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Literature Reviews

Conducting a Literature Review

There are several stages involved in conducting a systematic literature review.

  1. Select research questions

  2. Select bibliographic databases and websites

  3. Choose search terms
  4. Apply Practical Screening
    • Content covered
    • Yeaars searched
    • Language
    • Setting
    • Participants
    • Interventions or programmes
    • Outcomes studied
    • Research design
  5. Methodological Quality Screening
  6. Criterion for Quality – Evaluate Study’s Research Design
    • Design type – true, self-control, observational, etc.
    • Threats to Internal Validity:
    • Risks to External Validity:
  7. Criterion for Quality – Evaluate Study’s Sampling
    • Eligibility of subjects
    • Methods of sampling
    • Sample size
    • Response rate
  8. Criterion for Quality – Evaluate Study’s Data collection
    • Reliability
    • Validity
    • Intervention/programme quality
  9. Criterion for Quality – Evaluate Study’s Data analysis
  10. Criterion for Quality – Evaluate Study’s Results
  11. Criterion for Quality – Evaluate Study’s Conclusions
    • Based on study
    • Methodological limitations
  12. Synthesise Results of Literature Review
    • Describe current knowledge about topic
    • Support need for and significance of new research
    • Explain research findings
    • Describe quality of current research
  13. Produce Descriptive Review or Perform Meta-Analysis

For an in depth discussion of this see::

Fink, Arlene. (2005)j. Conducting research literature reviews: From the internet to paper, 2nd edition.  Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.


Systematic Literature Reviews

Take a look at this presentation on literature reviews.

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Last updated 16 December 2015 by Student Learning Development (Email) .