Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Engineering & Physics: Literature Review Resources

ACU Library resources for engineering and physics including online databases, online journals and web sites.

What is a literature review?

In Engineering, a literature review will determine what research has been conducted in your area of interest. Always start with a literature review to understand what has been done, and what opportunities there are for further or new research. 

1. Find relevant research from the library databases, standards, patents, as well as conference proceedings. If you need help doing research feel free to contact the librarian, we are here to help! 

2. Once you have found research articles on your topic, work through each paper. Read the abstract carefully as the abstract usually has all of the key points of the research. Make notes on each article so you can go back to them in the future. 

**Another good idea is to save and store each article and keep track of bibliographic information using citation software such as Zotero. Zotero will keep track of your research papers, and even cite your material for you in a word document.  There is a Zotero how-to research guide available.

3. Analyze, compare, relate and critique the information you have found into a concise document, that outlines what research has been done on your topic, as well as what opportunities there are for future research and application (aka what you will be doing). 

4. Cite all your work and include a bibliography. This is easiest if you have followed the advice above about using a citation manager. 




Online Resources on Literature Reviews

Loughborough University Library has a great pdf describing literature reviews for engineering, available via Creative Commons License (link is below this box)

IEEE conference publication, Performing a Literature Review 

Succeeding with Your Literature Review: A Handbook for students   (E-book through the library) 

Citing Patents in APA

According to the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association:

" In text, give the patent number and the issue date ( not application date) of the patent. In the reference list entry, include the inventor(s) and the official source from which the patent information can be retrieved."

eg. Smith, I.M. (1998). U.S. Patent No. 123,455. Washington, DC: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

In text citation: U.S. Patent No. 123,455 (1998)