Not to be confused with a book review, a literature review surveys scholarly articles, books and other sources (e.g. dissertations, conference proceedings) relevant to a particular issue, area of research, or theory, providing a description, summary, and critical evaluation of each work. The purpose is to offer an overview of significant literature published on a topic.
Ten Simple Rules for doing a Systemic Review. Pautasso, Marco. PLoS Computational Biology 9.7 (2013): e1003149. PMC. Web. 27 July 2016.
1. Define a topic and audience: limit the scope of the literature review.
Limitations of Study
Specify precisely your research topic, specify limitations on the research.
Limiting, for example, by time, personnel, gender, age, location, nationality etc. results in a more focused and meaningful topic.
Scope of the Literature Review
It is important to determine the precise scope of the literature review.
2. Search and Re-Search the Literature:
3. Take NOTES while reading
4. Choose the type of review to write:
5. Keep the review focused, but broad interest. (could discuss other disciplines affected)
6. Be Critical and consistent:
A 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.
It can be helpful to 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.
Original by Marco Pautasso. PLOS. July 2013, vol. 9, issue 7.
AVOID these traps:
Questions: Your Librarian, Susan Koskinen, firstname.lastname@example.org
Each article provides essential primary research literature referenced within each topic.
Limit to literature reviews in left menu.
Coverage: 1926 - present
Databases of evidence to inform decision-making.
Coverage: date varies | Some full text
Key resource for conducting systematic reviews and researching evidence-based medicine.
Coverage: dates vary
PRISMA: Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses. It is an evidence-based minimum set of items for reporting in systematic reviews and meta-analyses
Cochran: Cochrane Reviews are seen as exemplifying best practice in the quality of both their conduct and reporting. To maintain this position we need to improve and maintain the quality of our output as standards and expectations for systematic reviews increase generally; we also need to ens Cochrane Review Groups (CRGs) and all reviews. To this end we have undertaken within The Cochrane Collaboration to define Methodological Expectations for Cochrane Intervention Reviews (MECIR).