A literature review is a review of research publications about a particular briefing topic. The purpose is to provide clients with knowledge and ideas that can help them to make better informedor even evidence-basedbriefing decisions. For example, when a hospital is considering creating individual patient rooms instead of wards, it will be interesting for them to look at the available research on this topic. Are there any credible research publications that discuss this topic, and what do these say about things like costs, infection control, staff satisfaction and patient well-being? Conducting a literature review can be extremely valuable, but it can be quite time-consuming. Research publications do not make easy reading as they are written by and for academics, and they seldom provide any clear-cut answers. Furthermore, it is important to know that not all research publications are of equal quality. Clients should focus on well-researched publications rather than those that fit their bias. They should look critically at the empirical basis for the conclusions presented (e.g. are they based on the evaluation of a single project or a whole range of projects?). Next to the scientific literature, it will be interesting to look at practice-oriented publications such as design handbooks and briefing guidelines. For common building types, there are many such publications readily available on the Internet. Good examples are cabes guide to Creating excellent primary schools, or the Whole Building Design Guide (an online resource that covers multiple building types).A literature review may further include architectural magazines and design websites like Archdaily or Dezeen. These do not present research-based knowledge, but they tend to feature attractive projects that are new and cutting-edge and as such can act as great sources of visual inspirationa quality usually lacking in research publications.Recommendations-When looking at research papers, try to find meta-analyses that are based on large numbers of studies rather than just a single case study.-Be critical of success stories in trade journals or design magazines. These can be inspirational, but a critical eye is needed to separate hype from reality.-Take an old-fashioned trip to the library of the nearest architecture school to find book shelves full of books dedicated to specific building types.-For the technical brief, look at the many available technical standards (e.g. concerning indoor climate or the dimensions of common rooms).-When using material from publications, make a proper reference to the source, noting the author, title and date of publication.