Wikipedia categories, a classification scheme built for organizing and describing Wikpedia articles, are being applied in computer science research. This paper adopts a systematic literature review approach, in order to identify different approaches and uses of Wikipedia categories in information retrieval research. Several types of work are identified, depending on the intrinsic study of the categories structure, or its use as a tool for the processing and analysis of other documentary corpus different to Wikipedia. Information retrieval is identified as one of the major areas of use, in particular its application in the refinement and improvement of search expressions, and the construction of textual corpus. However, the set of available works shows that in many cases research approaches applied and results obtained can be integrated into a comprehensive and inclusive concept of information retrieval.