the basics in a textbook

If you are new to a topic,  there is no harm in reading a textbook. While a textbook may not have the depth and information of a journal article, it can provide you with the basic concepts that you need to understand to start reading in more detail. In addition to this information to get you started, textbooks also typically have extensive lists of references. You can check out these references and download the relevant articles.

3. References from the research proposal

If you're hired on a funded project, then the references to the research proposal are a good place to start  familiarizing yourself with the work  that supported the proposal in the first place. Download the references cited in the proposal so that you have all relevant background.

4. Find a good review paper on your topic

An excellent starting place for finding good references as well as getting a broad overview of your research topic, is  by reading and analyzing a review paper on the topic . The references cited in the review paper can then be  next up on your reading list.

5. Look for technical reports, theses, code documents etc

Don't limit yourself to research papers to find references to other papers. In technical reports and code documents on your topic, you can find important citations (as well information of practical value). When it comes to depth and extent of analytical work, nothing is as complete as a PhD thesis. Look for theses from students who worked on your topic, and see which references they cited.

6. Google Scholar

Google Scholar can help you find  relevant articles  by using the search function. In addition, you can subscribe to updates of colleagues in your field, so that you have the latest references accessible. Depending on the publisher of a journal paper, Google Scholar may also be faster in reporting a certain article in their database than other database, which can take up to 2 years to include an article.

While Scopus has strong searching functions, and help with identifying the relative importance of a paper in its field with the published metrics, it may be slow in including articles (for my own publications, I have noticed it may take up to 2 years before an article is included).

8. ResearchGate

ResearchGate allows for "traditional" searching for publications, but it also allows you to do the following: 1) follow researchers in your field so you can see their updates, 2) follow research projects of other researchers to receive updates, and 3) interact by commenting on publications, asking questions, and sending direct messages.

9. References of papers

Just as for the list of references of a good review paper,  the list of references of any paper you read can be a good starting point to find more papers to read. Make it a habit to carefully check the list of  references  and see which publications you have "missed" so far.

Recent blog posts

Transitioning into the last leg of your phd journey, what changes between a postdoc and assistant professorship, how to write an academic cv, writing a research vision document, how to prepare for a phd interview, developing leadership skills in a dutch university, 10 things to do when you move to the netherlands as a faculty member, attracting funding as a faculty member in the netherlands, what to do after your phd netherlands vs elsewhere, developing research lines as a faculty member in the netherlands.

A Detailed Guide on How to Find Similar Research Papers

In this article, you will learn how to find similar research papers to identify the research gap and proceed with your research efficiently.

' src=

Finding similar articles isn’t a cakewalk, but if you know the tactics and have a little patience, it isn’t difficult either. There are several ways to find similar papers in research. 

From googling the keywords and title to searching for the author, you can adopt different practices to identify similar articles. Read along the article to identify how to find similar research papers to carry out your research efficiently. 

How to Find Similar Research Papers

To perform research, the researcher needs to know about the topic and has to go with a literature review. Here comes the prominence of similar research papers that help the researcher to get accurate information within a little time frame. 

Scientific journals, magazines, newspapers, books, and interviews are some of the platforms where you can find similar research. You can even search in academic search engines like Google Scholar, Science Direct and Pubmed (specific for life sciences), IEEE (Electronics, Electrical Engineering, computer science), and Agricola for Agriculture to identify the research articles.

Here are some best practices you can follow to identify relevant research papers.

  • Refine your keywords to get accurate results. 
  • View the links to similar resources and related articles.
  • Identify relevant keyword ideas by using synonyms or picking up some keywords from within the article and do a google search on these words.
  • Look out for abstracts and indexes to get ideas about similar articles.
  • Find the article in the index and read the description. Now search this relevant information and you would get a similar article.
  • Look for the bibliography. It’s a great way to find similar articles as it references the articles the author has viewed to do his research.
  • Look into the subject-matter databases to find out the topics and similar content you are looking for.
  • You can also look into the work of similar authors or co-authors and you might get some information through their other papers as well.

Can There Be Two Research Papers on the Same Topic?

You can find numerous research papers that are similar and it is absolutely ethical to publish such papers. So obviously, there could be two or more research papers on the same topic.

Choosing similar research topics will make the research process quick and also help in the advancement of science when the researchers identify the gap from the previous research and work on that. 

