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Literature Reviews

How to understand and write a literature review for an academic paper or research article.

The First Literature Review?

A clip of James Lind's A Treatise on Scurvy, 1783, from jameslindlibrary.orgScottish doctor James Lind, writing in 1753, realized that he couldn't write a short essay about scurvy without getting into a discussion of all the other work published on the subject, including weeding out the unreliable advice. "Indeed," said he, "before this subject could be set in a clear and proper light, it was necessary to remove a great deal of rubbish. Thus, what was first intended as a short paper to be published in the memoirs of our navy-society, has now swelled to a volume, not altogether suitable to the plan and institution of that laudable and learned body.” [See the original text at right, taken from jameslindlibrary.org.]

Lind also included a bibliography: “The Bibliotheca Scorbutica, or the collection of authors on the scurvy, is placed at the latter end of the book, as proper to be consulted in the dictionary-way.”


References

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

Lind, J. (1753). A Treatise of the Scurvy. In three parts, containing an inquiry into the nature, causes and cure, of that disease. Together with a critical and chronological view of what has been published on the subject. Retrieved from http://www.jameslindlibrary.org/lind-j-1753/

Bibliography

Carnwell, R., & Daly, W. (2001). Strategies for the construction of a critical review of the literature. Nurse Education in Practice, 1, 57-63. doi:10.1054/nepr.2001.0008

Cronin, P., Ryan, F., & Coughlan, M. (2008). Undertaking a literature review: A step-by-step approach. British Journal of Nursing, 17(1), 38-43. doi:10.12968/bjon.2008.17.1.28059

Froese, A. D., Gantz, B. S., & Henry,  A. L. (1998). Teaching students to write literature reviews: A meta-analytic model. Teaching of Psychology, 25, 102-105.

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

Kastner, M., Tricco, A.C., Soobiah, C. et al. (2012). What is the most appropriate knowledge synthesis method to conduct a review? Protocol for a scoping review. BMC Medical Research Methodology 12(114). doi:10.1186/1471-2288-12-114

McKenzie, J. E., & Brennan, S. E. (2017). Overviews of systematic reviews: Great promise, greater challenge. Systematic Reviews, 6, 185. doi:10.1186/s13643-017-0582-8

Moher, D., Stewart, L., & Shekelle, P. (2015). All in the family: Systematic reviews, rapid reviews, scoping reviews, realist reviews, and more. Systematic Reviews, 4, 183. doi:10.1186/s13643-015-0163-7

Munn, Z., Peters, M. D. J., Stern, C., Tufanaru, C., McArthur, A., & Aromataris, E. (2018). Systematic review or scoping review? Guidance for authors when choosing between a systematic or scoping review approach. BMC Medical Research Methodology, 18(1), 143. doi: 10.1186/s12874-018-0611-x

Webster, J., & Watson, R. (2002). Analyzing the past to prepare for the future: Writing a literature review. MIS Quarterly, 26(2), xiii-xxiii.

Xiao, Y., & Watson, M. (2019). Guidance on conducting a systematic literature review. Journal of Planning Education and Research, 39(1), 93–112. doi.org/10.1177/0739456X17723971

Reference Books on Academic Research and Writing

These Library ebooks include or focus on the literature review and how to perform one.

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