Purdue University

  • Ask a Librarian

Research: Overview & Approaches

  • Getting Started with Undergraduate Research
  • Planning & Getting Started
  • Building Your Knowledge Base
  • Locating Sources
  • Reading Scholarly Articles
  • Creating a Literature Review

Finding and Completing a Literature Review

Intro to creating a literature review.

  • Productivity & Organizing Research
  • Scholarly and Professional Relationships
  • Empirical Research
  • Interpretive Research
  • Action-Based Research
  • Creative & Experimental Approaches

  • Palgrave's Study Guide to Carrying Out a Literature Review Your research is seen as a contribution to knowledge in the field and it needs to indicate, therefore, that there is an awareness of what that knowledge comprises. Read this guide to getting started.
  • Purdue OWL's Guide to Writing a Literature Review A literature review requires the writer to perform extensive research on published work in one’s field in order to explain how one’s own work fits into the larger conversation regarding a particular topic. This task requires the writer to spend time reading, managing, and conveying information; the complexity of literature reviews can make this section one of the most challenging parts of writing about one’s research. This handout will provide some strategies for revising literature reviews.

Every time you conduct research, you will need to make it clear where you got your evidence from. This work of citing our sources is absolutely essential for a couple of reasons.

  • It demonstrates to the readers of our own research that we have evidence to back up our claims.
  • A complete and correct citation directs readers to the original source for them to verify our claims and learn more.
  • It gives credit to the researchers whose intellectual work helped form our own research.
  • << Previous: Reading Scholarly Articles
  • Next: Productivity & Organizing Research >>
  • Last Edited: Apr 25, 2024 4:11 PM
  • URL: https://guides.lib.purdue.edu/research_approaches
  • UConn Library
  • Literature Review: The What, Why and How-to Guide
  • Introduction

Literature Review: The What, Why and How-to Guide — Introduction

  • Getting Started
  • How to Pick a Topic
  • Strategies to Find Sources
  • Evaluating Sources & Lit. Reviews
  • Tips for Writing Literature Reviews
  • Writing Literature Review: Useful Sites
  • Citation Resources
  • Other Academic Writings

What are Literature Reviews?

So, what is a literature review? "A literature review is an account of what has been published on a topic by accredited scholars and researchers. In writing the literature review, your purpose is to convey to your reader what knowledge and ideas have been established on a topic, and what their strengths and weaknesses are. As a piece of writing, the literature review must be defined by a guiding concept (e.g., your research objective, the problem or issue you are discussing, or your argumentative thesis). It is not just a descriptive list of the material available, or a set of summaries." Taylor, D.  The literature review: A few tips on conducting it . University of Toronto Health Sciences Writing Centre.

Goals of Literature Reviews

What are the goals of creating a Literature Review?  A literature could be written to accomplish different aims:

  • To develop a theory or evaluate an existing theory
  • To summarize the historical or existing state of a research topic
  • Identify a problem in a field of research 

Baumeister, R. F., & Leary, M. R. (1997). Writing narrative literature reviews .  Review of General Psychology , 1 (3), 311-320.

What kinds of sources require a Literature Review?

  • A research paper assigned in a course
  • A thesis or dissertation
  • A grant proposal
  • An article intended for publication in a journal

All these instances require you to collect what has been written about your research topic so that you can demonstrate how your own research sheds new light on the topic.

Types of Literature Reviews

What kinds of literature reviews are written?

Narrative review: The purpose of this type of review is to describe the current state of the research on a specific topic/research and to offer a critical analysis of the literature reviewed. Studies are grouped by research/theoretical categories, and themes and trends, strengths and weakness, and gaps are identified. The review ends with a conclusion section which summarizes the findings regarding the state of the research of the specific study, the gaps identify and if applicable, explains how the author's research will address gaps identify in the review and expand the knowledge on the topic reviewed.

  • Example : Predictors and Outcomes of U.S. Quality Maternity Leave: A Review and Conceptual Framework:  10.1177/08948453211037398  

Systematic review : "The authors of a systematic review use a specific procedure to search the research literature, select the studies to include in their review, and critically evaluate the studies they find." (p. 139). Nelson, L. K. (2013). Research in Communication Sciences and Disorders . Plural Publishing.

  • Example : The effect of leave policies on increasing fertility: a systematic review:  10.1057/s41599-022-01270-w

Meta-analysis : "Meta-analysis is a method of reviewing research findings in a quantitative fashion by transforming the data from individual studies into what is called an effect size and then pooling and analyzing this information. The basic goal in meta-analysis is to explain why different outcomes have occurred in different studies." (p. 197). Roberts, M. C., & Ilardi, S. S. (2003). Handbook of Research Methods in Clinical Psychology . Blackwell Publishing.

  • Example : Employment Instability and Fertility in Europe: A Meta-Analysis:  10.1215/00703370-9164737

Meta-synthesis : "Qualitative meta-synthesis is a type of qualitative study that uses as data the findings from other qualitative studies linked by the same or related topic." (p.312). Zimmer, L. (2006). Qualitative meta-synthesis: A question of dialoguing with texts .  Journal of Advanced Nursing , 53 (3), 311-318.

  • Example : Women’s perspectives on career successes and barriers: A qualitative meta-synthesis:  10.1177/05390184221113735

Literature Reviews in the Health Sciences

  • UConn Health subject guide on systematic reviews Explanation of the different review types used in health sciences literature as well as tools to help you find the right review type
  • << Previous: Getting Started
  • Next: How to Pick a Topic >>
  • Last Updated: Sep 21, 2022 2:16 PM
  • URL: https://guides.lib.uconn.edu/literaturereview

Creative Commons

Thank you for visiting nature.com. You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

  • View all journals
  • Explore content
  • About the journal
  • Publish with us
  • Sign up for alerts
  • 04 December 2020
  • Correction 09 December 2020

How to write a superb literature review

Andy Tay is a freelance writer based in Singapore.

You can also search for this author in PubMed   Google Scholar

Literature reviews are important resources for scientists. They provide historical context for a field while offering opinions on its future trajectory. Creating them can provide inspiration for one’s own research, as well as some practice in writing. But few scientists are trained in how to write a review — or in what constitutes an excellent one. Even picking the appropriate software to use can be an involved decision (see ‘Tools and techniques’). So Nature asked editors and working scientists with well-cited reviews for their tips.

Access options

Access Nature and 54 other Nature Portfolio journals

Get Nature+, our best-value online-access subscription

24,99 € / 30 days

cancel any time

Subscribe to this journal

Receive 51 print issues and online access

185,98 € per year

only 3,65 € per issue

Rent or buy this article

Prices vary by article type

Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout

doi: https://doi.org/10.1038/d41586-020-03422-x

Interviews have been edited for length and clarity.

Updates & Corrections

Correction 09 December 2020 : An earlier version of the tables in this article included some incorrect details about the programs Zotero, Endnote and Manubot. These have now been corrected.

Hsing, I.-M., Xu, Y. & Zhao, W. Electroanalysis 19 , 755–768 (2007).

Article   Google Scholar  

Ledesma, H. A. et al. Nature Nanotechnol. 14 , 645–657 (2019).

Article   PubMed   Google Scholar  

Brahlek, M., Koirala, N., Bansal, N. & Oh, S. Solid State Commun. 215–216 , 54–62 (2015).

Choi, Y. & Lee, S. Y. Nature Rev. Chem . https://doi.org/10.1038/s41570-020-00221-w (2020).

Download references

Related Articles

extensive literature review on

  • Research management

Want to make a difference? Try working at an environmental non-profit organization

Want to make a difference? Try working at an environmental non-profit organization

Career Feature 26 APR 24

Scientists urged to collect royalties from the ‘magic money tree’

Scientists urged to collect royalties from the ‘magic money tree’

Career Feature 25 APR 24

NIH pay rise for postdocs and PhD students could have US ripple effect

NIH pay rise for postdocs and PhD students could have US ripple effect

News 25 APR 24

Algorithm ranks peer reviewers by reputation — but critics warn of bias

Algorithm ranks peer reviewers by reputation — but critics warn of bias

Nature Index 25 APR 24

Researchers want a ‘nutrition label’ for academic-paper facts

Researchers want a ‘nutrition label’ for academic-paper facts

Nature Index 17 APR 24

How young people benefit from Swiss apprenticeships

How young people benefit from Swiss apprenticeships

Spotlight 17 APR 24

Retractions are part of science, but misconduct isn’t — lessons from a superconductivity lab

Retractions are part of science, but misconduct isn’t — lessons from a superconductivity lab

Editorial 24 APR 24

W2 Professorship with tenure track to W3 in Animal Husbandry (f/m/d)

The Faculty of Agricultural Sciences at the University of Göttingen invites applications for a temporary professorship with civil servant status (g...

Göttingen (Stadt), Niedersachsen (DE)

Georg-August-Universität Göttingen

extensive literature review on

W1 professorship for „Tissue Aspects of Immunity and Inflammation“

Kiel University (CAU) and the University of Lübeck (UzL) are striving to increase the proportion of qualified female scientists in research and tea...

University of Luebeck

extensive literature review on

W1 professorship for "Bioinformatics and artificial intelligence that preserve privacy"

Kiel, Schleswig-Holstein (DE)

Universität Kiel - Medizinische Fakultät

extensive literature review on

W1 professorship for "Central Metabolic Inflammation“

extensive literature review on

W1 professorship for "Congenital and adaptive lymphocyte regulation"

extensive literature review on

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Quick links

  • Explore articles by subject
  • Guide to authors
  • Editorial policies

University of Texas

  • University of Texas Libraries

Literature Reviews

  • What is a literature review?
  • Steps in the Literature Review Process
  • Define your research question
  • Determine inclusion and exclusion criteria
  • Choose databases and search
  • Review Results
  • Synthesize Results
  • Analyze Results
  • Librarian Support

What is a Literature Review?

