How should a literature review be structured

How the systematic literature review search strategy conduct and literature review search strategy how does literature review help in research
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Dr.CherylStam,New Zealand,Researcher
Published Date:04-07-2017
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Literature Reviews and Search Strategies Margaret Rooney Subject Librarian : Natural Sciences TRINITY COLLEGE LIBRARY What is a literature review? Literature Reviews • Reviews have always been part of Scientific Literature • Experts have always sought to collate existing knowledge and publish summaries on specific topics. What is a Literature Review ? A literature review is a critical, in-depth evaluation of research already undertaken on a specific topic by accredited scholars and researchers. What a literature review is • 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. • It provides a description, summary and critical evaluation of each work. • It’s overall purpose is to provide a critical evaluation of significant literature published on a topic. What it is not N.B. A literature review itself, does not present any new primary scholarship Purpose of a literature review • Assess the contribution of existing literature to the subject under review. • Allows you to demonstrate your ability to identify relevant information and to outline existing knowledge. • Allows you to identify any gap in the research thereby providing a rationale for your own. What is a systematic literature review? • A clearly formulated question • Definition of methods that will be used to perform the review. • Defined search strategy to identify all available research data relevant to a particular research question. • Evaluates, appraises, selects and synthesizes the data by use of explicit methodology Systematic Review Process Systematic Reviews Why is it important to be systematic? • Summarises existing knowledge on topic effectively • Peer reviewed protocol to establish - search strategy - selection criteria for resources to be included /excluded • Findings can be replicated. Famous Case • Single research paper published in 1998, based on 12 children suggested mmr vaccine could cause Autism • Worldwide scare – reduced uptake of vaccine, potentially very serious consequences for public health. • Definitive systematic review by Demicheli et al disputed these findings. • Example of where a systematic review helped clarify a vital public health issue. Systematic Review • Well defined methodology means results are less likely to be biased. • If studies give consistent results systematic reviews provide evidence phenomenon is robust and transferable. • Most needed when there is a substantive question and several primary studies. TRINITY COLLEGE LIBRARY How to formulate a search strategy Decisions Decisions Prior to searching any resource, look at your topic and decide : 1. What are the component issues? 2. What are the primary keywords / phrases in my topic ? 3. What alternative keywords or synonyms represent each of these key topics? Remember Remember, a well defined research question A clearly defined research question will help is central to an effective search strategy. with you plan an effective research strategy. Ask yourself Is your research question? - Specific - - Focused - - Clearly formulated - - Well defined - Stages of a literature review Problem formulation What do you need to find out ? What are the component issues? Decide your keywords Keywords A list of primary keywords (incl synonyms) TRINITY COLLEGE LIBRARY Identifying resources