Online Scientific Communication Courses: Conducting a Literature Search

Date published


Communicating scientific information clearly and concisely is a required competency of the Field Epidemiology Training Program (FETP) trainees. Collaborating with TEPHINET, the CDC has developed a package of self-study online scientific communication courses with guidance on developing a poster presentation, an oral presentation, conducting a literature search, and writing a scientific manuscript. These interactive courses help trainees learn and apply principles of effective communication to highlight the main findings for informing diverse audiences. In addition, the learners can benefit from the step-by-step guidance provided throughout their training. The courses offer flexibility and convenience for learners. This page provides access to the "Conducting a Literature Review" course. The learners can also access additional scientific communication courses listed below: 

Course Description and Objectives

This course guides learners on why it is essential to do a comprehensive literature search for a specific topic of interest, how to develop a search strategy, and evaluate a literature search. It is a helpful tool for studying the background and context for a potential research question or study as part of writing a scientific report or paper.

By the end of this course, learners will be able to:

  • Conduct a comprehensive literature search with different sources, databases, open-access publishers, and search engines.
  • Identify strategies and tools for organizing the search results from your search query.
  • Identify criteria for evaluating the articles from your search query to ensure they are relevant to your research.
  • Critically read the identified articles to understand how the information provides evidence for your research.


The course will guide learners through the following steps for conducting a literature review. 


The course is web-based and can be accessed here

This course is also accessible offline. For the offline version, please download the zip file.

In order to open the zip file and run the course:

  • Step One: Download the zip file
  • Step Two: Once it is downloaded, right-click the zip file to extract all
  • Step Three: Open the extracted folder
  • Step Four: Start each module by clicking the files named "Launch Module" for each
Author type
Resource type
Non-communicable diseases
Scientific writing
Conferences and meetings
Multiple regions
Country or Area
Multiple countries