A literature or narrative review is a comprehensive review and analysis of the published literature on a specific topic or research question. The literature that is reviewed contains: books, articles, academic articles, conference proceedings, association papers, and dissertations. It contains the most pertinent studies and points to important past and current research and practices. It provides background and context, and shows how your research will contribute to the field. 

A literature review should: 

  • Provide a comprehensive and updated review of the literature;
  • Explain why this review has taken place;
  • Articulate a position or hypothesis;
  • Acknowledge and account for conflicting and corroborating points of view

From  S age Research Methods

Purpose of a Literature Review

A literature review can be written as an introduction to a study to:

  • Demonstrate how a study fills a gap in research
  • Compare a study with other research that's been done

Or it can be a separate work (a research article on its own) which:

  • Organizes or describes a topic
  • Describes variables within a particular issue/problem

Limitations of a Literature Review

Some of the limitations of a literature review are:

  • It's a snapshot in time. Unlike other reviews, this one has beginning, a middle and an end. There may be future developments that could make your work less relevant.
  • It may be too focused. Some niche studies may miss the bigger picture.
  • It can be difficult to be comprehensive. There is no way to make sure all the literature on a topic was considered.
  • It is easy to be biased if you stick to top tier journals. There may be other places where people are publishing exemplary research. Look to open access publications and conferences to reflect a more inclusive collection. Also, make sure to include opposing views (and not just supporting evidence).

Source: Grant, Maria J., and Andrew Booth. “A Typology of Reviews: An Analysis of 14 Review Types and Associated Methodologies.” Health Information & Libraries Journal, vol. 26, no. 2, June 2009, pp. 91–108. Wiley Online Library, doi:10.1111/j.1471-1842.2009.00848.x.

Meryl Brodsky : Communication and Information Studies

Hannah Chapman Tripp : Biology, Neuroscience

Carolyn Cunningham : Human Development & Family Sciences, Psychology, Sociology

Larayne Dallas : Engineering

Janelle Hedstrom : Special Education, Curriculum & Instruction, Ed Leadership & Policy ​

Susan Macicak : Linguistics

Imelda Vetter : Dell Medical School

For help in other subject areas, please see the guide to library specialists by subject .

Periodically, UT Libraries runs a workshop covering the basics and library support for literature reviews. While we try to offer these once per academic year, we find providing the recording to be helpful to community members who have missed the session. Following is the most recent recording of the workshop, Conducting a Literature Review. To view the recording, a UT login is required.

  • October 26, 2022 recording
  • Last Updated: Oct 26, 2022 2:49 PM
  • URL: https://guides.lib.utexas.edu/literaturereviews

Creative Commons License

  • Locations and Hours
  • UCLA Library
  • Research Guides
  • Biomedical Library Guides

Systematic Reviews

  • Types of Literature Reviews

What Makes a Systematic Review Different from Other Types of Reviews?

  • Planning Your Systematic Review
  • Database Searching
  • Creating the Search
  • Search Filters and Hedges
  • Grey Literature
  • Managing and Appraising Results
  • Further Resources

Reproduced from Grant, M. J. and Booth, A. (2009), A typology of reviews: an analysis of 14 review types and associated methodologies. Health Information & Libraries Journal, 26: 91–108. doi:10.1111/j.1471-1842.2009.00848.x

  • << Previous: Home
  • Next: Planning Your Systematic Review >>
  • Last Updated: Apr 17, 2024 2:02 PM
  • URL: https://guides.library.ucla.edu/systematicreviews

Get science-backed answers as you write with Paperpal's Research feature

What is a Literature Review? How to Write It (with Examples)

literature review

A literature review is a critical analysis and synthesis of existing research on a particular topic. It provides an overview of the current state of knowledge, identifies gaps, and highlights key findings in the literature. 1 The purpose of a literature review is to situate your own research within the context of existing scholarship, demonstrating your understanding of the topic and showing how your work contributes to the ongoing conversation in the field. Learning how to write a literature review is a critical tool for successful research. Your ability to summarize and synthesize prior research pertaining to a certain topic demonstrates your grasp on the topic of study, and assists in the learning process. 

Table of Contents

  • What is the purpose of literature review? 
  • a. Habitat Loss and Species Extinction: 
  • b. Range Shifts and Phenological Changes: 
  • c. Ocean Acidification and Coral Reefs: 
  • d. Adaptive Strategies and Conservation Efforts: 
  • How to write a good literature review 
  • Choose a Topic and Define the Research Question: 
  • Decide on the Scope of Your Review: 
  • Select Databases for Searches: 
  • Conduct Searches and Keep Track: 
  • Review the Literature: 
  • Organize and Write Your Literature Review: 
  • Frequently asked questions 

What is a literature review?

A well-conducted literature review demonstrates the researcher’s familiarity with the existing literature, establishes the context for their own research, and contributes to scholarly conversations on the topic. One of the purposes of a literature review is also to help researchers avoid duplicating previous work and ensure that their research is informed by and builds upon the existing body of knowledge.

extensive literature review on

What is the purpose of literature review?

A literature review serves several important purposes within academic and research contexts. Here are some key objectives and functions of a literature review: 2  

  • Contextualizing the Research Problem: The literature review provides a background and context for the research problem under investigation. It helps to situate the study within the existing body of knowledge. 
  • Identifying Gaps in Knowledge: By identifying gaps, contradictions, or areas requiring further research, the researcher can shape the research question and justify the significance of the study. This is crucial for ensuring that the new research contributes something novel to the field. 
  • Understanding Theoretical and Conceptual Frameworks: Literature reviews help researchers gain an understanding of the theoretical and conceptual frameworks used in previous studies. This aids in the development of a theoretical framework for the current research. 
  • Providing Methodological Insights: Another purpose of literature reviews is that it allows researchers to learn about the methodologies employed in previous studies. This can help in choosing appropriate research methods for the current study and avoiding pitfalls that others may have encountered. 
  • Establishing Credibility: A well-conducted literature review demonstrates the researcher’s familiarity with existing scholarship, establishing their credibility and expertise in the field. It also helps in building a solid foundation for the new research. 
  • Informing Hypotheses or Research Questions: The literature review guides the formulation of hypotheses or research questions by highlighting relevant findings and areas of uncertainty in existing literature. 

Literature review example

Let’s delve deeper with a literature review example: Let’s say your literature review is about the impact of climate change on biodiversity. You might format your literature review into sections such as the effects of climate change on habitat loss and species extinction, phenological changes, and marine biodiversity. Each section would then summarize and analyze relevant studies in those areas, highlighting key findings and identifying gaps in the research. The review would conclude by emphasizing the need for further research on specific aspects of the relationship between climate change and biodiversity. The following literature review template provides a glimpse into the recommended literature review structure and content, demonstrating how research findings are organized around specific themes within a broader topic. 

Literature Review on Climate Change Impacts on Biodiversity:

Climate change is a global phenomenon with far-reaching consequences, including significant impacts on biodiversity. This literature review synthesizes key findings from various studies: 

a. Habitat Loss and Species Extinction:

Climate change-induced alterations in temperature and precipitation patterns contribute to habitat loss, affecting numerous species (Thomas et al., 2004). The review discusses how these changes increase the risk of extinction, particularly for species with specific habitat requirements. 

b. Range Shifts and Phenological Changes:

Observations of range shifts and changes in the timing of biological events (phenology) are documented in response to changing climatic conditions (Parmesan & Yohe, 2003). These shifts affect ecosystems and may lead to mismatches between species and their resources. 

c. Ocean Acidification and Coral Reefs:

The review explores the impact of climate change on marine biodiversity, emphasizing ocean acidification’s threat to coral reefs (Hoegh-Guldberg et al., 2007). Changes in pH levels negatively affect coral calcification, disrupting the delicate balance of marine ecosystems. 

d. Adaptive Strategies and Conservation Efforts:

Recognizing the urgency of the situation, the literature review discusses various adaptive strategies adopted by species and conservation efforts aimed at mitigating the impacts of climate change on biodiversity (Hannah et al., 2007). It emphasizes the importance of interdisciplinary approaches for effective conservation planning. 

extensive literature review on

How to write a good literature review

Writing a literature review involves summarizing and synthesizing existing research on a particular topic. A good literature review format should include the following elements. 

Introduction: The introduction sets the stage for your literature review, providing context and introducing the main focus of your review. 

  • Opening Statement: Begin with a general statement about the broader topic and its significance in the field. 
  • Scope and Purpose: Clearly define the scope of your literature review. Explain the specific research question or objective you aim to address. 
  • Organizational Framework: Briefly outline the structure of your literature review, indicating how you will categorize and discuss the existing research. 
  • Significance of the Study: Highlight why your literature review is important and how it contributes to the understanding of the chosen topic. 
  • Thesis Statement: Conclude the introduction with a concise thesis statement that outlines the main argument or perspective you will develop in the body of the literature review. 

Body: The body of the literature review is where you provide a comprehensive analysis of existing literature, grouping studies based on themes, methodologies, or other relevant criteria. 

  • Organize by Theme or Concept: Group studies that share common themes, concepts, or methodologies. Discuss each theme or concept in detail, summarizing key findings and identifying gaps or areas of disagreement. 
  • Critical Analysis: Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of each study. Discuss the methodologies used, the quality of evidence, and the overall contribution of each work to the understanding of the topic. 
  • Synthesis of Findings: Synthesize the information from different studies to highlight trends, patterns, or areas of consensus in the literature. 
  • Identification of Gaps: Discuss any gaps or limitations in the existing research and explain how your review contributes to filling these gaps. 
  • Transition between Sections: Provide smooth transitions between different themes or concepts to maintain the flow of your literature review. 

Conclusion: The conclusion of your literature review should summarize the main findings, highlight the contributions of the review, and suggest avenues for future research. 

