A literature search is a systematic and comprehensive search for information. By carrying out a literature search you can find out what has already been written about a subject area, enabling you to identify the main themes or trends. This information will inform, underpin and /or shape your research.
The information may be found in books, journal articles, reports, case studies, policy documents, conference proceedings etc.
A systematic literature search is a critical component of the systematic literature review process. It involves a systematic search for articles (studies) and aims for a transparent report of how the articles were identified.