A literature review is a comprehensive and up-to-date overview of published information on a subject area. Conducting a literature review demands a careful examination of a body of literature that has been published that helps answer your research question. Literature reviewed includes scholarly journals, scholarly books, authoritative databases, primary sources and grey literature.
A literature review attempts to answer the following:
What is known about the subject?
What is the chronology of knowledge about my subject?
Are there any gaps in the literature?
Is there a consensus/debate on issues?
Summarize AND Synthesis
Synthesis: Different Solutions/What is missing/Trends/Debate/What is most relevant or pertinent.
Create a clear research question/statement
Define the scope of the review include limitations
(i.e. gender, age, location, nationality...)
Search existing literature including classic works on your topic and grey literature
Evaluate results and the evidence
(Avoid discounting information that contradicts your research)
This open textbook is designed for students in graduate-level nursing and education programs. From developing a research question to locating and evaluating sources to writing a sample literature review using appropriate publication guidelines, readers will be guided through the process.