Conducting A Literature Review

The analytical features of a literature review might: It is important to think of knowledge in a given field as consisting of three layers.

First, there are the primary studies that researchers conduct and publish.

This approach helps highlight ethical issues which you should be aware of and consider as you go through your own study.

Systematic Review This form consists of an overview of existing evidence pertinent to a clearly formulated research question, which uses pre-specified and standardized methods to identify and critically appraise relevant research, and to collect, report, and analyze data from the studies that are included in the review.

A well-done integrative review meets the same standards as primary research in regard to clarity, rigor, and replication.

This is the most common form of review in the social sciences.Conducting a systematic review involves following rigorous, predefined protocols that "Meta-analyses are "the statistical integration of separate studies" (Egger & Smith, 1997).They involve identifying similar studies and pooling their data to obtain a more accurate estimate of true effect size. Click on the right thumbnail to see an excerpt from this type of literature review.A scoping review involves a broad research question that explores the current evidence base (Armstrong, Hall, Doyle, & Waters, 2011).It can help inform areas that are appropriate for a systematic review.A literature review may consist of simply a summary of key sources, but in the social sciences, a literature review usually has an organizational pattern and combines both summary and synthesis, often within specific conceptual categories.A summary is a recap of the important information of the source, but a synthesis is a re-organization, or a reshuffling, of that information in a way that informs how you are planning to investigate a research problem.View a chart of literature reviews for a snapshot of some other types, or see below for a quick look at some of the more popular ones.A traditional (narrative) literature review provides a quick overview of current studies.Click on the right thumbnail to see an excerpt from this type of literature review.Systematic reviews synthesize high quality empirical information to answer a given research question (The Cochrane Collaboration, n.d.).


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