what is a systematic literature review

what is a systematic literature review

Importance of Systematic Literature Review in Research

1. Introduction

It is a search that involves an organized and complete examination of literature with the intention to search out database views which may result in monetary advantage or improvement in health and quality of life. It is becoming more and more necessary as a means to prevent wasted resources in the form of unused research and unproductive knowledge or the duplication of research effort, and it can be useful for determining research topics and opportunities to avoid unintentional plagiarism. It is essential for the conduct and reporting of the research itself. A literature review that is not systematic is simply an exhaustive search in which a researcher or evaluation team gathers as many relevant articles as possible and examines them in order to draw conclusions about a specific question or area. This leaves the methodology and findings of the review open to the possibility of bias and error, and it is therefore uncertain that the information that has been gathered is a true representation of the current knowledge on that particular topic. This type of unsystematic review has led to many cases of wasted research effort and the erection of buildings or the initiation of policies that have ultimately proven to be harmful and unnecessary. An example of this could be the recent damage done to the global economy by bad lending practices. These practices were largely the result of politicians and decision makers failing to examine and comprehend the relevant economics research. A systematic review could have uncovered the research articles and reports which explained the effects of debt on an economy and would have led to a more informed policy and decision.

2. Benefits of Conducting a Systematic Literature Review

(Guideline 1: Goal of this text) Before knowing the benefits and importance of conducting a literature review, we need to understand the difference between a systematic and traditional/narrative literature review. Traditionally reviewing literature is a crucial academic skill. It is not only helpful in understanding the present state of knowledge in a particular subject area but also provides guidance in recognizing where gaps exist that may be helpful in forming research questions. On the other hand, doing a systematic literature review involves several well-defined stages. It is considered to be minimally biased and it is not just a collection of information but information with a purpose in a more organized way. It is a comprehensive, unbiased, and exhaustive review and summary of current knowledge in a certain area of interest. A systematic literature review follows a formal process where the research question is defined clearly, inclusion and exclusion criteria are set, and a thorough search is performed to identify all the studies that would meet the review question. Evidence-based methods are employed to assess the validity of the findings. The key distinguishing feature (and main advantage) of a systematic review over traditional literature reviews is its meticulous adherence to a clearly spelled out set of methodological strategies familiar to those working in the medical research field. This website has been set up to show the steps in doing a systematic review by using examples and further explanation. This definition was extracted from Cochrane Collaboration open learning material. So, it’s clear that there is a huge difference between both. But to summarize, it is not just a collection of information but arranging it in the right way with a clear question or motive.

3. Steps Involved in Conducting a Systematic Literature Review

3.2) Inclusion and exclusion criteria: It is important to specify the types of studies that will or will not be included in the review. This is to ensure that the review is addressing the question at all times. Criteria should also be developed for including or excluding the studies on the basis of their quality or the risk of bias. This will ensure that the studies which are included in the review are reliable and will result in the best evidence for decision making.

3.1) Formulate a focused question: Formulating an answerable question is critical in ensuring that the review has a clear goal. This will help to identify the relevant studies by developing an explicit search strategy. A well-built question will define which study design would provide the best evidence, assist in managing the resources by focusing on the most important studies, and also lead to a higher quality of reporting. The PICO(T) tool can be useful in defining the components of the question.

Review will guide you in conducting a full review of the literature. Systematic Literature Review is comprehensive and detailed, often taking months or even years to conduct. Conducting a full review of published literature can be a daunting prospect. Following a detailed method and using a pre-defined protocol will help to ensure that the review is comprehensive and unbiased. This will result in reliable findings to inform decision making. The following are the steps in conducting a systematic literature review.

4. Common Challenges in Conducting a Systematic Literature Review

It is clear that conducting a systematic literature review is important, but the process can often be very stressful and daunting for a research student. The most common problem is the failure to find any relevant research, where a situation may emerge when a student must change their topic of study due to the lack of available literature. While very rare, this scenario would be a huge waste of time and resources for a research student. This might occur because the student has a preconceived notion of what the results ‘should’ show, even though this may be a biased view not supported by the existing literature. Negative results that do not support the hypothesis are generally under-reported and therefore may be harder to find. Another possibility is that the research is in such a unique field that there are few or no resources available. It is vital that the student discusses this with their supervisor so as to re-evaluate the topic of study.

5. Conclusion

SLR is an essential tool in any research. There is no doubt that it is always recommended for a research to be done thoroughly on reviewing over the related works. However, with the complexity of research now, SLR can be considered as a very crucial method to avoid any mistakes made in identifying the problems, focusing the questions, developing precise inclusion and exclusion criteria, and also identifying multiple sources of information for literature search. This method also will give a big impact in providing a summary of the review with more evidence. It is supported by the tools that are evidence-based that assist users in completing the review process. With the latest research on developing the complex review method, the use of these methods is proving that it can enhance the reliability and output of the review findings. Therefore, it is important for researchers to prepare to take more time to learn and also conduct SLR in any review as the purposes are aligning with the goals of the review in providing useful information for the practice and it also can be a big advance to research methodology in evidence-based field.

Place Your Order
(275 Words)

Approximate Price: $15

Calculate the price of your order

275 Words
We'll send you the first draft for approval by September 11, 2018 at 10:52 AM
Total Price:
The price is based on these factors:
Academic Level
Number of Pages
Principle features
  • Free cover page and Reference List
  • Plagiarism-free Work
  • 24/7 support
  • Affordable Prices
  • Unlimited Editing
Upon-Request options
  • List of used sources
  • Anytime delivery
  • Part-by-part delivery
  • Writer’s sample papers
  • Professional guidance
Paper formatting
  • Double spaced paging
  • Any citation style (APA, MLA, Chicago/Turabian, Harvard)
  • 275 words/page
  • Font 12 Arial/Times New Roman

•Unique Samples

We offer essay help by crafting highly customized papers for our customers. Our expert essay writers do not take content from their previous work and always strive to guarantee 100% original texts. Furthermore, they carry out extensive investigations and research on the topic. We never craft two identical papers as all our work is unique.

•All Types of Paper

Our capable essay writers can help you rewrite, update, proofread, and write any academic paper. Whether you need help writing a speech, research paper, thesis paper, personal statement, case study, or term paper, Homework-aider.com essay writing service is ready to help you.

•Strict Deadlines

You can order custom essay writing with the confidence that we will work round the clock to deliver your paper as soon as possible. If you have an urgent order, our custom essay writing company finishes them within a few hours (1 page) to ease your anxiety. Do not be anxious about short deadlines; remember to indicate your deadline when placing your order for a custom essay.

•Free Revisions and Preview

To establish that your online custom essay writer possesses the skill and style you require, ask them to give you a short preview of their work. When the writing expert begins writing your essay, you can use our chat feature to ask for an update or give an opinion on specific text sections.

A Remarkable Student Essay Writing Service

Our essay writing service is designed for students at all academic levels. Whether high school, undergraduate or graduate, or studying for your doctoral qualification or master’s degree, we make it a reality.