What is a Literature Review?
A literature review discusses published information in a particular subject area, time period or research. It can be a simple summary of sources but usually combines a summary and a synthesis of material.
Parts of a Literature Review: Abstract, Introduction, Body, Conclusion, Bibliography
1. Define a topic or research focus to start:
must be interesting to you / an important aspect of the field / a well-defined issue
2. Choose the type of review to write:
3. Search for relevant work & re-search the Literature:
4. Assess the quality of sources & take NOTES while reading.
5. Keep the review focused, but broad interest. (could discuss other disciplines affected)
6. Be Critical and consistent: The reader should have an idea of
- The major achievements in the reviewed field.
- The areas of debate.
- The outstanding research questions.
7. Find a logical structure. Use a MIND-MAP to draw a conceptual scheme of the review
8. Make use of feedback. Can be peer-reviewed or someone reading a draft.
9. Include your own relevant research but be objective.
10. Be Up-to-date, do not forget older studies.
11. Summarize the evidence
12. Interpret the findings = keep your own voice
AVOID these traps:
Original by Marco Pautasso. PLOS. July 2013, vol. 9, issue 7.
Questions: Your Librarian, Susan Koskinen, firstname.lastname@example.org
Database of reviews with significant primary research literature. Each article provides essential primary research literature referenced in each topic.
BIOSIS Previews: enter your search, use limit to "Literature Types" and Review (if available).
[1926 - present]
Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: enter your search, limit to review.
Coverage: date varies | Some full text |
Embase: enter your search, left menu, use limit to "Literature types" and select review / apply.
Key resource for systematic reviews and researching evidence-based medicine. Coverage: [dates vary]
PubMed: enter search, select filter - 'review'. Includes Systematic Reviews search limit, and peer review. (Guide: HTML | PDF).
Covers: [1946 - present]