Let's say you are conducting research in a given field. You want to extend or gain knowledge about concepts in the research field and search for literature that explains these concepts, e.g. by typing in some keywords into Search Engines like Google Scholar or digital libraries.

Now some questions appear:

  1. How do you know that you have completed (most likely) the search for knowledge about a given concept?
  2. What is the most efficient way to find knowledge about a subject?

For 2, my methodology so far is searching a keyword in Google Scholar, reading the first X most cited papers or papers with relevant titles. Then reading citations that further explain an unclear or abstract concept in more detail. Afterwards, I look for articles that cite the most descriptive articles I've already read and have a closer look at citations in these articles etc. This is a similar process as described in this paper.

As to 1, I think the answer is when you don't find more information about a given concept.

Am I missing something? Is there a better way or answer?

Note: If you think I can phrase the title of this question in a better way (e.g. more descriptive keywords), please edit or comment.

closed as too broad by EnergyNumbers, jakebeal, David Richerby, gman, Enthusiastic Engineer Nov 18 '15 at 21:10

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • People write whole books about this. I think the concept you're struggling towards is the systematic review – EnergyNumbers Nov 18 '15 at 14:27