  • Summary of Key Findings: Recap the main findings from the literature and restate how they contribute to your research question or objective. 
  • Contributions to the Field: Discuss the overall contribution of your literature review to the existing knowledge in the field. 
  • Implications and Applications: Explore the practical implications of the findings and suggest how they might impact future research or practice. 
  • Recommendations for Future Research: Identify areas that require further investigation and propose potential directions for future research in the field. 
  • Final Thoughts: Conclude with a final reflection on the importance of your literature review and its relevance to the broader academic community. 

what is a literature review

Conducting a literature review

Conducting a literature review is an essential step in research that involves reviewing and analyzing existing literature on a specific topic. It’s important to know how to do a literature review effectively, so here are the steps to follow: 1  

Choose a Topic and Define the Research Question:

  • Select a topic that is relevant to your field of study. 
  • Clearly define your research question or objective. Determine what specific aspect of the topic do you want to explore? 

Decide on the Scope of Your Review:

  • Determine the timeframe for your literature review. Are you focusing on recent developments, or do you want a historical overview? 
  • Consider the geographical scope. Is your review global, or are you focusing on a specific region? 
  • Define the inclusion and exclusion criteria. What types of sources will you include? Are there specific types of studies or publications you will exclude? 

Select Databases for Searches:

  • Identify relevant databases for your field. Examples include PubMed, IEEE Xplore, Scopus, Web of Science, and Google Scholar. 
  • Consider searching in library catalogs, institutional repositories, and specialized databases related to your topic. 

Conduct Searches and Keep Track:

  • Develop a systematic search strategy using keywords, Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT), and other search techniques. 
  • Record and document your search strategy for transparency and replicability. 
  • Keep track of the articles, including publication details, abstracts, and links. Use citation management tools like EndNote, Zotero, or Mendeley to organize your references. 

Review the Literature:

  • Evaluate the relevance and quality of each source. Consider the methodology, sample size, and results of studies. 
  • Organize the literature by themes or key concepts. Identify patterns, trends, and gaps in the existing research. 
  • Summarize key findings and arguments from each source. Compare and contrast different perspectives. 
  • Identify areas where there is a consensus in the literature and where there are conflicting opinions. 
  • Provide critical analysis and synthesis of the literature. What are the strengths and weaknesses of existing research? 

Organize and Write Your Literature Review:

  • Literature review outline should be based on themes, chronological order, or methodological approaches. 
  • Write a clear and coherent narrative that synthesizes the information gathered. 
  • Use proper citations for each source and ensure consistency in your citation style (APA, MLA, Chicago, etc.). 
  • Conclude your literature review by summarizing key findings, identifying gaps, and suggesting areas for future research. 

The literature review sample and detailed advice on writing and conducting a review will help you produce a well-structured report. But remember that a literature review is an ongoing process, and it may be necessary to revisit and update it as your research progresses. 

Frequently asked questions

A literature review is a critical and comprehensive analysis of existing literature (published and unpublished works) on a specific topic or research question and provides a synthesis of the current state of knowledge in a particular field. A well-conducted literature review is crucial for researchers to build upon existing knowledge, avoid duplication of efforts, and contribute to the advancement of their field. It also helps researchers situate their work within a broader context and facilitates the development of a sound theoretical and conceptual framework for their studies.

Literature review is a crucial component of research writing, providing a solid background for a research paper’s investigation. The aim is to keep professionals up to date by providing an understanding of ongoing developments within a specific field, including research methods, and experimental techniques used in that field, and present that knowledge in the form of a written report. Also, the depth and breadth of the literature review emphasizes the credibility of the scholar in his or her field.  

Before writing a literature review, it’s essential to undertake several preparatory steps to ensure that your review is well-researched, organized, and focused. This includes choosing a topic of general interest to you and doing exploratory research on that topic, writing an annotated bibliography, and noting major points, especially those that relate to the position you have taken on the topic. 

Literature reviews and academic research papers are essential components of scholarly work but serve different purposes within the academic realm. 3 A literature review aims to provide a foundation for understanding the current state of research on a particular topic, identify gaps or controversies, and lay the groundwork for future research. Therefore, it draws heavily from existing academic sources, including books, journal articles, and other scholarly publications. In contrast, an academic research paper aims to present new knowledge, contribute to the academic discourse, and advance the understanding of a specific research question. Therefore, it involves a mix of existing literature (in the introduction and literature review sections) and original data or findings obtained through research methods. 

Literature reviews are essential components of academic and research papers, and various strategies can be employed to conduct them effectively. If you want to know how to write a literature review for a research paper, here are four common approaches that are often used by researchers.  Chronological Review: This strategy involves organizing the literature based on the chronological order of publication. It helps to trace the development of a topic over time, showing how ideas, theories, and research have evolved.  Thematic Review: Thematic reviews focus on identifying and analyzing themes or topics that cut across different studies. Instead of organizing the literature chronologically, it is grouped by key themes or concepts, allowing for a comprehensive exploration of various aspects of the topic.  Methodological Review: This strategy involves organizing the literature based on the research methods employed in different studies. It helps to highlight the strengths and weaknesses of various methodologies and allows the reader to evaluate the reliability and validity of the research findings.  Theoretical Review: A theoretical review examines the literature based on the theoretical frameworks used in different studies. This approach helps to identify the key theories that have been applied to the topic and assess their contributions to the understanding of the subject.  It’s important to note that these strategies are not mutually exclusive, and a literature review may combine elements of more than one approach. The choice of strategy depends on the research question, the nature of the literature available, and the goals of the review. Additionally, other strategies, such as integrative reviews or systematic reviews, may be employed depending on the specific requirements of the research.

The literature review format can vary depending on the specific publication guidelines. However, there are some common elements and structures that are often followed. Here is a general guideline for the format of a literature review:  Introduction:   Provide an overview of the topic.  Define the scope and purpose of the literature review.  State the research question or objective.  Body:   Organize the literature by themes, concepts, or chronology.  Critically analyze and evaluate each source.  Discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the studies.  Highlight any methodological limitations or biases.  Identify patterns, connections, or contradictions in the existing research.  Conclusion:   Summarize the key points discussed in the literature review.  Highlight the research gap.  Address the research question or objective stated in the introduction.  Highlight the contributions of the review and suggest directions for future research.

Both annotated bibliographies and literature reviews involve the examination of scholarly sources. While annotated bibliographies focus on individual sources with brief annotations, literature reviews provide a more in-depth, integrated, and comprehensive analysis of existing literature on a specific topic. The key differences are as follows: 


  • Denney, A. S., & Tewksbury, R. (2013). How to write a literature review.  Journal of criminal justice education ,  24 (2), 218-234. 
  • Pan, M. L. (2016).  Preparing literature reviews: Qualitative and quantitative approaches . Taylor & Francis. 
  • Cantero, C. (2019). How to write a literature review.  San José State University Writing Center . 

Paperpal is an AI writing assistant that help academics write better, faster with real-time suggestions for in-depth language and grammar correction. Trained on millions of research manuscripts enhanced by professional academic editors, Paperpal delivers human precision at machine speed.  

Try it for free or upgrade to  Paperpal Prime , which unlocks unlimited access to premium features like academic translation, paraphrasing, contextual synonyms, consistency checks and more. It’s like always having a professional academic editor by your side! Go beyond limitations and experience the future of academic writing.  Get Paperpal Prime now at just US$19 a month!

Related Reads:

  • Empirical Research: A Comprehensive Guide for Academics 
  • How to Write a Scientific Paper in 10 Steps 
  • Life Sciences Papers: 9 Tips for Authors Writing in Biological Sciences
  • What is an Argumentative Essay? How to Write It (With Examples)

6 Tips for Post-Doc Researchers to Take Their Career to the Next Level

Self-plagiarism in research: what it is and how to avoid it, you may also like, how to write a hypothesis types and examples , measuring academic success: definition & strategies for excellence, what is academic writing: tips for students, why traditional editorial process needs an upgrade, paperpal’s new ai research finder empowers authors to..., what is hedging in academic writing  , how to use ai to enhance your college..., ai + human expertise – a paradigm shift..., how to use paperpal to generate emails &..., ai in education: it’s time to change the....

University of North Florida

  • Become Involved |
  • Give to the Library |
  • Staff Directory |
  • UNF Library
  • Thomas G. Carpenter Library

Conducting a Literature Review

Benefits of conducting a literature review.

  • Steps in Conducting a Literature Review
  • Summary of the Process
  • Additional Resources
  • Literature Review Tutorial by American University Library
  • The Literature Review: A Few Tips On Conducting It by University of Toronto
  • Write a Literature Review by UC Santa Cruz University Library

While there might be many reasons for conducting a literature review, following are four key outcomes of doing the review.

Assessment of the current state of research on a topic . This is probably the most obvious value of the literature review. Once a researcher has determined an area to work with for a research project, a search of relevant information sources will help determine what is already known about the topic and how extensively the topic has already been researched.

Identification of the experts on a particular topic . One of the additional benefits derived from doing the literature review is that it will quickly reveal which researchers have written the most on a particular topic and are, therefore, probably the experts on the topic. Someone who has written twenty articles on a topic or on related topics is more than likely more knowledgeable than someone who has written a single article. This same writer will likely turn up as a reference in most of the other articles written on the same topic. From the number of articles written by the author and the number of times the writer has been cited by other authors, a researcher will be able to assume that the particular author is an expert in the area and, thus, a key resource for consultation in the current research to be undertaken.

Identification of key questions about a topic that need further research . In many cases a researcher may discover new angles that need further exploration by reviewing what has already been written on a topic. For example, research may suggest that listening to music while studying might lead to better retention of ideas, but the research might not have assessed whether a particular style of music is more beneficial than another. A researcher who is interested in pursuing this topic would then do well to follow up existing studies with a new study, based on previous research, that tries to identify which styles of music are most beneficial to retention.

Determination of methodologies used in past studies of the same or similar topics.  It is often useful to review the types of studies that previous researchers have launched as a means of determining what approaches might be of most benefit in further developing a topic. By the same token, a review of previously conducted studies might lend itself to researchers determining a new angle for approaching research.

Upon completion of the literature review, a researcher should have a solid foundation of knowledge in the area and a good feel for the direction any new research should take. Should any additional questions arise during the course of the research, the researcher will know which experts to consult in order to quickly clear up those questions.

