Obviously, it helps to have a structure in mind already, but the articles you find will often help to suggest a structure or cause you to redesign your existing one.
Herewith a hard-learned tip:
There are tides and seasons in academic publishing – a topic is often hot for a few months, then dies, then is revived to be attacked from a different angle, then dies, then is revived again to be discussed from a third angle… remember, Thesis, Antithesis and Synthesis?
This has two implications for studying the results on a database search:
For example, in a list of journal articles on Information Technology and Employment you might find that:
Many database lists of academic articles tell this sort of story when they are looked at in date order. Either they reflect swings in world events or they are reflecting swings in academic debate and opinion. Seeing such a story in the literature is a great help in structuring any literature review.
In particular, look out for the major triggers of such changes:
When did the first swing to a new track happen, and what event or article provoked it? When you find an article that has provoked a major swing, or started a whole new debate, then you are looking at the “Seminal” (Seed) article were mentioned earlier. This sort of article is often the best sort of article to identify in a literature review – many of the other articles will just build on, comment on, or attack its basic arguments.
Next topic: Step 5: Use a citation database