However, if you are a researcher, you need to make sure not to replicate the same data and work on finding the appropriate research problem and focus on that.

How to Search More Precisely on Google?

Google has a multitude of articles to pop up in the search results once you write any keyword on the search bar. But these results might not be the ones you are searching for.

To get the appropriate results from your google search, you need to know the art of searching. Here are a few tips you need to follow to search on Google and get relevant results.

1. Use private browsing mode

Google’s private browsing mode curates the data by focusing only on your main keywords and eliminating other factors like browsing history, miscellaneous data from other google services, etc.

Here are the shortcuts you need to use to switch to private browsing:

Chrome: CTRL + SHIFT + N or Main menu > New incognito window

Internet Explorer: CTRL + SHIFT + P or InPrivate Browsing 

Firefox: CTRL + SHIFT + P or Tools > Start private browsing

2. Add * symbol between your keywords

Adding an asterisk (*) between two words in your keyword helps you to search for relevant topics that might fit in those words.

Example: If you are searching for “sustainable agriculture”, typing “sustainable* agriculture” will retrieve similar results as “sustainable practices in agriculture; sustainable food and agriculture; sustainable goals in agriculture”.

3. Change the default country settings in Google

Google customizes the search results based on the country you are looking from. So you need to change this setting for the precise results.

Example: If you are searching from, the search engine is customized for the Indian location and your results will more appropriately be relevant to India. So you can use the browser (Britain) or (France), etc.

Moreover, if you are looking for the best alternative, you can go to This gives worldwide results.

4. Enable advanced search results in Google

You can customize your search engine to show the desired results by enabling the advanced settings that help you select the location, time period, the form of research, etc. You can further apply filters to scan and shortlist the information according to the topic.

5. Changing the sequence or repetition of keywords

If you fail to get relevant results, you can either repeat the terms or can change the sequences of your keywords to watch the results.

Example: Repetition- “Urban farming” can be searched as “Urban farming farming” Changing Sequence- “benefits of vertical gardening” can be searched as “vertical gardening benefits”.

How to find papers faster using Litmaps

Litmaps  is a free online literature discovery tool harnessing the citation network to discover connected papers for your research. Whether you input one paper or a collection, Litmaps swiftly recommends relevant works based on citations and references. Automating literature discovery means you don’t need to sift through references manually, as the Litmaps algorithm does this automatically. By using the citation network, Litmaps can find key papers that you may miss with traditional search methods.  

Make scientifically accurate infographics in minutes

Mind the Graph is an exclusive tool for researchers that helps to simplify research with visually captivating infographics. Sign up for the tool and make your research process easy and exciting.


Subscribe to our newsletter

Exclusive high quality content about effective visual communication in science.

Sign Up for Free

Try the best infographic maker and promote your research with scientifically-accurate beautiful figures

no credit card required

About Aayushi Zaveri

Aayushi Zaveri majored in biotechnology engineering. She is currently pursuing a master's degree in Bioentrepreneurship from Karolinska Institute. She is interested in health and diseases, global health, socioeconomic development, and women's health. As a science enthusiast, she is keen in learning more about the scientific world and wants to play a part in making a difference.

Content tags


how to find relevant research papers

The Best Method for Finding Research Papers

Do you struggle to find the relevant literature for your assignments or research projects? The search for academic sources works differently to the approach we might use when we search the Internet. In this article, we’ll learn how to search through academic databases effectively and identify the most relevant papers.

how to find relevant research papers

‍ The Database Search

First, you’ll need some keywords to limit your search. Which words or phrases relate best to the information you want to find? If you have papers already or other reading material, this can be a good place for keyword inspiration. Keep a note of these words so that you can expand on them later. You might come up with alternative words, such as synonyms and abbreviations, or try some spelling variations. Alternatively, you can make use of genei’s keywords section and use these results to guide your search. Second, take some time to learn about ‘power searching’ by using ‘Boolean operators’. These are simple techniques that involve adding words or symbols to narrow down or widen your search using your key terms. You can find some of these advanced techniques here . Additionally, you can limit the scope of your search by defining essential criteria such as date, language, publication type (ebook or journal article), or the journal you’re interested in. This can refine the results that get returned to you. Similarly, you can begin to make note of key journals or authors that come up, and conduct a separate search by defining that journal or look up the author to see their other work.

