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Academic Writing with Elicit: Streamlined Literature Reviews

Discover how Elicit, an AI-powered search tool, can transform your academic writing experience by streamlining the literature review process. This article delves into Elicit’s various features, such as search refinement, filters, and customisation, whilst also emphasising the importance of maintaining academic integrity. Learn how to use Elicit to enhance your academic writing and enrich your research (while saving lots of time).


The continually expanding field of academic research necessitates efficient literature review techniques to enhance academic writing. Elicit, an AI-powered search tool, presents a solution to this challenge, offering a more effective way to search for academic literature. In this article, I explore Elicit’s features and demonstrate how to use it for conducting literature reviews, by way of an entrepreneurship research example. I also emphasise the importance of maintaining academic integrity throughout the process.

Getting Started with Elicit

Visit elicit.org and type a research question related to entrepreneurship into the search bar, such as “What are the key factors influencing startup success?”

Elicit searches through millions of papers, but it is vital to remember that this is not an exhaustive list. Search results display the title, abstract summaries, and AI-generated insights. Abstract summaries offer a concise overview of the paper’s content; however, researchers must always verify the information by referring to the actual article.

Useful resource: How to use AI for Research: Elicit.org for writing a literature review

Refining Search Questions

Elicit can propose alternative formulations for research questions to help users discover more relevant articles. For instance, instead of solely focusing on the initial research question, users can delve into related areas by considering the suggested phrasings. These may include examining the challenges faced by startups, the role of innovation in entrepreneurship, or the impact of leadership styles on entrepreneurial success. By clicking on these suggested phrasings, users can broaden their research scope and gain a more comprehensive understanding of the topic at hand.

Filtering and Customising Search Results

Elicit provides an array of filters, including keywords (such as “academic writing” or “entrepreneurship”), publication date, and study type, to refine search results. These filters enable users to focus on the most relevant articles for their research. Additionally, users can delve into specific metadata, such as the population studied, main findings, and the technology employed. This level of detail allows researchers to gain a better understanding of the studies’ context and applicability to their own work, ultimately enriching their research and contributing to a more comprehensive literature review.

Customising Columns

Users can customise the columns displayed in search results to swiftly identify pertinent information, encompassing aspects such as study population, main findings, and technology utilised. By tailoring the presentation of search results to their specific needs, researchers can more efficiently evaluate the relevance of each article. This personalisation allows for a more streamlined research process, enabling users to focus on the most crucial aspects of their work and ultimately contributing to a more comprehensive and well-structured literature review.

Useful resource: Write a research proposal in 2 Days with Elicit

Saving and Tracking Research

Elicit enables users to “star” articles of interest, which are then stored in a separate section for effortless tracking and future reference. This feature allows researchers to create a curated list of pertinent articles, facilitating more organised and efficient literature review processes. Moreover, Elicit records search queries, which proves invaluable when documenting the methodology of the literature review process. By keeping track of search terms and strategies, researchers can ensure transparency and replicability, demonstrating the rigour of their work and enhancing the credibility of their research.

Considerations for Using Elicit

Whilst Elicit provides an array of benefits for academic writing, it is crucial that researchers uphold academic integrity and ensure proper citation practices. Elicit should be utilised as a tool to facilitate the search process, whilst maintaining a commitment to appropriately cite and respect the work of others. By adhering to ethical guidelines and acknowledging the contributions of fellow researchers, academics can foster a culture of trust and collaboration, which is essential for the advancement of knowledge and the continued success of the scholarly community.


Elicit is an invaluable resource for researchers seeking to improve their academic writing, particularly when conducting literature reviews on entrepreneurship or any other subject. Its AI-powered search capabilities and customisable interface facilitate efficient and targeted exploration of the academic landscape. However, it is essential for researchers to uphold academic integrity and meticulously examine articles before incorporating them into their work.

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What is Elicit?

Elicit is an AI-powered search tool designed to assist researchers in conducting literature reviews and other research tasks. It uses advanced GPT technology to search for meaning within academic articles, making the literature review process more efficient and targeted.

How do I access Elicit?

You can access Elicit by visiting the website elicit.org. The tool is free to use, and you can begin your research by typing a query into the search bar.

How does Elicit differ from traditional search engines like Google Scholar?

Elicit uses AI-powered search technology to understand the meaning behind search queries, resulting in a more relevant and targeted list of articles. While traditional search engines rely primarily on keywords and metadata, Elicit’s AI capabilities enable it to identify connections and themes within the academic literature more effectively.

How can I refine my search results in Elicit?

Elicit allows users to refine search results using various filters, such as keywords, publication date, and study type. You can also customise the columns displayed in search results to focus on relevant information like study population, main findings, and technology used.

Can I save and track my research in Elicit?

Yes, Elicit allows you to “star” articles of interest, which are then stored in a separate section for easy tracking. Additionally, Elicit records your search queries, helping you document the methodology of your literature review process.

How does Elicit ensure academic integrity?

While Elicit is designed to streamline the literature review process, it is important to remember that using the tool does not replace the need for academic integrity and proper citation. Researchers must still verify the information in articles and cite sources appropriately to maintain ethical research practices.

Is Elicit suitable for all research topics?

Elicit is a versatile tool that can be used for literature reviews across various disciplines, including entrepreneurship, history, social sciences, and more. Its AI-powered search capabilities make it an effective resource for researchers in any field looking to improve their academic writing and research processes.

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