  • << Previous: Home
  • Next: Steps in Conducting a Literature Review >>
  • Last Updated: Aug 29, 2022 8:54 AM
  • URL: https://libguides.unf.edu/litreview

How to write a literature review introduction (+ examples)

Photo of Master Academia

The introduction to a literature review serves as your reader’s guide through your academic work and thought process. Explore the significance of literature review introductions in review papers, academic papers, essays, theses, and dissertations. We delve into the purpose and necessity of these introductions, explore the essential components of literature review introductions, and provide step-by-step guidance on how to craft your own, along with examples.

Why you need an introduction for a literature review

When you need an introduction for a literature review, what to include in a literature review introduction, examples of literature review introductions, steps to write your own literature review introduction.

A literature review is a comprehensive examination of the international academic literature concerning a particular topic. It involves summarizing published works, theories, and concepts while also highlighting gaps and offering critical reflections.

In academic writing , the introduction for a literature review is an indispensable component. Effective academic writing requires proper paragraph structuring to guide your reader through your argumentation. This includes providing an introduction to your literature review.

It is imperative to remember that you should never start sharing your findings abruptly. Even if there isn’t a dedicated introduction section .

Instead, you should always offer some form of introduction to orient the reader and clarify what they can expect.

There are three main scenarios in which you need an introduction for a literature review:

  • Academic literature review papers: When your literature review constitutes the entirety of an academic review paper, a more substantial introduction is necessary. This introduction should resemble the standard introduction found in regular academic papers.
  • Literature review section in an academic paper or essay: While this section tends to be brief, it’s important to precede the detailed literature review with a few introductory sentences. This helps orient the reader before delving into the literature itself.
  • Literature review chapter or section in your thesis/dissertation: Every thesis and dissertation includes a literature review component, which also requires a concise introduction to set the stage for the subsequent review.

You may also like: How to write a fantastic thesis introduction (+15 examples)

It is crucial to customize the content and depth of your literature review introduction according to the specific format of your academic work.

In practical terms, this implies, for instance, that the introduction in an academic literature review paper, especially one derived from a systematic literature review , is quite comprehensive. Particularly compared to the rather brief one or two introductory sentences that are often found at the beginning of a literature review section in a standard academic paper. The introduction to the literature review chapter in a thesis or dissertation again adheres to different standards.

Here’s a structured breakdown based on length and the necessary information:

Academic literature review paper

The introduction of an academic literature review paper, which does not rely on empirical data, often necessitates a more extensive introduction than the brief literature review introductions typically found in empirical papers. It should encompass:

  • The research problem: Clearly articulate the problem or question that your literature review aims to address.
  • The research gap: Highlight the existing gaps, limitations, or unresolved aspects within the current body of literature related to the research problem.
  • The research relevance: Explain why the chosen research problem and its subsequent investigation through a literature review are significant and relevant in your academic field.
  • The literature review method: If applicable, describe the methodology employed in your literature review, especially if it is a systematic review or follows a specific research framework.
  • The main findings or insights of the literature review: Summarize the key discoveries, insights, or trends that have emerged from your comprehensive review of the literature.
  • The main argument of the literature review: Conclude the introduction by outlining the primary argument or statement that your literature review will substantiate, linking it to the research problem and relevance you’ve established.
  • Preview of the literature review’s structure: Offer a glimpse into the organization of the literature review paper, acting as a guide for the reader. This overview outlines the subsequent sections of the paper and provides an understanding of what to anticipate.

By addressing these elements, your introduction will provide a clear and structured overview of what readers can expect in your literature review paper.

Regular literature review section in an academic article or essay

Most academic articles or essays incorporate regular literature review sections, often placed after the introduction. These sections serve to establish a scholarly basis for the research or discussion within the paper.

In a standard 8000-word journal article, the literature review section typically spans between 750 and 1250 words. The first few sentences or the first paragraph within this section often serve as an introduction. It should encompass:

  • An introduction to the topic: When delving into the academic literature on a specific topic, it’s important to provide a smooth transition that aids the reader in comprehending why certain aspects will be discussed within your literature review.
  • The core argument: While literature review sections primarily synthesize the work of other scholars, they should consistently connect to your central argument. This central argument serves as the crux of your message or the key takeaway you want your readers to retain. By positioning it at the outset of the literature review section and systematically substantiating it with evidence, you not only enhance reader comprehension but also elevate overall readability. This primary argument can typically be distilled into 1-2 succinct sentences.

In some cases, you might include:

  • Methodology: Details about the methodology used, but only if your literature review employed a specialized method. If your approach involved a broader overview without a systematic methodology, you can omit this section, thereby conserving word count.

By addressing these elements, your introduction will effectively integrate your literature review into the broader context of your academic paper or essay. This will, in turn, assist your reader in seamlessly following your overarching line of argumentation.

Introduction to a literature review chapter in thesis or dissertation

The literature review typically constitutes a distinct chapter within a thesis or dissertation. Often, it is Chapter 2 of a thesis or dissertation.

Some students choose to incorporate a brief introductory section at the beginning of each chapter, including the literature review chapter. Alternatively, others opt to seamlessly integrate the introduction into the initial sentences of the literature review itself. Both approaches are acceptable, provided that you incorporate the following elements:

  • Purpose of the literature review and its relevance to the thesis/dissertation research: Explain the broader objectives of the literature review within the context of your research and how it contributes to your thesis or dissertation. Essentially, you’re telling the reader why this literature review is important and how it fits into the larger scope of your academic work.
  • Primary argument: Succinctly communicate what you aim to prove, explain, or explore through the review of existing literature. This statement helps guide the reader’s understanding of the review’s purpose and what to expect from it.
  • Preview of the literature review’s content: Provide a brief overview of the topics or themes that your literature review will cover. It’s like a roadmap for the reader, outlining the main areas of focus within the review. This preview can help the reader anticipate the structure and organization of your literature review.
  • Methodology: If your literature review involved a specific research method, such as a systematic review or meta-analysis, you should briefly describe that methodology. However, this is not always necessary, especially if your literature review is more of a narrative synthesis without a distinct research method.

By addressing these elements, your introduction will empower your literature review to play a pivotal role in your thesis or dissertation research. It will accomplish this by integrating your research into the broader academic literature and providing a solid theoretical foundation for your work.

Comprehending the art of crafting your own literature review introduction becomes significantly more accessible when you have concrete examples to examine. Here, you will find several examples that meet, or in most cases, adhere to the criteria described earlier.

Example 1: An effective introduction for an academic literature review paper

To begin, let’s delve into the introduction of an academic literature review paper. We will examine the paper “How does culture influence innovation? A systematic literature review”, which was published in 2018 in the journal Management Decision.

extensive literature review on

The entire introduction spans 611 words and is divided into five paragraphs. In this introduction, the authors accomplish the following:

  • In the first paragraph, the authors introduce the broader topic of the literature review, which focuses on innovation and its significance in the context of economic competition. They underscore the importance of this topic, highlighting its relevance for both researchers and policymakers.
  • In the second paragraph, the authors narrow down their focus to emphasize the specific role of culture in relation to innovation.
  • In the third paragraph, the authors identify research gaps, noting that existing studies are often fragmented and disconnected. They then emphasize the value of conducting a systematic literature review to enhance our understanding of the topic.
  • In the fourth paragraph, the authors introduce their specific objectives and explain how their insights can benefit other researchers and business practitioners.
  • In the fifth and final paragraph, the authors provide an overview of the paper’s organization and structure.

In summary, this introduction stands as a solid example. While the authors deviate from previewing their key findings (which is a common practice at least in the social sciences), they do effectively cover all the other previously mentioned points.

Example 2: An effective introduction to a literature review section in an academic paper

The second example represents a typical academic paper, encompassing not only a literature review section but also empirical data, a case study, and other elements. We will closely examine the introduction to the literature review section in the paper “The environmentalism of the subalterns: a case study of environmental activism in Eastern Kurdistan/Rojhelat”, which was published in 2021 in the journal Local Environment.

extensive literature review on

The paper begins with a general introduction and then proceeds to the literature review, designated by the authors as their conceptual framework. Of particular interest is the first paragraph of this conceptual framework, comprising 142 words across five sentences:

“ A peripheral and marginalised nationality within a multinational though-Persian dominated Iranian society, the Kurdish people of Iranian Kurdistan (a region referred by the Kurds as Rojhelat/Eastern Kurdi-stan) have since the early twentieth century been subject to multifaceted and systematic discriminatory and exclusionary state policy in Iran. This condition has left a population of 12–15 million Kurds in Iran suffering from structural inequalities, disenfranchisement and deprivation. Mismanagement of Kurdistan’s natural resources and the degradation of its natural environmental are among examples of this disenfranchisement. As asserted by Julian Agyeman (2005), structural inequalities that sustain the domination of political and economic elites often simultaneously result in environmental degradation, injustice and discrimination against subaltern communities. This study argues that the environmental struggle in Eastern Kurdistan can be asserted as a (sub)element of the Kurdish liberation movement in Iran. Conceptually this research is inspired by and has been conducted through the lens of ‘subalternity’ ” ( Hassaniyan, 2021, p. 931 ).

In this first paragraph, the author is doing the following:

  • The author contextualises the research
  • The author links the research focus to the international literature on structural inequalities
  • The author clearly presents the argument of the research
  • The author clarifies how the research is inspired by and uses the concept of ‘subalternity’.

Thus, the author successfully introduces the literature review, from which point onward it dives into the main concept (‘subalternity’) of the research, and reviews the literature on socio-economic justice and environmental degradation.

While introductions to a literature review section aren’t always required to offer the same level of study context detail as demonstrated here, this introduction serves as a commendable model for orienting the reader within the literature review. It effectively underscores the literature review’s significance within the context of the study being conducted.