Tracking Logs

Now that you’ve made a start, it’s a good idea to keep track of the databases you have searched, and the key words or search techniques used. This will make it easier to keep up with what you have or haven’t done so far. If you’re working on a research project and need to conduct an extensive literature review, this is particularly important. Here’s an example of a literature search tracking log. While this documents the search process, it’s also important to store and organise the papers you want to check out. You could organise the papers using date, author names, or your keywords. Reference managers often have ‘tagging’ tools to organise papers. However, this could simply be picking a naming convention such as ‘Year_FirstAuthor_Keyword1’ in a folder on your computer.

Connected Papers

Another effective way to source out relevant literature is by identifying connecting papers. It can be useful to start with a recent research paper because this will point to older research on that topic. As mentioned earlier, this could also help you to identify key authors for your search. genei makes finding connected papers easy by generating a reference list of the sources used and their links. Likewise, in order to find out if the paper is relevant to your particular research interest, it’s best to read the abstract, then introduction and conclusion. However, genei generates AI-powered summaries that allow you to skim the entire paper, saving you time and allowing you to identify key topics within the paper.

Amirah Khan

how to find relevant research papers

Do you want to achieve more with your time?

98% of users say genei saves them time and helps them work more productively. Why don’t you join them?

About genei

genei is an AI-powered research tool built to help make the work and research process more efficient. Our studies show genei can help improve reading speeds by up to 70%! Revolutionise your research process.

Articles you may like:

how to find relevant research papers

Find out how genei can benefit you

  • Follow us on Facebook
  • Follow us on Twitter
  • Criminal Justice
  • Environment
  • Politics & Government
  • Race & Gender

Expert Commentary

How to find an academic research paper

Looking for research on a particular topic? We’ll walk you through the steps we use here at Journalist's Resource.

how to find relevant research papers

Republish this article

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License .

by David Trilling, The Journalist's Resource October 18, 2017

This <a target="_blank" href="">article</a> first appeared on <a target="_blank" href="">The Journalist's Resource</a> and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.<img src="" style="width:1em;height:1em;margin-left:10px;">

Journalists frequently contact us looking for research on a specific topic. While we have published a number of resources on how to understand an academic study and how to pick a good one — and why using social science research enriches journalism and public debate — we have little on the mechanics of how to search. This tip sheet will briefly discuss the resources we use.

Google Scholar

Let’s say we’re looking for papers on the opioid crisis. We often start with Google Scholar, a free service from Google that searches scholarly articles, books and documents rather than the entire web: .

But a search for the keyword “opioids” returns almost half a million results, some from the 1980s. Let’s narrow down our search. On the left, you see options “anytime” (the default), “since 2013,” “since 2016,” etc. Try “since 2017” and the results are now about 17,000. You can also insert a custom range to search for specific years. And you can include patents or citations, if you like (unchecking these will slightly decrease the number of results).

Still too many results. To narrow the search further, try any trick you’d use with Google. (Here are some tips from MIT on how to supercharge your Google searches.) Let’s look for papers on opioids published in 2015 that look at race and exclude fentanyl (Google: “opioids +race -fentanyl”). Now we’re down to 2,750 results. Better.

how to find relevant research papers

Unless you tell Google to “sort by date,” the search engine will generally weight the papers that have been cited most often so you will see them first.

Try different keywords. If you’re looking for a paper that studies existing research, include the term “meta-analysis.” Try searching by the author’s name, if you know it, or title of the paper. Look at the endnotes in papers you like for other papers. And look at the papers that cited the paper you like; they’ll probably be useful for your project.

If you locate a study and it’s behind a paywall, try these steps:

  • Click on “all versions.” Some may be available for free. (Though check the date, as this may include earlier drafts of a paper.)
  • Reach out to the journal and the scholar. (The scholar’s email is often on the abstract page. Also, scholars generally have an easy-to-find webpage.) One is likely to give you a free copy of the paper, especially if you are a member of the press.
  • In regular Google, search for the study by title and you might find a free version.

More tips on using Google Scholar from MIT and Google .

Other databases

  • PubMed Central at the National Library of Medicine: If you are working on a topic that has a relationship to health, try this database run by the National Institutes of Health. This free site hosts articles or abstracts and links to free versions of a paper if they are available. Often Google Scholar will point you here.
  • If you have online access to a university library or a local library, try that.
  • Directory of Open Access Journals .
  • Digital Public Library of America .
  • Subscription services include org and Web of Science .

