Scholarly Business Research: Literature Review & Mapping Tools

Overview to Literature Review Tools Beyond Library Products

There has been a growth in the number of services offering literature review discovery services via the web. Google Scholar which started in 2004 is the one most every knows. It is very convenient and very text based. One downside is they do not make their methodology well known.

Since February 2023 I have been looking at similar tools. Some are new and others have been around a few years. Some are run by non-profits and were created to make profit. Most of them make their discovery methodology known. This is very important so that a searcher can understand what is being searched and what is not being searched. In addition many of these will share which datasets or sources they are looking through. Many are science, technology, engineering and especially medical based datasets. This is because those bodies of scholarly literature tend to be grant and government funded and as a result the indexing is many times freely available on the web for the purpose of discovery.

With recent advancements in artificial intelligence and machine learning interested parties, beyond large for profit entities like Clarivate and Elsevier, have started to create tools to facilitate the discovery of scholarly literature. Some of these new entrants are for profit but others are non-profit and committed to keeping the easy discovery of literature free and available.

Many of these new tools offer visualizations of the literature universe through mapping or bubbling around like and/or connected papers.

The list below is not an endorsement. If you are a researcher it is worth exploring and testing all tools which might help you in the discovery of scholarly articles related to your areas of interest.

Business literature does bleed into these tools so it is worth testing them out and seeing what you might find and the connections you might make.

Once you discover the existence of an article or book check back in the library databases to see if we have the full text. If you come across pre-print copies use them as an artifact to asses if you want to get the final published version. Keep in mind many pre-print articles have not gone through the peer review and final editorial process and may not be finished in vetting. Get in the habit of looking for the final versions. Also use tools like Retraction Watch to see if even final versions have been retracted by the publisher due to errors or falsehood discovered after publication.

Literature Review Tools (AI & AI Adjacent)

NOTE: Inclusion on this page is not an endorsement. This information is offered as informative only and the library does not offer access to fee based features or support for these tools.

Use this tool to see if we have full text access to a journal.

When we do not have the full text use IDS interlibrary loan service to request a copy. Read the FAQ for any questions you have.

Considerations for Researchers

  • Does the tool cover your subject area?
    • Every tool has one or more underlying data set which determines subject coverage.
  • Will the tool save you time or cost you time learning how it works and how to use it?
  • If the tool has a fee/fee model what are the limitations to free?
  • How are searches run? (keyword, doi, article title)
  • Is documentation on design and how-to use offered by the tool developer?
  • Are there privacy and safety features in place?
    • Is the tool respecting my research privacy? This would be important if you were doing unique or confidential research that you don't want. Another party to use or get ahead of. This is something that happens in pharmaceutical research.
    • Is the tool biased in anyway?
  • If the tool is offering summaries, how will you quality check the results?
  • Within the parameters of my current project, how am I allowed to use AI tools which summarize and synthesize?
  • How will I track and communicate what is an AI produced summary and what is my original writing?
  • If the tool offered a full text article is it the final printed version or a pre-print?
  • If the tool allows you to upload a PDF or other info do not use items taken from library databases because of contract restrictions.
  • Be cautious uploading your own original research. Make sure you know how the system will use your writing. What goes in may come out at someone else's desktop.
  • Do you know what subject specific article discovery tools are offered by my university library to make sure you are getting full search coverage?

Literature Review Tools Comparison (AI & Machine Learning Powered)

Edit this Guide

Log into Dashboard

Use of RIT resources is reserved for current RIT students, faculty and staff for academic and teaching purposes only.
Please contact your librarian with any questions.

Facebook icon  Twitter icon  Instagram icon  YouTube icon