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Literature Review Methodologies

A literature review is intended to provide a summary of research on a topic. There are different methods for conducting a literature review, two of which are described below. 

Systematic Reviews follow specific protocols with the aim of providing a comprehensive picture of current research and minimizing bias. These are usually conducted by a team of researchers and take many months to produce.

Integrative Reviews aim to provide conceptual or narrative overview of findings on a specific topic. They are not as rigorous as systematic reviews, but should still incorporate clear and reproducible search methodologies. 

The literature search process of a review should be clearly documented in the methods section and include:

  • search terms (including keywords and formal subject headings)
  • databases used
  • additional search strategies (such as citation chasing)
  • inclusion and exclusion criteria for determining relevant sources

Evidence Synthesis

Citation Management

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Ekaterini Papadopoulou
Lemieux Library and McGoldrick Learning Commons
(206) 296-2341