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Presented at:

Achieving Excellence in Research Seminar


held on Nov 5, 2016 at Hyderabad, Pakistan

How to conduct literature review?


Muhammad Nabeel Musharraf
Chief Editor, Australian Research Journals

This material has been produced only for non-profit educational purposes.

Introduction

Presentation Overview

- Definitions of literature reviews


- Discussion on examples
- Types of literature reviews
- Sources that can be used for literature review
- Referencing of information
- Conducting systematic literature reviews

What is literature review

Literature review is..


The review of literature
Involving:
Reading
Analyzing, and
Summarizing
scholarly information about a specific topic.

Some examples of literature review

Example 1: Literature review as a section in the research paper


Example 2: Literature review as a research paper
Example 3: Literature review in a thesis
Example 4: Literature synthesis paper
Example 5: Meta-analysis paper

Types of literature review

Four main types of literature


reviews:
- Traditional or narrative
literature review (also
includes thematic reviews)
- Systematic reviews
- Meta-synthesis
- Meta-analysis

Types of literature review

Four main types of literature


reviews:

- Traditional or narrative
literature review (also
includes thematic reviews)
- Systematic reviews
- Meta-synthesis
- Meta-analysis

Pros:
- A good quick overview of the topic
- Focuses more on the seminal and
meaningful studies (rather than working
with a mixed bag of stuff)
Can be conducted relatively quickly

Cons:
- Can potentially neglect important research
- May not portray the full picture
- May not effectively capture any particular
trends
- Increased potential for researcher bias
- Not replicatable

Types of literature review

Four main types of literature


reviews:

- Traditional or narrative
literature review (also
includes thematic reviews)
- Systematic reviews
- Meta-synthesis
- Meta-analysis

Pros:
- Presents complete picture for the selected
time frame
- Reproducable if the same procedure is
followed
- Significantly less potential for research
bias
- Considered as a significant evidence (if
conducted properly)
Cons:
- May potentially neglect any seminal works
from inclusion
- Usually consumes a lot of time for review
and analysis (often including a large body
of relevant literature)

A re-look at our examples

Example 1: Literature review as a section in the research paper


Example 2: Literature review as a research paper
Example 3: Literature review in a thesis
Example 4: Literature synthesis paper
Example 5: Meta-analysis paper

Key steps in the literature review process

Identify aims
and
objectives

Search
Literature

Identify key
information

Summarize
and organize

Present

Literature Sources
Credibility of your literature review will be governed by the credibility of literature you
select for review.

Thesis / Dissertations

News

Journal articles

Websites

Conference papers

Government
documents

Blogs / personal
opinions

Reports

Student assignments

Wikipedia

Literature Sources
Credibility of your literature review will be governed by the credibility of literature you
select for review.

Thesis / Dissertations

News

Journal articles

Websites

Conference papers

Government
documents

Blogs / personal
opinions

Reports

Student assignments

Wikipedia

Literature Sources Selection criteria

Authority:
Authors credentials, expertise, and affiliations?
Usefulness:
Relevant to the topic? Quality of content?
Reliability:
Sources?
Currency? (Not applicable to all cases)
Date of publishing?

Referencing the information


Covered in a separate presentation. Hang tight!

For this topic, we will only have a quick review of an


example.
Literature review in a thesis

Conducting systematic literature review

Let us practice on a ERIC systematic search of literature

An overview of one of my recent metaanalysis

- Literature selection
- Inclusions and exclusions
- Extraction of information
- Presentation