Examples 3-5: Effective introductions to literature review chapters

The introduction to a literature review chapter can vary in length, depending largely on the overall length of the literature review chapter itself. For example, a master’s thesis typically features a more concise literature review, thus necessitating a shorter introduction. In contrast, a Ph.D. thesis, with its more extensive literature review, often includes a more detailed introduction.

Numerous universities offer online repositories where you can access theses and dissertations from previous years, serving as valuable sources of reference. Many of these repositories, however, may require you to log in through your university account. Nevertheless, a few open-access repositories are accessible to anyone, such as the one by the University of Manchester . It’s important to note though that copyright restrictions apply to these resources, just as they would with published papers.

Master’s thesis literature review introduction

The first example is “Benchmarking Asymmetrical Heating Models of Spider Pulsar Companions” by P. Sun, a master’s thesis completed at the University of Manchester on January 9, 2024. The author, P. Sun, introduces the literature review chapter very briefly but effectively:

extensive literature review on

PhD thesis literature review chapter introduction

The second example is Deep Learning on Semi-Structured Data and its Applications to Video-Game AI, Woof, W. (Author). 31 Dec 2020, a PhD thesis completed at the University of Manchester . In Chapter 2, the author offers a comprehensive introduction to the topic in four paragraphs, with the final paragraph serving as an overview of the chapter’s structure:

extensive literature review on

PhD thesis literature review introduction

The last example is the doctoral thesis Metacognitive strategies and beliefs: Child correlates and early experiences Chan, K. Y. M. (Author). 31 Dec 2020 . The author clearly conducted a systematic literature review, commencing the review section with a discussion of the methodology and approach employed in locating and analyzing the selected records.

extensive literature review on

Having absorbed all of this information, let’s recap the essential steps and offer a succinct guide on how to proceed with creating your literature review introduction:

  • Contextualize your review : Begin by clearly identifying the academic context in which your literature review resides and determining the necessary information to include.
  • Outline your structure : Develop a structured outline for your literature review, highlighting the essential information you plan to incorporate in your introduction.
  • Literature review process : Conduct a rigorous literature review, reviewing and analyzing relevant sources.
  • Summarize and abstract : After completing the review, synthesize the findings and abstract key insights, trends, and knowledge gaps from the literature.
  • Craft the introduction : Write your literature review introduction with meticulous attention to the seamless integration of your review into the larger context of your work. Ensure that your introduction effectively elucidates your rationale for the chosen review topics and the underlying reasons guiding your selection.

Photo of Master Academia

Master Academia

Get new content delivered directly to your inbox.

Subscribe and receive Master Academia's quarterly newsletter.

The best answers to "What are your plans for the future?"

10 tips for engaging your audience in academic writing, related articles.

Featured blog post image for 10 key skills of successful master's students

10 key skills of successful master’s students

extensive literature review on

How to write effective cover letters for a paper submission

Featured blog post image for Dealing with failure as a PhD student

Dealing with failure as a PhD student

Featured blog post image for reject decisions - sample peer review comments and example

Reject decisions: Sample peer review comments and examples

Seizing the clinical presentation in adult onset Still's disease. An extensive literature review


  • 1 Department of Rheumatology, Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, FL, United States. Electronic address: [email protected].
  • 2 Pulmonary Critical Care, RCCSMA, Jacksonville, FL, United States.
  • 3 Department of Rheumatology, Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, FL, United States.
  • PMID: 25617819
  • DOI: 10.1016/j.autrev.2015.01.007

Adult onset Still's disease is an inflammatory disorder with a wide clinical presentation ranging from arthralgia and arthritis to rash and high-grade fever. Etiology of this rare disorder remains a mystery. We present two cases at the extreme ends of clinical presentation diagnosed with AOSD along with literature review for the same. Case one was self limiting, requiring only NSAIDS as treatment. The other was an unusual central nervous system manifestation of repeated seizures that were only responsive to pulse dose of methylprednisolone. Both met Yamaguchi criteria for adult onset Still's disease.

Keywords: Adult onset still's disease; Anakinra; Hyperferritinemia syndrome; Seizures.

Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / therapeutic use
  • Methylprednisolone / therapeutic use
  • Middle Aged
  • Still's Disease, Adult-Onset / diagnosis*
  • Young Adult
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Methylprednisolone

U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

The .gov means it’s official. Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you’re on a federal government site.

The site is secure. The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

  • Publications
  • Account settings

Preview improvements coming to the PMC website in October 2024. Learn More or Try it out now .

  • Advanced Search
  • Journal List
  • J Med Libr Assoc
  • v.106(4); 2018 Oct

A systematic approach to searching: an efficient and complete method to develop literature searches

Associated data.

Creating search strategies for systematic reviews, finding the best balance between sensitivity and specificity, and translating search strategies between databases is challenging. Several methods describe standards for systematic search strategies, but a consistent approach for creating an exhaustive search strategy has not yet been fully described in enough detail to be fully replicable. The authors have established a method that describes step by step the process of developing a systematic search strategy as needed in the systematic review. This method describes how single-line search strategies can be prepared in a text document by typing search syntax (such as field codes, parentheses, and Boolean operators) before copying and pasting search terms (keywords and free-text synonyms) that are found in the thesaurus. To help ensure term completeness, we developed a novel optimization technique that is mainly based on comparing the results retrieved by thesaurus terms with those retrieved by the free-text search words to identify potentially relevant candidate search terms. Macros in Microsoft Word have been developed to convert syntaxes between databases and interfaces almost automatically. This method helps information specialists in developing librarian-mediated searches for systematic reviews as well as medical and health care practitioners who are searching for evidence to answer clinical questions. The described method can be used to create complex and comprehensive search strategies for different databases and interfaces, such as those that are needed when searching for relevant references for systematic reviews, and will assist both information specialists and practitioners when they are searching the biomedical literature.


Librarians and information specialists are often involved in the process of preparing and completing systematic reviews (SRs), where one of their main tasks is to identify relevant references to include in the review [ 1 ]. Although several recommendations for the process of searching have been published [ 2 – 6 ], none describe the development of a systematic search strategy from start to finish.

Traditional methods of SR search strategy development and execution are highly time consuming, reportedly requiring up to 100 hours or more [ 7 , 8 ]. The authors wanted to develop systematic and exhaustive search strategies more efficiently, while preserving the high sensitivity that SR search strategies necessitate. In this article, we describe the method developed at Erasmus University Medical Center (MC) and demonstrate its use through an example search. The efficiency of the search method and outcome of 73 searches that have resulted in published reviews are described in a separate article [ 9 ].

As we aimed to describe the creation of systematic searches in full detail, the method starts at a basic level with the analysis of the research question and the creation of search terms. Readers who are new to SR searching are advised to follow all steps described. More experienced searchers can consider the basic steps to be existing knowledge that will already be part of their normal workflow, although step 4 probably differs from general practice. Experienced searchers will gain the most from reading about the novelties in the method as described in steps 10–13 and comparing the examples given in the supplementary appendix to their own practice.


Our methodology for planning and creating a multi-database search strategy consists of the following steps:

  • Determine a clear and focused question
  • Describe the articles that can answer the question
  • Decide which key concepts address the different elements of the question
  • Decide which elements should be used for the best results
  • Choose an appropriate database and interface to start with
  • Document the search process in a text document
  • Identify appropriate index terms in the thesaurus of the first database
  • Identify synonyms in the thesaurus
  • Add variations in search terms
  • Use database-appropriate syntax, with parentheses, Boolean operators, and field codes
  • Optimize the search
  • Evaluate the initial results
  • Check for errors
  • Translate to other databases
  • Test and reiterate

Each step in the process is reflected by an example search described in the supplementary appendix .

1. Determine a clear and focused question

A systematic search can best be applied to a well-defined and precise research or clinical question. Questions that are too broad or too vague cannot be answered easily in a systematic way and will generally result in an overwhelming number of search results. On the other hand, a question that is too specific will result into too few or even zero search results. Various papers describe this process in more detail [ 10 – 12 ].

2. Describe the articles that can answer the question

Although not all clinical or research questions can be answered in the literature, the next step is to presume that the answer can indeed be found in published studies. A good starting point for a search is hypothesizing what the research that can answer the question would look like. These hypothetical (when possible, combined with known) articles can be used as guidance for constructing the search strategy.

3. Decide which key concepts address the different elements of the question

Key concepts are the topics or components that the desired articles should address, such as diseases or conditions, actions, substances, settings, domains (e.g., therapy, diagnosis, etiology), or study types. Key concepts from the research question can be grouped to create elements in the search strategy.

Elements in a search strategy do not necessarily follow the patient, intervention, comparison, outcome (PICO) structure or any other related structure. Using the PICO or another similar framework as guidance can be helpful to consider, especially in the inclusion and exclusion review stage of the SR, but this is not necessary for good search strategy development [ 13 – 15 ]. Sometimes concepts from different parts of the PICO structure can be grouped together into one search element, such as when the desired outcome is frequently described in a certain study type.

4. Decide which elements should be used for the best results

Not all elements of a research question should necessarily be used in the search strategy. Some elements are less important than others or may unnecessarily complicate or restrict a search strategy. Adding an element to a search strategy increases the chance of missing relevant references. Therefore, the number of elements in a search strategy should remain as low as possible to optimize recall.

Using the schema in Figure 1 , elements can be ordered by their specificity and importance to determine the best search approach. Whether an element is more specific or more general can be measured objectively by the number of hits retrieved in a database when searching for a key term representing that element. Depending on the research question, certain elements are more important than others. If articles (hypothetically or known) exist that can answer the question but lack a certain element in their titles, abstracts, or keywords, that element is unimportant to the question. An element can also be unimportant because of expected bias or an overlap with another element.

An external file that holds a picture, illustration, etc.
Object name is jmla-106-531-f001.jpg

Schema for determining the optimal order of elements

Bias in elements

The choice of elements in a search strategy can introduce bias through use of overly specific terminology or terms often associated with positive outcomes. For the question “does prolonged breastfeeding improve intelligence outcomes in children?,” searching specifically for the element of duration will introduce bias, as articles that find a positive effect of prolonged breastfeeding will be much more likely to mention time factors in their titles or abstracts.

