a : a retrospective view or survey (as of one's life)
b (1) : renewed study of material previously studied (2) : an exercise facilitating such study.
1. Know where to search: AKA - there is much more out there than PubMed or Google Scholar alone can look through & find.
2. Understand what it is that you are looking for: How you describe your topic is not how others describe your topic now, or how people used to describe your research topic. You need to come up with variations on your theme to make sure you look for all iterations that are out there.
3. Be methodical, systematic, and thorough. Save as you go: Just like in the lab - make a plan, document your steps, and systematically follow them through to completion, tracking results as you go. Start off organized - stay organized.
4. Once you have assessed things to the present day, let technology stay on top of advances for you: For once, let technology work in your favor and keep you up to date instead of making things harder.