For more on efforts to make scholarly research open and accessible for all, check out SPARC , a coalition of university libraries.

Citations as a measure of impact

How do you know if a paper is impactful? Some scholars use the number of times the paper has been cited by other scholars. But that can be problematic: Some papers cite papers that are flawed simply to debunk them. Some topics will be cited more often than others. And new research, even if it’s high-quality, may not be cited yet.

The impact factor measures how frequently a journal, not a paper, is cited.

This guide from the University of Illinois, Chicago, has more on metrics.

Here’s a useful source of new papers curated by Boston Globe columnist Kevin Lewis for National Affairs.

Another way to monitor journals for new research is to set up an RSS reader like Feedly . Most journals have a media page where you can sign up for press releases or newsletters featuring the latest research.

Relevant tip sheets from Journalist’s Resource:

  • 10 things we wish we’d known earlier about research
  • How to tell good research from bad: 13 questions journalists should ask  (This post also discusses how to determine if a journal is good.)
  • Lessons on online search techniques, reading studies, understanding data and methods
  • Guide to critical thinking, research, data and theory: Overview for journalists

About The Author

' src=

David Trilling

Enago Academy

Finding Relevant Scholarly Research for Literature Review: How can we be systematic?

' src=

On an average, it takes 15 clicks for a researcher to find an article (which may or may not be related to their research topic) online. This time is not productive because it does not help them gain any knowledge and it could potentially be spent doing something more vital in fostering research and development. Moreover, as most researchers rely on two to three databases to find information for their literature review , the time to find relevant scholarly research data also increases.

Table of Contents

Navigating Through Multiple Scholarly Databases—Is it even necessary?

The Internet has revolutionized the way we access information. Websites and online resources within and outside of academic bibliography are significant resources of literature. However, the challenge in searching and managing the results is undeniable.

Considering the exponential growth in scholarly research data and literature, finding relevant information and reporting your research sooner is imperative. While Open Science has been a positive reform of information access, not all data is available at a click, let alone the relevant one. Researchers fear the possibility of missing out on critical information related to their research topic or accidentally committing plagiarism. Hence, they spend time in toggling through multiple scholarly databases.

In this process of searching for literature on multiple databases, researchers tend to download irrelevant information too. Furthermore, the probability of finding similar resources on multiple databases is higher if the resource is on an Open Access platform. These downloaded papers not only occupy the space in reference managers but also make researchers spend a lot of time deciding whether the paper is worth reading or not.

5 Major Challenges Faced on Multiple Scholarly Databases—How to overcome them?

Finding scholarly research data involves navigating through institutional login pages, subscriptions, and paywalls. Apart from the time, effort, and money spent there are several other challenges that researchers encounter while searching literature on multiple scholarly databases.

Here we discuss 5 major challenges faced by researchers while using multiple scholarly databases:

1. Identifying and Deciding the Resources to Search

The Internet provides information in numerous formats, viz. journal articles, preprints, video recordings, podcasts, infographics, conference proceedings, etc. This wide pool of knowledge gets deeper with advances in scholarly research and literature. Hence, while finding research data on multiple scholarly databases in multiple formats, it becomes difficult to identify and decide the resources to download based on their relevance to the research topic. However, these resources can be easily traced if they all are on a single platform.

2. Search or Navigate Resources Correctly

Researchers use keywords and questions to find scholarly data related to their topic of interest. Databases search for the exact words and phrases. Hence, if researchers use a different word or a synonym that describes the concept, the search results are not relevant. If a single database with optimized keywords is used to access billions of scholarly resources, it not only avoids information overload but also allows navigation of relevant information.

3. Assessing Obtained Search Results

Information overload makes it difficult for researchers to assess every discovered resource. One cannot decide the relevancy of search results based on the research paper ’s title. And reading all sections of all papers—abstract, introduction, results, and/or conclusion—will be extremely time consuming. Furthermore, spending time reading these sections of papers to later find out that it’s not related to your research topic will not help anyone. So, what if there was a tool that could search results beyond keywords using research ideas, questions, etc., and also could summarize the key aspects of each downloaded resource? Definitely something to ponder about.