Overlapping elements

Elements in a question sometimes overlap in their meaning. Sometimes certain therapies are interventions for one specific disease. The Lichtenstein technique, for example, is a repair method for inguinal hernias. There is no need to include an element of “inguinal hernias” to a search for the effectiveness of the Lichtenstein therapy. Likewise, sometimes certain diseases are only found in certain populations. Adding such an overlapping element could lead to missing relevant references.

The elements to use in a search strategy can be found in the plot of elements in Figure 1 , by following the top row from left to right. For this method, we recommend starting with the most important and specific elements. Then, continue with more general and important elements until the number of results is acceptable for screening. Determining how many results are acceptable for screening is often a matter of negotiation with the SR team.

5. Choose an appropriate database and interface to start with

Important factors for choosing databases to use are the coverage and the presence of a thesaurus. For medically oriented searches, the coverage and recall of Embase, which includes the MEDLINE database, are superior to those of MEDLINE [ 16 ]. Each of these two databases has its own thesaurus with its own unique definitions and structure. Because of the complexity of the Embase thesaurus, Emtree, which contains much more specific thesaurus terms than the MEDLINE Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) thesaurus, translation from Emtree to MeSH is easier than the other way around. Therefore, we recommend starting in Embase.

MEDLINE and Embase are available through many different vendors and interfaces. The choice of an interface and primary database is often determined by the searcher’s accessibility. For our method, an interface that allows searching with proximity operators is desirable, and full functionality of the thesaurus, including explosion of narrower terms, is crucial. We recommend developing a personal workflow that always starts with one specific database and interface.

6. Document the search process in a text document

We advise designing and creating the complete search strategies in a log document, instead of directly in the database itself, to register the steps taken and to make searches accountable and reproducible. The developed search strategies can be copied and pasted into the desired databases from the log document. This way, the searcher is in control of the whole process. Any change to the search strategy should be done in the log document, assuring that the search strategy in the log is always the most recent.

7. Identify appropriate index terms in the thesaurus of the first database

Searches should start by identifying appropriate thesaurus terms for the desired elements. The thesaurus of the database is searched for matching index terms for each key concept. We advise restricting the initial terms to the most important and most relevant terms. Later in the process, more general terms can be added in the optimization process, in which the effect on the number of hits, and thus the desirability of adding these terms, can be evaluated more easily.

Several factors can complicate the identification of thesaurus terms. Sometimes, one thesaurus term is found that exactly describes a specific element. In contrast, especially in more general elements, multiple thesaurus terms can be found to describe one element. If no relevant thesaurus terms have been found for an element, free-text terms can be used, and possible thesaurus terms found in the resulting references can be added later (step 11).

Sometimes, no distinct thesaurus term is available for a specific key concept that describes the concept in enough detail. In Emtree, one thesaurus term often combines two or more elements. The easiest solution for combining these terms for a sensitive search is to use such a thesaurus term in all elements where it is relevant. Examples are given in the supplementary appendix .

8. Identify synonyms in the thesaurus

Most thesauri offer a list of synonyms on their term details page (named Synonyms in Emtree and Entry Terms in MeSH). To create a sensitive search strategy for SRs, these terms need to be searched as free-text keywords in the title and abstract fields, in addition to searching their associated thesaurus terms.

The Emtree thesaurus contains more synonyms (300,000) than MeSH does (220,000) [ 17 ]. The difference in number of terms is even higher considering that many synonyms in MeSH are permuted terms (i.e., inversions of phrases using commas).

Thesaurus terms are ordered in a tree structure. When searching for a more general thesaurus term, the more specific (narrower) terms in the branches below that term will also be searched (this is frequently referred to as “exploding” a thesaurus term). However, to perform a sensitive search, all relevant variations of the narrower terms must be searched as free-text keywords in the title or abstract, in addition to relying on the exploded thesaurus term. Thus, all articles that describe a certain narrower topic in their titles and abstracts will already be retrieved before MeSH terms are added.

9. Add variations in search terms (e.g., truncation, spelling differences, abbreviations, opposites)

Truncation allows a searcher to search for words beginning with the same word stem. A search for therap* will, thus, retrieve therapy, therapies, therapeutic, and all other words starting with “therap.” Do not truncate a word stem that is too short. Also, limitations of interfaces should be taken into account, especially in PubMed, where the number of search term variations that can be found by truncation is limited to 600.

Databases contain references to articles using both standard British and American English spellings. Both need to be searched as free-text terms in the title and abstract. Alternatively, many interfaces offer a certain code to replace zero or one characters, allowing a search for “pediatric” or “paediatric” as “p?ediatric.” Table 1 provides a detailed description of the syntax for different interfaces.

Field codes in five most used interfaces for biomedical literature searching

Searching for abbreviations can identify extra, relevant references and retrieve more irrelevant ones. The search can be more focused by combining the abbreviation with an important word that is relevant to its meaning or by using the Boolean “NOT” to exclude frequently observed, clearly irrelevant results. We advise that searchers do not exclude all possible irrelevant meanings, as it is very time consuming to identify all the variations, it will result in unnecessarily complicated search strategies, and it may lead to erroneously narrowing the search and, thereby, reduce recall.

Searching partial abbreviations can be useful for retrieving relevant references. For example, it is very likely that an article would mention osteoarthritis (OA) early in the abstract, replacing all further occurrences of osteoarthritis with OA . Therefore, it may not contain the phrase “hip osteoarthritis” but only “hip oa.”

It is also important to search for the opposites of search terms to avoid bias. When searching for “disease recurrence,” articles about “disease free” may be relevant as well. When the desired outcome is survival , articles about mortality may be relevant.

10. Use database-appropriate syntax, with parentheses, Boolean operators, and field codes

Different interfaces require different syntaxes, the special set of rules and symbols unique to each database that define how a correctly constructed search operates. Common syntax components include the use of parentheses and Boolean operators such as “AND,” “OR,” and “NOT,” which are available in all major interfaces. An overview of different syntaxes for four major interfaces for bibliographic medical databases (PubMed, Ovid, EBSCOhost, Embase.com, and ProQuest) is shown in Table 1 .

Creating the appropriate syntax for each database, in combination with the selected terms as described in steps 7–9, can be challenging. Following the method outlined below simplifies the process:

  • Create single-line queries in a text document (not combining multiple record sets), which allows immediate checking of the relevance of retrieved references and efficient optimization.
  • Type the syntax (Boolean operators, parentheses, and field codes) before adding terms, which reduces the chance that errors are made in the syntax, especially in the number of parentheses.
  • Use predefined proximity structures including parentheses, such as (() ADJ3 ()) in Ovid, that can be reused in the query when necessary.
  • Use thesaurus terms separately from free-text terms of each element. Start an element with all thesaurus terms (using “OR”) and follow with the free-text terms. This allows the unique optimization methods as described in step 11.
  • When adding terms to an existing search strategy, pay close attention to the position of the cursor. Make sure to place it appropriately either in the thesaurus terms section, in the title/abstract section, or as an addition (broadening) to an existing proximity search.

The supplementary appendix explains the method of building a query in more detail, step by step for different interfaces: PubMed, Ovid, EBSCOhost, Embase.com, and ProQuest. This method results in a basic search strategy designed to retrieve some relevant references upon which a more thorough search strategy can be built with optimization such as described in step 11.

11. Optimize the search

The most important question when performing a systematic search is whether all (or most) potentially relevant articles have been retrieved by the search strategy. This is also the most difficult question to answer, since it is unknown which and how many articles are relevant. It is, therefore, wise first to broaden the initial search strategy, making the search more sensitive, and then check if new relevant articles are found by comparing the set results (i.e., search for Strategy #2 NOT Strategy #1 to see the unique results).

A search strategy should be tested for completeness. Therefore, it is necessary to identify extra, possibly relevant search terms and add them to the test search in an OR relationship with the already used search terms. A good place to start, and a well-known strategy, is scanning the top retrieved articles when sorted by relevance, looking for additional relevant synonyms that could be added to the search strategy.

We have developed a unique optimization method that has not been described before in the literature. This method often adds valuable extra terms to our search strategy and, therefore, extra, relevant references to our search results. Extra synonyms can be found in articles that have been assigned a certain set of thesaurus terms but that lack synonyms in the title and/or abstract that are already present in the current search strategy. Searching for thesaurus terms NOT free-text terms will help identify missed free-text terms in the title or abstract. Searching for free-text terms NOT thesaurus terms will help identify missed thesaurus terms. If this is done repeatedly for each element, leaving the rest of the query unchanged, this method will help add numerous relevant terms to the query. These steps are explained in detail for five different search platforms in the supplementary appendix .

12. Evaluate the initial results

The results should now contain relevant references. If the interface allows relevance ranking, use that in the evaluation. If you know some relevant references that should be included in the research, search for those references specifically; for example, combine a specific (first) author name with a page number and the publication year. Check whether those references are retrieved by the search. If the known relevant references are not retrieved by the search, adapt the search so that they are. If it is unclear which element should be adapted to retrieve a certain article, combine that article with each element separately.

Different outcomes are desired for different types of research questions. For instance, in the case of clinical question answering, the researcher will not be satisfied with many references that contain a lot of irrelevant references. A clinical search should be rather specific and is allowed to miss a relevant reference. In the case of an SR, the researchers do not want to miss any relevant reference and are willing to handle many irrelevant references to do so. The search for references to include in an SR should be very sensitive: no included reference should be missed. A search that is too specific or too sensitive for the intended goal can be adapted to become more sensitive or specific. Steps to increase sensitivity or specificity of a search strategy can be found in the supplementary appendix .

13. Check for errors

Errors might not be easily detected. Sometimes clues can be found in the number of results, either when the number of results is much higher or lower than expected or when many retrieved references are not relevant. However, the number expected is often unknown, and very sensitive search strategies will always retrieve many irrelevant articles. Each query should, therefore, be checked for errors.

