different types of literature reviews

different types of literature reviews

Exploring the Various Types of Literature Reviews

1. Introduction to Literature Reviews

Throughout this article, we use the term “text” and not “document” to remind the reader that the review produces a text, but that the underlying literature that provides the source for the text could be parts or wholes of documents, whether they be in a scholarly journal, a dissertation, a book, or electronic text. We also use the term “guiding document” instead of “guide to the literature” to point out that the reader is guided in the current text to the present literature and what prior work the present research builds on. Finally, we retain that technical aspect of most text production: that the review is meant to further and in no way contradict its direct source in published literature for tasks relating to the clarity and completeness of the information given from the original sources.

A literature review is a text that aims to review a significant or important literature. The text is purposeful and is typically found in a scholarly context. In some cases, a literature review is also found in a thesis or a dissertation. Its purpose is to provide an overview of the significant literature while providing the guiding framework for further research. A literature review also provides the foundation for the reader, whether it be a professor, a foundation, or the next researcher. The writer of a literature review lets the reader know that the writer is well informed in the field, and the writer also provides the groundwork for future work.

2. Narrative Literature Review

The substantive focus of many narrative literature reviews is the empirical work itself. It is usually carried out by researchers sequentially, often being one of the first activities in a longer research process. In contrast to the standardized literature review, there is no explicit guideline on how the empirical study should be situated in relation to the progressive narrative review. The narrative literature review may be seen as the preliminary work and conducted as a task-stage before the empirical work. In this case, the literature review plays a lesser role in the narrative review, since it just represents the initial work done prior to the empirical study.

A narrative literature review is not only a legitimate review or summary of related literature but often takes the form of a standardized literature review. In opposition to the standardized literature review, the narrative one has fewer procedural guidelines, and in output less consistency and transparency will be inevitable. In either case, narrative reviews are often published in conjunction with some form of additional empirical work, making the term literature review a bit of a misinterpretation.

3. Systematic Literature Review

Consistently ranked amongst the highest within research hierarchy, the far-reaching impact of systematic reviews cannot be overstated. The systematic review serves as an underutilized but extraordinary expedient and efficient form of gaining insight and identifying what is known and what is not, so as to warrant in-depth exploration of the knowledge domain via primary research. Generated via a protocol-driven process addressing the PICO research question, completed to answer the question with the most reliable research, the systematic or best evidence literature review articulates the number of studies, the number of participants, links to the hopefully presented within tripartite papers, PRISMA study flow diagram, the link to the protocol, the potential bias of the research and its findings, amongst other valuable artifacts.

It is more than appropriate to both end and culminate with the panel’s sole representation on the systematic literature review, in this instance due to its significant difference in terms of both process and purpose when compared against all other review types, for it will, as touched upon, inform researchers’ research questions. Very distinctive within its purpose, the systematic review is commonly referred to as the “accepted research best friend”, with the likelihood of it gaining increased attention as the number of researchers beginning to pursue this type of review increases, for the NIH, through CSR, treat and review a substantial number of these annually. It is only by trudging through mounds of literature that it truly becomes apparent as to the extreme benefit of the systematic literature review.

4. Meta-Analysis

A simple example of what could be presented is given in Fig. 4. Nevertheless, some obvious and overlapping limitations do exist with the exercise of meta-analysis, not least that most within meta-analytic techniques are directly transferrable to narrative review in the cases studied here. Even though a bio-statist and psychological help with the techniques of undertaking statistics for instance, the concepts for literature reviewing generally obey the same general principles for both meta-analyses and the so-called traditional method of literature reviewing. Their relationships are associative, and knowledge is not advanced meaningfully.

A meta-analysis is an abbreviation of the general term meta-analysis, which obviously states its meaning. A meta-analysis attempts to correct either of the above inherent problems with the process of reading literature by effecting changes consciously and deliberately to these assumed shortcomings. Unlike normal meta-analytic methods of examining the collective impact of all included studies and data which are purely beneficial extensions of the traditional literature reviewing schema, meta-analysis is not designed as a cure-all, but rather as a deliberate and structured form of an analysis. Provided that the research question enquired about is directly addressed by the available evidence, and that the study data possess the base-level results required, the technology of meta-analysis can then be applied by a variety of means to elucidate the particular questions or mechanisms in applicability. Such results can then be presented in a variety of formats which standard literature reviewing cannot undertake.

5. Scoping Review

The driving figure for conducting a scoping review is usually the method to obtain a preliminary and wide-ranging description of available literature related to a problem. A scoping review utilizes an iterative process. An initial search and title scan are performed, followed by a review of the charts. The list of preliminary results is then methodically analyzed and sub-grouped. It is not inappropriate in many ways to use methodological issues that are similar to those used in systematic reviews. However, the purpose may be different. Data is accumulated with the aim of addressing a research question or research question and turning inferential understanding as a base used to distance universal conclusions.

Scoping review is based on the idea of systematically mapping the research literature that is available on a topic, as well as issues that have been under-researched. It may include a substantial number of research questions that may have a multitude of methods and designs. It is also likely that it includes a wide range of research study types, shaping a complex and intricate map of the literature. A scoping review undertakes to identify the theory, evidence, and clarification, aiming to map all available work in relation to the reviewed research query, active debate, and contemporary position. It does not routinely comprise an explanation quality evaluation affecting the research in question, but can be inclusive in its nature. Its significance is extremely wide, and we can look at various levels of research queries and research techniques.

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