4. Deciding Which Literature to Select and Cite

Scientists are often overwhelmed with the scholarly research data they find online. It is a never-ending task to decide which literature to select and cite. Thus, it is essential to download only relevant data and assess them based on their relevance to the research topic. Furthermore, citing the literature accurately by following journal-specific guidelines and writing style guides will avoid accidental plagiarism. Such cumbersome tasks can be handled with accuracy using an AI-based tool particularly designed to make academic research and publishing easier.

5. Retrieving Relevant Literature in an Accessible and Editable Format

The inability of some software to save, process, and/or retrieve data in all formats is displeasing in this age of digitization. Hence, scientists prefer software that allows accessing, downloading, managing, and editing research data files in all formats.

How to Find Scholarly Research Data with a Systematic Approach? – 7 simple steps

Given the amount of intelligence on the internet, it is only wise to resort to a reliable system. One which is smart, efficient, precise, accessible, and affordable to integrate the scattered information, help researchers through every step of research reporting and publishing, and save time, effort, and money.

A simple 7-step systematic approach to find relevant scholarly research data

  • Search literature based on research ideas, keywords, conference talks, author details, etc.
  • Assess the found resources based on their key aspects and findings.
  • Search, save, manage, read, and annotate relevant literature on a single platform.
  • Use easily accessible and editable formats.
  • Cite the literature to avoid plagiarism.
  • Follow journal guidelines and format the research paper.
  • Connect with co-authors and share your work with them for insights and edits.

An extensive and accurate literature search is the key to performing, reporting, and publishing authentic research. A systematic single-platform search database provides a much better comprehension of insights of the research topic. It helps draw comparisons faster as all results are saved and managed in one place! Moreover, it helps researchers to stimulate the interpretation of ideas, analyze shortcomings, and recognize opportunities of future research.

With advances in technology, this process can be simplified without compromising the quality of the final product. As Artificial Intelligence takes over other realms of society, it’s about time researchers leverage these advances to further streamline research publishing.

What are your ways of literature search? How many databases do you have to use simultaneously? Wouldn’t you want to have all your work on one platform without remembering several login IDs and passwords? This sounds like the future of publishing! What do you think?

Rate this article Cancel Reply

Your email address will not be published.

how to find relevant research papers

Enago Academy's Most Popular

Generative AI Guide

  • Thought Leadership

Launching a Practical Guide for Institutions on Using Generative AI in Research and Research Writing – Get Yours Now!

In an era where AI technologies like ChatGPT and similar generative AI tools are becoming…

AI Peer Review

  • AI in Academia
  • Trending Now

AI Integration Can Future-Proof Peer Review — But only if we define and drive the right principles

In this ever-evolving landscape of scientific research, trust in the integrity, validity, and impartiality of…

Responsible AI in Peer Review

  • Infographic

Elevate Peer Review Excellence — Ensuring ethical and responsible AI use

The peer review system, with its roots deeply embedded in scholarly publishing since the 17th…


Who Is Responsible Anyway? – Defining research accountability of researchers and institutions in the AI era

Should we be worried about research ethics in the AI era or has it been…

Increasing Threat of Scientific Misconduct and Data Manipulation with AI

  • Publishing Research

Increasing Threat of Scientific Misconduct and Data Manipulation With AI

The advent of artificial intelligence (AI) has revolutionized various fields, including scientific research. From data…

Call for Responsible Use of Generative AI in Academia: The battle between rising…

Limitations of DeepL Write and ChatGPT in Scholarly Editing: How human editors…

9 Things Researchers Shouldn’t Expect From ChatGPT: Setting realistic…

Human Editors or ChatGPT — What should you use for reliable publication-ready work?

how to find relevant research papers

Sign-up to read more

Subscribe for free to get unrestricted access to all our resources on research writing and academic publishing including:

  • 2000+ blog articles
  • 50+ Webinars
  • 10+ Expert podcasts
  • 50+ Infographics
  • 10+ Checklists
  • Research Guides

We hate spam too. We promise to protect your privacy and never spam you.

I am looking for Editing/ Proofreading services for my manuscript Tentative date of next journal submission:

how to find relevant research papers

What support would you need for successful conference participation?

How to Search for a Research Paper: Tips and Strategies

Photo of author

Data built to solve R&D challenges. Search & monitor 500M+ global data points, all in one place.

how to find relevant research papers

Are you looking to further your research and development ? Finding the right information is key in any innovation process , but it’s not always easy. Learning how to search for a research paper that is apt for your current project is an essential skill that R&D leaders should possess.