One of the most frequently occurring errors is missing the Boolean operator “OR.” When no “OR” is added between two search terms, many interfaces automatically add an “AND,” which unintentionally reduces the number of results and likely misses relevant references. One good strategy to identify missing “OR”s is to go to the web page containing the full search strategy, as translated by the database, and using Ctrl-F search for “AND.” Check whether the occurrences of the “AND” operator are deliberate.

Ideally, search strategies should be checked by other information specialists [ 18 ]. The Peer Review of Electronic Search Strategies (PRESS) checklist offers good guidance for this process [ 4 ]. Apart from the syntax (especially Boolean operators and field codes) of the search strategy, it is wise to have the search terms checked by the clinician or researcher familiar with the topic. At Erasmus MC, researchers and clinicians are involved during the complete process of structuring and optimizing the search strategy. Each word is added after the combined decision of the searcher and the researcher, with the possibility of directly comparing results with and without the new term.

14. Translate to other databases

To retrieve as many relevant references as possible, one has to search multiple databases. Translation of complex and exhaustive queries between different databases can be very time consuming and cumbersome. The single-line search strategy approach detailed above allows quick translations using the find and replace method in Microsoft Word (<Ctrl-H>).

At Erasmus MC, macros based on the find-and-replace method in Microsoft Word have been developed for easy and fast translation between the most used databases for biomedical and health sciences questions. The schema that is followed for the translation between databases is shown in Figure 2 . Most databases simply follow the structure set by the Embase.com search strategy. The translation from Emtree terms to MeSH terms for MEDLINE in Ovid often identifies new terms that need to be added to the Embase.com search strategy before the translation to other databases.

An external file that holds a picture, illustration, etc.
Object name is jmla-106-531-f002.jpg

Schematic representation of translation between databases used at Erasmus University Medical Center

Dotted lines represent databases that are used in less than 80% of the searches.

Using five different macros, a thoroughly optimized query in Embase.com can be relatively quickly translated into eight major databases. Basic search strategies will be created to use in many, mostly smaller, databases, because such niche databases often do not have extensive thesauri or advanced syntax options. Also, there is not much need to use extensive syntax because the number of hits and, therefore, the amount of noise in these databases is generally low. In MEDLINE (Ovid), PsycINFO (Ovid), and CINAHL (EBSCOhost), the thesaurus terms must be adapted manually, as each database has its own custom thesaurus. These macros and instructions for their installation, use, and adaptation are available at bit.ly/databasemacros.

15. Test and reiterate

Ideally, exhaustive search strategies should retrieve all references that are covered in a specific database. For SR search strategies, checking searches for their recall is advised. This can be done after included references have been determined by the authors of the systematic review. If additional papers have been identified through other non-database methods (i.e., checking references in included studies), results that were not identified by the database searches should be examined. If these results were available in the databases but not located by the search strategy, the search strategy should be adapted to try to retrieve these results, as they may contain terms that were omitted in the original search strategies. This may enable the identification of additional relevant results.

A methodology for creating exhaustive search strategies has been created that describes all steps of the search process, starting with a question and resulting in thorough search strategies in multiple databases. Many of the steps described are not new, but together, they form a strong method creating high-quality, robust searches in a relatively short time frame.

Our methodology is intended to create thoroughness for literature searches. The optimization method, as described in step 11, will identify missed synonyms or thesaurus terms, unlike any other method that largely depends on predetermined keywords and synonyms. Using this method results in a much quicker search process, compared to traditional methods, especially because of the easier translation between databases and interfaces (step 13). The method is not a guarantee for speed, since speed depends on many factors, including experience. However, by following the steps and using the tools as described above, searchers can gain confidence first and increase speed through practice.

What is new?

This method encourages searchers to start their search development process using empty syntax first and later adding the thesaurus terms and free-text synonyms. We feel this helps the searcher to focus on the search terms, instead of on the structure of the search query. The optimization method in which new terms are found in the already retrieved articles is used in some other institutes as well but has to our knowledge not been described in the literature. The macros to translate search strategies between interfaces are unique in this method.

What is different compared to common practice?

Traditionally, librarians and information specialists have focused on creating complex, multi-line (also called line-by-line) search strategies, consisting of multiple record sets, and this method is frequently advised in the literature and handbooks [ 2 , 19 – 21 ]. Our method, instead, uses single-line searches, which is critical to its success. Single-line search strategies can be easily adapted by adding or dropping a term without having to recode numbers of record sets, which would be necessary in multi-line searches. They can easily be saved in a text document and repeated by copying and pasting for search updates. Single-line search strategies also allow easy translation to other syntaxes using find-and-replace technology to update field codes and other syntax elements or using macros (step 13).

When constructing a search strategy, the searcher might experience that certain parentheses in the syntax are unnecessary, such as parentheses around all search terms in the title/abstract portion, if there is only one such term, there are double parentheses in the proximity statement, or one of the word groups exists for only one word. One might be tempted to omit those parentheses for ease of reading and management. However, during the optimization process, the searcher is likely to find extra synonyms that might consist of one word. To add those terms to the first query (with reduced parentheses) requires adding extra parentheses (meticulously placing and counting them), whereas, in the latter search, it only requires proper placement of those terms.

Many search methods highly depend on the PICO framework. Research states that often PICO or PICOS is not suitable for every question [ 22 , 23 ]. There are other acronyms than PICO—such as sample, phenomenon of interest, design, evaluation, research type (SPIDER) [ 24 ]—but each is just a variant. In our method, the most important and specific elements of a question are being analyzed for building the best search strategy.

Though it is generally recommended that searchers search both MEDLINE and Embase, most use MEDLINE as the starting point. It is considered the gold standard for biomedical searching, partially due to historical reasons, since it was the first of its kind, and more so now that it is freely available via the PubMed interface. Our method can be used with any database as a starting point, but we use Embase instead of MEDLINE or another database for a number of reasons. First, Embase provides both unique content and the complete content of MEDLINE. Therefore, searching Embase will be, by definition, more complete than searching MEDLINE only. Second, the number of terms in Emtree (the Embase thesaurus) is three times as high as that of MeSH (the MEDLINE thesaurus). It is easier to find MeSH terms after all relevant Emtree terms have been identified than to start with MeSH and translate to Emtree.

At Erasmus MC, the researchers sit next to the information specialist during most of the search strategy design process. This way, the researchers can deliver immediate feedback on the relevance of proposed search terms and retrieved references. The search team then combines knowledge about databases with knowledge about the research topic, which is an important condition to create the highest quality searches.

Limitations of the method

One disadvantage of single-line searches compared to multi-line search strategies is that errors are harder to recognize. However, with the methods for optimization as described (step 11), errors are recognized easily because missed synonyms and spelling errors will be identified during the process. Also problematic is that more parentheses are needed, making it more difficult for the searcher and others to assess the logic of the search strategy. However, as parentheses and field codes are typed before the search terms are added (step 10), errors in parentheses can be prevented.

Our methodology works best if used in an interface that allows proximity searching. It is recommended that searchers with access to an interface with proximity searching capabilities select one of those as the initial database to develop and optimize the search strategy. Because the PubMed interface does not allow proximity searches, phrases or Boolean “AND” combinations are required. Phrase searching complicates the process and is more specific, with the higher risk of missing relevant articles, and using Boolean “AND” combinations increases sensitivity but at an often high loss of specificity. Due to some searchers’ lack of access to expensive databases or interfaces, the freely available PubMed interface may be necessary to use, though it should never be the sole database used for an SR [ 2 , 16 , 25 ]. A limitation of our method is that it works best with subscription-based and licensed resources.

Another limitation is the customization of the macros to a specific institution’s resources. The macros for the translation between different database interfaces only work between the interfaces as described. To mitigate this, we recommend using the find-and-replace functionality of text editors like Microsoft Word to ease the translation of syntaxes between other databases. Depending on one’s institutional resources, custom macros can be developed using similar methods.

Results of the method

Whether this method results in exhaustive searches where no important article is missed is difficult to determine, because the number of relevant articles is unknown for any topic. A comparison of several parameters of 73 published reviews that were based on a search developed with this method to 258 reviews that acknowledged information specialists from other Dutch academic hospitals shows that the performance of the searches following our method is comparable to those performed in other institutes but that the time needed to develop the search strategies was much shorter than the time reported for the other reviews [ 9 ].


With the described method, searchers can gain confidence in their search strategies by finding many relevant words and creating exhaustive search strategies quickly. The approach can be used when performing SR searches or for other purposes such as answering clinical questions, with different expectations of the search’s precision and recall. This method, with practice, provides a stepwise approach that facilitates the search strategy development process from question clarification to final iteration and beyond.



We highly appreciate the work that was done by our former colleague Louis Volkers, who in his twenty years as an information specialist in Erasmus MC laid the basis for our method. We thank Professor Oscar Franco for reviewing earlier drafts of this article.

DigitalCommons@University of Nebraska - Lincoln

  • < Previous Thesis

Home > Honors Program > HONORSTHESES > 693

Honors Program

Honors theses, sarcopenia and the importance of resistance training and protein-rich diets for prevention of muscle loss in older adults: a literature review and informational pamphlet.

Madison Steele , University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Document Type

Date of this version.

Steele, M. 2024. Sarcopenia and the Importance of Resistance Training and Protein-Rich Diets for Prevention of Muscle Loss in Older Adults: A Literature Review and Informational Pamphlet. Undergraduate Honors Thesis. University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Copyright Madison Steele 2024.

The growing prevalence of sarcopenia among older adults as well as youths has prompted further research aimed at developing effective preventative measures and treatment plans. Sarcopenia is often thought to occur solely due to aging, but several other factors contribute to progressive muscle loss. Previous research studies have found an effect of physical activity and dietary protein levels on the risk of developing sarcopenia as well as its onset age. This study aims to review existing knowledge in the field to compile an extensive list of sarcopenia causes and methods of prevention. The main causes identified in this review are the natural aging process, physical inactivity, and inadequate protein intake. The preventative measures discussed in this review include increasing awareness, resistance training, and protein-rich diets in the general population, but especially in older adults. Future research is needed to determine the extent of the combined effect of these attempts to delay or reverse sarcopenia symptoms. A condensed version of this review was also developed into an informational pamphlet as a tool to spread knowledge about sarcopenia in hopes of reducing the prevalence of this condition in society.

