literature review

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literature review
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{{for|a focused scientific review with pre-defined methodology|Systematic review}}{{for2|the British magazine|Literary Review|the American magazine|The Literary Review}}{{expert needed|date=May 2014}}A literature review or narrative review is a type of review article. A literature review is a scholarly paper, which includes the current knowledge including substantive findings, as well as theoretical and methodological contributions to a particular topic. Literature reviews are secondary sources, and do not report new or original experimental work. Most often associated with academic-oriented literature, such reviews are found in academic journals, and are not to be confused with book reviews that may also appear in the same publication. Literature reviews are a basis for research in nearly every academic field.BOOK,weblink Doing a Literature Review: Releasing the Research Imagination, Hart, Chris, SAGE, 2018, 9781526423146, SAGE Study Skills Series, xiii, A narrow-scope literature review may be included as part of a peer-reviewed journal article presenting new research, serving to situate the current study within the body of the relevant literature and to provide context for the reader. In such a case, the review usually precedes the methodology and results sections of the work.Producing a literature review may also be part of graduate and post-graduate student work, including in the preparation of a thesis, dissertation, or a journal article. Literature reviews are also common in a research proposal or prospectus (the document that is approved before a student formally begins a dissertation or thesis).BOOK, Baglione, L., 2012, Writing a Research Paper in Political Science, Thousand Oaks, California, CQ Press,


The main types of literature reviews are: evaluative, exploratory, and instrumental.BOOK, Adams, John, Khan, Hafiz T A, Raeside, Robert, Research methods for graduate business and social science students, 2007, SAGE Publications, New Delhi, 9780761935896, 56, A fourth type, the systematic review, is often classified separately, but is essentially a literature review focused on a research question, trying to identify, appraise, select and synthesize all high-quality research evidence and arguments relevant to that question. A meta-analysis is typically a systematic review using statistical methods to effectively combine the data used on all selected studies to produce a more reliable result.JOURNAL, Bolderston, Amanda, Writing an Effective Literature Review, Journal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Sciences, June 2008, 39, 2, 86–92, 10.1016/j.jmir.2008.04.009,

Process and product

Shields and Rangarajan (2013) distinguish between the process of reviewing the literature and a finished work or product known as a literature review.BOOK, Patricia M. Shields, Shields, Patricia, Rangarjan, Nandhini, 2013,weblink A Playbook for Research Methods: Integrating Conceptual Frameworks and Project Management, Stillwater, Oklahoma, New Forums Press, 1-58107-247-3, {{rp|193–229}} The process of reviewing the literature is often ongoing and informs many aspects of the empirical research project. The process of reviewing the literature requires different kinds of activities and ways of thinking.JOURNAL, Baker, P., 2000, Writing a Literature Review, The Marketing Review, 1, 2, 219–247, Shields and Rangarajan (2013) and Granello (2001) link the activities of doing a literature review with Benjamin Bloom’s revised taxonomy of the cognitive domain (ways of thinking: remembering, understanding, applying, analyzing, evaluating, and creating).JOURNAL, Granello, D. H., 2001, Promoting cognitive complexity in graduate written work: Using Bloom's taxonomy as a pedagogical tool to improve Literature Reviews., Counselor Education & Supervision, 40, 292–307,

See also




Further reading

{{More footnotes|date=November 2010}}


  • BOOK, Cooper, Harris M., 3rd, 1998, Synthesizing Research: A Guide for Literature Reviews, Applied Social Research Methods, 978-0761913481, Thousand Oaks, California, SAGE Publications,
  • BOOK, Creswell, John W., 2013, Review of the Literature, Research Design. Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Method Approaches, 4th, Thousand Oaks, California, SAGE Publications, 9781452226101,
  • JOURNAL, Dellinger, Amy B., 2005, Validity and the Review of Literature, Research in the Schools, 12, 2, 41–54,
  • JOURNAL, Dellinger, Amy B., Leech, Nancy L., 2007, Toward a Unified Validation Framework in Mixed Methods Research, Journal of Mixed Methods Research, 1, 4, 309–332,
  • BOOK, Galvan, José L., 6th, 2015, Writing Literature Reviews: A Guide for Students of the Social and Behavioral Sciences, Pyrczak Publishing, 978-1936523375,
  • JOURNAL, Green, Bart N., Johnson, Claire D., Adams, Alan, 2006, Writing Narrative Literature Reviews for Peer-Reviewed Journals: Secrets of the Trade, Journal of Chiropractic Medicine, 5, 3, 101–114, 2647067,
  • BOOK, Hart, Chris, 2008, Literature Reviewing and Argumentation, The Postgraduate's Companion, Gerard, Hall, Jo, Longman, Thousand Oaks, California, SAGE Publications, 978-1-4129-3026-0,

Various fields

  • BOOK, Hart, Chris, 1998, Doing a Literature Review: Releasing the Social Science Research Imagination, London, SAGE Publications, 9780761959755, SAGE Study Skills,
  • BOOK, Hart, Chris, 2001, Doing a Literature Search: A Guide for the Social Sciences, Thousand Oaks, California, SAGE Publications, 978-0761968108, SAGE Study Skills,

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