How To Use Elicit For Literature Review: AI Research Assistant 101

Navigating the vast sea of academic research can be daunting. Fortunately, Elicit, an advanced AI-driven tool, offers a streamlined solution for conducting comprehensive literature reviews.

 This article will guide you through the step-by-step process of using Elicit to efficiently locate, analyse, and organise relevant research papers.

Whether you’re a seasoned academic or a novice researcher, understanding how to leverage Elicit’s capabilities can significantly enhance your research efficiency and effectiveness. Let’s dive into how you can make the most of this powerful tool.

How To Use Elicit For Literature Review

1Start with a Specific Research QuestionEnter a detailed question to ensure relevant results.
2Review the Search ResultsElicit shows papers with titles, abstracts, and citation counts. Quickly gauge each paper’s relevance.
3Use Filters to Refine Your SearchNarrow results using filters for keywords, publication dates, study types, and citation counts.
4Analyze Abstract SummariesRead AI-generated summaries for an overview. Always verify by reading full papers.
5Dive Deeper into Selected PapersExplore deeper by reading full abstracts, checking citation histories, and viewing PDFs.
6Export Data for Easy AccessExport findings in CSV or BibTeX formats for integration with reference management tools like Zotero.
7“Star” Relevant PapersBookmark papers for later review using the “star” feature. Access your starred list anytime.
8Adjust Your Query as NeededUpdate search terms based on findings to refine results and explore new keywords or concepts.
9Utilise Elicit’s Additional FeaturesTake advantage of features like related question suggestions and methodological critiques.
10Continuously Update Your ReviewKeep your review up-to-date by adding new research as it’s published.

What Is Elicit AI (

Elicit is an AI research assistant revolutionising the way you perform literature review research. At its core, allows you to automate parts of the research process that traditionally consumed hours.

When you use Elicit, you start by entering a specific research question.

The system uses advanced AI to filter through millions of research articles, showing relevant papers and summaries of key information about those papers in an easy-to-use format. 

Elicit’s capabilities extend to refining search results by:

  • keyword,
  • citation count, or
  • study type,

which is particularly useful for conducting a systematic review. You can even see the number of citations a paper has received, helping gauge its impact and relevance. 

Plus, the tool offers options to export data in a CSV or bib file, integrating smoothly with reference managers like Zotero, which is a boon for maintaining academic integrity.

What sets Elicit apart is its mission to automate and scale your research workflow. Whether you’re behind academia’s paywalls or exploring open access, Elicit navigates the terrain, ensuring you don’t overlook any critical piece of literature.

This makes your literature review process not only faster but also more exhaustive, leaving you free to focus on synthesis and analysis rather than the mechanics of the literature search.

Steps To Use Elicit For Literature Review

If you are looking for a simple step-by-step guide to use Elicit for literature review, here’s a guide for you to start with: 

Step 1: Start with a Specific Research Question

When you log into, you’ll be prompted to enter a research question. This should be as specific as possible to ensure the results are directly relevant to your study.

If you’re interested in how virtual reality affects learning outcomes, your query could be “What are the impacts of virtual reality on student engagement and learning outcomes in higher education?”

How To Use Elicit For Literature Review

Step 2: Review the Search Results

Once you submit your question, Elicit utilises AI to sift through vast databases, displaying research papers that align with your query.

The results are presented with:

  • titles,
  • abstract summaries, and
  • the number of citations,

helping you gauge the relevance and influence of each study at a glance.

Step 3: Use Filters to Refine Your Search

Elicit provides various filters to refine your results further. You can filter papers by:

  • keywords,
  • publication date,
  • study type, or
  • the number of citations.

This functionality is particularly helpful if you’re conducting a systematic review and need to adhere to specific criteria.

Step 4: Analyse Abstract Summaries

The abstract summaries provided by Elicit are generated using AI, offering a concise overview of each paper. You can quickly scan through to see if there are any papers that may be relevant to your work.

While these summaries are useful for quick scans, it’s crucial to access the full papers for a thorough review, ensuring the AI’s interpretation aligns with the actual content.

Step 5: Dive Deeper into Selected Papers

For papers that seem particularly relevant, click on them to see more detailed information. Elicit allows you to:

  • read the full abstract,
  • check the paper’s citation history, and
  • view any available PDFs.

This step is vital for understanding the context and methodology of the research, ensuring it fits your review’s scope.

Step 6: Export Data for Easy Access

You can export the data you find useful directly from Elicit in formats like CSV or BibTeX, which can be imported into reference management tools like Zotero.

This feature supports maintaining an organised and accessible bibliography and references, essential for academic integrity.

Step 7: “Star” Relevant Papers

As you comb through the search results, you might find papers that warrant closer examination later. Elicit’s “star” feature allows you to bookmark these papers.

You can easily access your starred list at any point, which helps in structuring your literature review and ensuring no critical research is overlooked.

Step 8: Adjust Your Query as Needed

Based on the papers you find, you might discover new keywords or concepts to explore. Elicit allows you to modify your search terms in real-time, dynamically adjusting the displayed results.

This iterative process helps you hone in on the most pertinent information. Feel free to use this features until you have found what you needed.

Step 9: Utilize Elicit’s Additional Features

Elicit also offers advanced features like suggesting related research questions or identifying methodological critiques within studies.

These insights can provide new directions for your review or highlight potential limitations in existing research.

Step 10: Continuously Update Your Review

Literature reviews are often ongoing projects, especially in fast-evolving fields. Fortunately, Elicit can help you keep up with this.

Elicit’s user-friendly interface and real-time data updates make it easy to add new research as it becomes available, ensuring your review remains current and comprehensive.

How To Use Elicit For Literature Review

Use AI Tools For Academic Work

By leveraging Elicit’s capabilities, you can significantly reduce the time and effort typically required for literature searches.

This AI-driven tool not only streamlines finding relevant papers but also enhances your ability to analyse and synthesise key information effectively. 

With Elicit as your research assistant, you’re well-equipped to undertake even the most complex literature reviews, making your research process more systematic and efficient. 

The Author

Dr Andrew Stapleton has a Masters and PhD in Chemistry from the UK and Australia. He has many years of research experience and has worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow and Associate at a number of Universities. Although having secured funding for his own research, he left academia to help others with his YouTube channel all about the inner workings of academia and how to make it work for you.