Since April 24, 2024

Included in

Gifted Education Commons , Higher Education Commons , Musculoskeletal Diseases Commons , Nutrition Commons , Other Education Commons , Physiology Commons

Advanced Search

Search Help

  • Notify me via email or RSS
  • Administrator Resources
  • How to Cite Items From This Repository
  • Copyright Information
  • Collections
  • Disciplines

Author Corner

  • Guide to Submitting
  • Submit your paper or article
  • Honors Program Website

Home | About | FAQ | My Account | Accessibility Statement

Privacy Copyright


  1. (PDF) Consequences of the COVID-19 Pandemic: An Extensive Literature Review

    extensive literature review on

  2. 50 Smart Literature Review Templates (APA) ᐅ TemplateLab

    extensive literature review on

  3. 39 Best Literature Review Examples (Guide & Samples)

    extensive literature review on

  4. How to write the best Literature Review?

    extensive literature review on

  5. Literature Review For Qualitative Research

    extensive literature review on

  6. (PDF) Extensive Literature Review to Investigate the Dimensions of

    extensive literature review on


  1. Intensive and Extensive Reading|Reading Skills|Differences,Advantages and Disadvantages in Hindi

  2. #difference between intensive reading and extensive reading #intensive reading and extensive reading

  3. Searching Articles and Extracting Review Faster using Elicit.org

  4. Systematic Literature Review

  5. Literature Review 101: Why You Need An Outsider's Input #shorts

  6. Why Literature Reviews are Important


  1. How to Write a Literature Review

    Examples of literature reviews. Step 1 - Search for relevant literature. Step 2 - Evaluate and select sources. Step 3 - Identify themes, debates, and gaps. Step 4 - Outline your literature review's structure. Step 5 - Write your literature review.

  2. Creating a Literature Review

    A literature review requires the writer to perform extensive research on published work in one's field in order to explain how one's own work fits into the larger conversation regarding a particular topic. This task requires the writer to spend time reading, managing, and conveying information; the complexity of literature reviews can make ...

  3. Comprehensive Literature Review: A Guide

    A literature review is a collection of selected articles, books and other sources about a specific subject. The purpose is to summarize the existing research that has been done on the subject in order to put your research in context and to highlight what your research will add to the existing body of knowledge. Literature reviews are typically ...

  4. How-to conduct a systematic literature review: A quick guide for

    A Systematic Literature Review (SLR) is a research methodology to collect, identify, and critically analyze the available research studies (e.g., articles, conference proceedings, books, dissertations) through a systematic procedure [12]. ... SLR can be an extensive and demanding task, however the results are beneficial in providing a ...

  5. Guidance on Conducting a Systematic Literature Review

    Literature review is an essential feature of academic research. Fundamentally, knowledge advancement must be built on prior existing work. To push the knowledge frontier, we must know where the frontier is. By reviewing relevant literature, we understand the breadth and depth of the existing body of work and identify gaps to explore.

  6. Literature Review: The What, Why and How-to Guide

    Example: Predictors and Outcomes of U.S. Quality Maternity Leave: A Review and Conceptual Framework: 10.1177/08948453211037398 ; Systematic review: "The authors of a systematic review use a specific procedure to search the research literature, select the studies to include in their review, and critically evaluate the studies they find." (p. 139).

  7. How to Undertake an Impactful Literature Review: Understanding Review

    Lastly, this article serves as a guide for researchers and academics in conducting an extensive literature review. Introduction. Important aspects of a systematic literature review (SLR) include a structured method for conducting the study and significant transparency of the approaches used for summarizing the literature (Hiebl, 2023).

  8. Critically reviewing literature: A tutorial for new researchers

    S/he will be asked to demonstrate this familiarity by conducting and writing up a literature review - a systematic summary and evaluation of prior academic research - as part of a thesis proposal. Even after a thesis proposal is approved, s/he will be asked to include an even more extensive review of the literature in their thesis proper ...

  9. Chapter 9 Methods for Literature Reviews

    9.3. Types of Review Articles and Brief Illustrations. EHealth researchers have at their disposal a number of approaches and methods for making sense out of existing literature, all with the purpose of casting current research findings into historical contexts or explaining contradictions that might exist among a set of primary research studies conducted on a particular topic.

  10. How to write a superb literature review

    The best proposals are timely and clearly explain why readers should pay attention to the proposed topic. It is not enough for a review to be a summary of the latest growth in the literature: the ...

  11. PDF What is a Literature Review?

    conducting an extensive literature review before data collection commences. Qualitative studies typically adopt a less structured approach to doing a literature review at the outset. They may start with a broad research question or topic of interest that is refined and honed as data are collected. Therefore, while the literature

  12. Writing a literature review

    A formal literature review is an evidence-based, in-depth analysis of a subject. There are many reasons for writing one and these will influence the length and style of your review, but in essence a literature review is a critical appraisal of the current collective knowledge on a subject. Rather than just being an exhaustive list of all that ...

  13. What is a literature review?

    A literature or narrative review is a comprehensive review and analysis of the published literature on a specific topic or research question. The literature that is reviewed contains: books, articles, academic articles, conference proceedings, association papers, and dissertations. It contains the most pertinent studies and points to important ...

  14. PDF CHAPTER 3 Conducting a Literature Review

    A literature review presents an understanding, or a snapshot, of the overall state of the literature by surveying, summarizing, and synthesizing existing literature about the topic of ... A more extensive, but still partial, list of criminal justice and criminology journals can | Chapter 3 | Conducting a Literature Review the , ,

  15. Literature review as a research methodology: An ...

    As mentioned previously, there are a number of existing guidelines for literature reviews. Depending on the methodology needed to achieve the purpose of the review, all types can be helpful and appropriate to reach a specific goal (for examples, please see Table 1).These approaches can be qualitative, quantitative, or have a mixed design depending on the phase of the review.

  16. Approaching literature review for academic purposes: The Literature

    A sophisticated literature review (LR) can result in a robust dissertation/thesis by scrutinizing the main problem examined by the academic study; anticipating research hypotheses, methods and results; and maintaining the interest of the audience in how the dissertation/thesis will provide solutions for the current gaps in a particular field.

  17. Literature Reviews, Theoretical Frameworks, and Conceptual Frameworks

    A literature review examines current and relevant research associated with the study question. It is comprehensive, critical, and purposeful. A theoretical framework illuminates the phenomenon of study and the corresponding assumptions adopted by the researcher. Frameworks can take on different orientations.

  18. Types of Literature Reviews

    Rapid review. Assessment of what is already known about a policy or practice issue, by using systematic review methods to search and critically appraise existing research. Completeness of searching determined by time constraints. Time-limited formal quality assessment. Typically narrative and tabular.

  19. What is a Literature Review? How to Write It (with Examples)

    A literature review is a critical analysis and synthesis of existing research on a particular topic. It provides an overview of the current state of knowledge, identifies gaps, and highlights key findings in the literature. 1 The purpose of a literature review is to situate your own research within the context of existing scholarship, demonstrating your understanding of the topic and showing ...

  20. Condition-Based Maintenance—An Extensive Literature Review

    This paper presents an extensive literature review on the field of condition-based maintenance (CBM). The paper encompasses over 4000 contributions, analysed through bibliometric indicators and meta-analysis techniques. The review adopts Factor Analysis as a dimensionality reduction, concerning the metric of the co-citations of the papers. Four main research areas have been identified, able to ...

  21. Conducting a Literature Review

    While there might be many reasons for conducting a literature review, following are four key outcomes of doing the review. Assessment of the current state of research on a topic. This is probably the most obvious value of the literature review. Once a researcher has determined an area to work with for a research project, a search of relevant ...

  22. How to write a literature review introduction (+ examples)

    These sections serve to establish a scholarly basis for the research or discussion within the paper. In a standard 8000-word journal article, the literature review section typically spans between 750 and 1250 words. The first few sentences or the first paragraph within this section often serve as an introduction.

  23. Expert review of the science underlying nature-based climate solutions

    Here we couple an extensive literature review with an expert elicitation on 43 pathways and find that at present the most used pathways, such as tropical forest conservation, have a solid scientific basis for mitigation. However, the experts suggested that some pathways, many with carbon credit eligibility and market activity, remain uncertain ...

  24. Seizing the clinical presentation in adult onset Still's disease. An

    Abstract. Adult onset Still's disease is an inflammatory disorder with a wide clinical presentation ranging from arthralgia and arthritis to rash and high-grade fever. Etiology of this rare disorder remains a mystery. We present two cases at the extreme ends of clinical presentation diagnosed with AOSD along with literature review for the same.

  25. Hematology Reports

    Objectives: The aim of this review is to focus on the possibility of patients with squamous cell carcinoma to develop a second primary disease such as DLBCL, perhaps because of the irradiation of the head and neck area. Materials and methods: A case of an 89-year-old man is reported, who initially underwent surgical and complementary treatment for neck squamous cell carcinoma of occult primary ...

  26. A systematic approach to searching: an efficient and complete method to

    INTRODUCTION. Librarians and information specialists are often involved in the process of preparing and completing systematic reviews (SRs), where one of their main tasks is to identify relevant references to include in the review [].Although several recommendations for the process of searching have been published [2-6], none describe the development of a systematic search strategy from ...

  27. "Sarcopenia and the Importance of Resistance Training and Protein-Rich

    This study aims to review existing knowledge in the field to compile an extensive list of sarcopenia causes and methods of prevention. The main causes identified in this review are the natural aging process, physical inactivity, and inadequate protein intake. ... A Literature Review and Informational Pamphlet. Undergraduate Honors Thesis ...