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Hey Alice, thanks for your thoughts, really appreciated it. I have actually got a list of subheadings for the lit review, I would love to discuss with you on that.

Hi,

There are several approaches to literature review but they all start the same way. Write a list of key words for your topic. You may not have many now but as you search more this list will be updated. The best way to do this is to think about your topic as simply as possible, like you were explaining it to your mother, what are the key concepts?

Then you have to use your imagination slightly, what other key words could be found close to your core idea? Has anyone done anything similar with say, car shares, improving public transport etc? Although you may not get something exactly like what you are looking for it will still be applicable in general terms.

What to do with those lists of ideas? You have two options either find journals that might be useful or search with google. Google is a fantastic search engine that can lead you to many resources including papers from many different journals.

If for example you find a wikipedia page that summarises everything nicely you can use the information provided you check out the reference it gives. Never cite wikipedia just cite the article they cite.

After a bit of googling you should find some journals keep popping up. They will have names like 'The American Journal of Enviromental Science' or similar. If you want to know if its a good journal or not, look up the journals impact factor. Nature is the most badass journal out there it will have the highest score but anything in the top 50% should be fine. If you can't find a score then its probably a small journal and is ok. Oh and the best way to see if its a good article is to see the number of times it has been cited/referenced by other people. The most reliable are probably the ones that have been cited the most.

Getting access to journals can be tough if you aren't going via your uni. There should be a search engine on your uni libraries home page for finding an article. They are normally pants. Use google to find something that looks good then use the journal search to get full access. If your university doesnt have a subscription then you can normally request an article, ask a friend from a different Uni or go on something called SciHub, they have a few articles free access.

I hope this is a good start for you and if you need any help when it comes to structuring your research thoughts or ideas I will be happy to help!

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