Master of Sport and Exercise Science : Literature Reviews

A guide for students studying the Master of Sport & Exercise Science

Literature review guides

The following guide from VU Library provides an overview of the literature review process including useful tips and advice on effective searching and managing of resources. The guide is intended as a starting point for any student or researcher new to the literature review process.

In the Literature Review library guide, refer to the section on using the PICO and SPIDER framework to help formulate a clear and focused research question, which you can then use to convert into an effective search strategy for your review. See below a short animation that provides a brief introduction to the PICO method of formulating a focused and answerable research question.

Note: The key databases and journals for Sport and Exercise Science literature are listed under the databases and journals section. 

Literature review resources

Developing a research question

A great resource on developing research questions from The University of Melbourne, Academic skills team.

Evidence Based Practice

Vu Library has designed an Evidence-based practice guide to assist students to understand and apply the key steps of the Evidence-based practice process. 

Below are links to additional Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) resources;

Intro to EBP (a tutorial from Duke University Medical centre Library)

What is Evidence-Based Practice? (PubMed online training) 

Research proposal resources

Systematic Reviews

Searching in PubMed database


You may find it useful to organise your literature search using visual mind-mapping tools.

There are a number of free software tools available to use such as:

•Mind Meister - 

The Thesis Whisperer

The Thesis Whisperer 'blog newspaper' provides lots of useful advice and tips for researching and writing.