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When I search for papers using some keywords in academic databases (like Google Scholar), there are lots of papers, but I would like to read literature reviews first because I’m new in that area. (By literature reviews, I mean article-length papers that analyze existing work on a specific topic.)

So I think it would be helpful for me if there were a way to find literature reviews using the keyword or using the paper’s title. I want to categorize papers I’ve found by its document type (research, survey, review, etc).

What I've tried is using a specific academic database (ScienceDirect), which provides an advanced search, in which one can filter the paper by its type (original research article, review article, short survey, etc) – but I feel some limitations of this method. I think I can also do this by adding the word review to my keywords for searching or by reading a paper’s abstract, number of references and guessing whether it is review article or not.

Is there a more efficient way to find review articles by the keyword?

(My research area is computer science.)

UPDATE

"feel some limitations" in my post, I'm not sure but it seems that ScienceDirect only searches for literatures that belongs to ElseVier company. I think It doesn't cover the journal articles well, comparing to e.g) Google Scholar so I said I feel some limitations of it

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    The question is really important! The way I used was to pay attention to those papers that cite others most, like 100-150 references. – ikashnitsky Aug 24 '15 at 9:25
  • Why do you "feel some limitations of this method" when using ScienceDirect (or Web of Science)? To me, they are the obvious choice for these types of searches, since Google Scholar doesn't offer such targetted search options. – fileunderwater Aug 24 '15 at 10:49
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    One way of finding authoritative reviews in your field is to see them cited in paper. Find some recent papers that are relevant to your field and see who they cite, particularly in the introduction. There is a good chance that there are review papers in there. – Gimelist Aug 24 '15 at 12:52
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    @fileunderwater The obvious limitation of ScienceDirect is that it doesn't cover the literature as well as Google Scholar (at least in computer science). – JeffE Aug 24 '15 at 14:35
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    @JeffE If that is what's intended by the OP, it should be included in the question. "Cover well" is also slightly ambiguous; google scholar might have a larger coverage, but it doesn't e.g. have the same level of quality control (since it's automatically generated and not curated), which is arguable an aspect of "cover well". – fileunderwater Aug 24 '15 at 15:04
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Google Scholar does not offer as concise query commands, as for example, Scopus and ProQuest. Note that there is a bug in Scopus. When I use commands such as the following, they don't work unless, I add an extra space " ", at the end of each line. Here is one of my Scopus queries, which shows you an example, of exactly what you are looking for. The keyword fields are ar:artical, cp:conference contribution, comp:computer science.

(  
    ( 
        ( DOCTYPE(ar) AND PUBYEAR AFT 2008 ) OR 
        ( DOCTYPE(cp) AND PUBYEAR AFT 2010 ) 
    ) AND 

    TITLE-ABS-KEY 
        ( 
            "design science" and "literature review"
        ) AND 

    ( 
        SUBJAREA(COMP)
    ) AND

    LANGUAGE(English) 

)
2

To me, using academic citation databases (such as Scopus or Web of Knowledge) is the obvious choice for these types of searches, since they have option for filtering on article type (which Google Scholar doesn't have). You haven't explained why you "... feel some limitations.." when using ScienceDirect, so it is hard to know exactly what you feel is lacking. If your issue is that it is a closed subscription platform, you can also use PubMed, which can also filter search results on article type (as review[Publication Type] in advanced search or by clicking on "Review" in the left panel when viewing search results). The main issue with PubMed is that it has a smaller coverage than the other databases, at least in some fields of science.

  • I think PubMed comprises biomedical literature but the OP's field is computer science. – scaaahu Aug 24 '15 at 11:39
  • @scaaahu I realize that, but the overall question is phrased in general terms, except for the last parenthesis. – fileunderwater Aug 24 '15 at 11:42

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