In this article, we look at how to find reliable sources, tips on finding relevant papers, and utilizing resources so you can make your review of related literature more efficient. Let’s learn together how to search for a research paper.

Table of Contents

Narrowing Down Your Topic for Literature Review

When it comes to learning how to search for a research paper, the important first step is narrowing down your topic. It can be difficult to find relevant research papers if you don’t have a specific focus. Narrowing down your topic helps ensure that you are seeing the most accurate and up-to-date information available.

Defining Your Research Question

The first step in narrowing down your topic is defining your research question. This should be as specific as possible so that you can easily identify relevant sources of information.

Begin by asking yourself broad questions about the topic of interest. This can be done through brainstorming, reading literature, or talking with experts in the field. Consider what topics need further exploration and how your study could contribute to existing knowledge on the subject.

Once you have identified an area of interest, narrow down your focus by considering what specific information would be most beneficial to answer this broader question. Think about who or what might benefit from having this information and why it is important to investigate now rather than later.

After narrowing down your focus, create a more specific research question that will guide your investigation into the issue at hand. Make sure that it is measurable so that results can easily be interpreted and analyzed upon completion of the study.

Additionally, consider whether there are ethical implications associated with collecting certain types of data or conducting certain experiments before finalizing your questions.

Identifying Keywords

Once you have defined your research question, it’s time to start identifying keywords related to it. These will help you search more effectively when looking for sources of information.

By using relevant and specific keywords, you can narrow down your search results and find more targeted information quickly.

The essential step in identifying keywords is brainstorming ideas related to your research question. Think about all of the different terms that could be used to describe what you’re looking for and write them down on a piece of paper or in a document on your computer.

It might help to think of synonyms as well as related topics or concepts that could be associated with what you’re researching.

Narrowing down your topic is essential in improving how to search for a research paper. Once you have a more specific field of research, you can easily brainstorm keywords that will serve as your search terms when looking at search engines.

Search Techniques in Reviewing Related Literature

Once you have narrowed down your topic and identified keywords, it’s time to look for related research articles . Using your identified keywords as search terms, you can now begin compiling different journal articles .

Start With Broad Research Databases

To start your journal article hunt, begin by searching broad research databases such as JSTOR or Google Scholar. These will provide you with a wide range of results that you can then narrow down further.

Searching on JSTOR can be done in two ways – by keyword or by subject area. To search by keyword simply enter your query into the search box at the top of any page on the site. If you’re looking for something specific then it’s best to use quotation marks around your keywords so that only exact matches are returned in your results list.

Alternatively, you can browse through different subject areas using the Browse tab located at the top right corner of every page on JSTOR. This will give you a list of all available subjects which can then be further refined with additional filters such as language or publication date range.

Meanwhile, using Google Scholar effectively requires understanding how it works and knowing what kind of information you are looking for. To get the most out of your searches on Google Scholar start by using keywords that are specific to your topic or question.

Additionally, use advanced search techniques like using options for author name or journal title to narrow down results even further. You can also filter by date range if you’re looking for recent publications in your field.

Lastly, don’t forget about related articles which appear at the bottom of each article page. These can be great resources when exploring new topics!

Look Into Specialized Research Databases

Once you have identified some relevant articles from these general searches, consider looking into more specialized databases that cater to specific niches. For example, if you are researching a topic related to psychology or neuroscience, PsycINFO may offer more targeted results than other search engines.

Open-access journals are also helpful when conducting literature reviews since they allow free access to all content without requiring payment or subscription fees.

This is especially useful for those who may not otherwise have access to paywalled articles due to financial constraints or other reasons.

Additional Tips for Finding Research Papers

Using search engines, databases, and open-access journals is the start of finding relevant research. Building on preliminary research and being organized is essential. Here are some more tips on finding research papers.

  • Keep track of what you have searched and the keywords used. This will help you keep up with what has been done so far and save time in the long run.
  • Organize the papers using dates, author names, or keywords. This will make it easier to locate specific documents when needed. Reference managers often have ‘tagging’ tools which can be useful here too!
  • Identify connecting papers. Start with recent research as this will point to older work on that topic and may also identify key authors for your search. This can help you find more research articles that will point to more journal articles in their references as well.
  • Read the abstracts first. These provide a quick overview of each paper’s content, allowing you to determine whether they are relevant before reading further into them or not.

