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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Research & Publication in Medicine & Health


Establish your research question
  • A preliminary literature search will help you to situate your research in the broader research landscape related to the issue of interest. You can then identify gaps and opportunities for your own research.
  • The question establishes the nature and scope of the research which will then inform key concepts and methods.
Draft research process or protocol that includes
  • Problem statement and/or rationale
  • Research question and objective(s)
  • Search strategy (determined by the type of research and output)
  • Inclusion/exclusion criteria as needed
  • Quality assessment method(s) as needed
  • Data creation/extraction method(s)
    • Outline specifics for data management (file naming, folder & file structure, etc.)
  • Date synthesis method(s)
  • Data Outputs
  • Timeline
Search the literature
  • Select databases
  • Identify key concepts, terms and controlled vocabulary as needed (MeSH terms for PubMed for example)
  • Perform searches
Manage results
  • Implement Bibliographic Management
  • Implement Data collection software and processes
Analyze data
  • Screen (Implement inclusion/exclusion criteria)
  • Assess quality
  • Analyze, code, interpret



  • Title
  • Research Name/PI/Others
  • Problem Statement
  • Research Quesiton
  • Rationale
  • Literature Review
  • Research Methods
  • Data analysis
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Conclusions