Conclusion: How to Search for a Research Paper

In conclusion, learning how to search for a research paper might be intimidating in the beginning. However, with the right strategies and resources in place, you can make the process much easier.

Start by narrowing down your topic and identifying key phrases. Use these key phrases in your search query, so academic search engines can give you better research articles as a result. Finally, build on your preliminary research by looking at connected research.

By doing these steps, you will find researching related literature is easier and less frustrating.

Are you a research and development or innovation team looking for an easy way to find the data sources needed to power your project? Look no further than Cypris , the ultimate platform for R&D and innovation teams. With our simple search engine, you can quickly locate relevant research papers without spending hours scouring through articles. Streamline your workflow with Cypris today!

How Are Research and Development Costs Accounted For?

Cypris raises $4M to help R&D teams track global innovation

Leave a Comment Cancel reply

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

how to find relevant research papers

Who We Serve

R&D & Innovation Teams

Business Development & Market Intelligence

Technology Transfer

Who We Deliver

I nnovation Dashboard

T echnology Search

Custom Reports

User Help Center

Healthcare Innovation

Copyright © 2022 IPCypris

Terms & Conditions

Terms of Service

Privacy Policy


  1. How to use connected papers to find similar and relevant research

    how to find relevant research papers

  2. Steps In Doing Research Paper , Basic Steps in the Research Process

    how to find relevant research papers

  3. How to Find Relevant Research Papers to Speed Up Your Literature Review

    how to find relevant research papers

  4. How to Write a Research Paper- A guide From Professionals

    how to find relevant research papers

  5. 😍 Find research papers. Your Essay Site. 2019-02-06

    how to find relevant research papers

  6. components of research paper

    how to find relevant research papers


  1. #9- Research Process ( Finding and formulating research question )

  2. This Researcher Submitted A Paper In 3 Weeks

  3. Method Of Research Report

  4. How Can I Quickly Find Relevant Academic Papers Using Boolean Operators?

  5. How to Find Journals Match your Papers in Elsevier

  6. A guide to the Analyst Centre


  1. Unlocking the Power of Connected Papers: A Game-Changer for Researchers

    In the fast-paced world of research, staying up-to-date with the latest developments and keeping track of relevant papers can be a daunting task. However, thanks to technological advancements and innovative platforms like Connected Papers, ...

  2. How Do You Make an Acknowledgment in a Research Paper?

    To make an acknowledgement in a research paper, a writer should express thanks by using the full or professional names of the people being thanked and should specify exactly how the people being acknowledged helped.

  3. What Is a Sample Methodology in a Research Paper?

    The sample methodology in a research paper provides the information to show that the research is valid. It must tell what was done to answer the research question and how the research was done.

  4. How to search for research papers effectively

    In order to avoid missing any pertinent research in your field, it is advisable to try out multiple search engines. Using different search

  5. Blog PhDTalk

    Google Scholar can help you find relevant articles by using the search function. In addition, you can subscribe to updates of colleagues in your

  6. A Detailed Guide on How to Find Similar Research Papers

    Refine your keywords to get accurate results. · View the links to similar resources and related articles. · Identify relevant keyword ideas by

  7. Connected Papers

    Connected Papers is a visual tool to help researchers and applied scientists find academic papers relevant to their field of work.

  8. How to find relevant papers: thinking like a researcher

    Identifying relevant research papers is a long and iterative process. Like going down a rabbit hole, it can get overwhelming at times. The deeper you dig

  9. The Best Method for Finding Research Papers

    Likewise, in order to find out if the paper is relevant to your particular research interest, it's best to read the abstract, then introduction

  10. Top 3 tools to find research papers

    Every researcher has to know how to find research articles to learn about their field, stay updated, and contribute to research.

  11. What are some ways to find relevant articles and resources ...

    How should someone approach researching a topic and publishing a research paper? It depends on your objectives: - Do

  12. How to find an academic research paper

    If you're looking for a paper that studies existing research, include the term “meta-analysis.” Try searching by the author's name, if you know

  13. 7 Steps to Find Relevant Research Data for Literature Review

    Search or Navigate Resources Correctly ... Researchers use keywords and questions to find scholarly data related to their topic of interest.

  14. How to Search for a Research Paper: Tips and Strategies

    Additional Tips for Finding Research Papers · Keep track of what you have searched and the keywords used. This will help you keep up with what