A diversity of feedback perspectives on a literature review can help identify where the consensus view stands in the landscape of the current scientific understanding of an issue . In many cases, reviewers of the literature will have published studies relevant to the review they are writing.
This could create a conflict of interest: how can reviewers report objectively on their own work ? Some scientists may be overly enthusiastic about what they have published, and thus risk giving too much importance to their own findings in the review. However, bias could also occur in the other direction: some scientists may be unduly dismissive of their own achievements, so that they will tend to downplay their contribution if any to a field when reviewing it. In general, a review of the literature should neither be a public relations brochure nor an exercise in competitive self-denial.
If a reviewer is up to the job of producing a well-organized and methodical review, which flows well and provides a service to the readership, then it should be possible to be objective in reviewing one's own relevant findings.
How to write a good literature review article?
In reviews written by multiple authors, this may be achieved by assigning the review of the results of a coauthor to different coauthors. Given the progressive acceleration in the publication of scientific papers, today's reviews of the literature need awareness not just of the overall direction and achievements of a field of inquiry, but also of the latest studies, so as not to become out-of-date before they have been published.
This implies that literature reviewers would do well to keep an eye on electronic lists of papers in press, given that it can take months before these appear in scientific databases. Some reviews declare that they have scanned the literature up to a certain point in time, but given that peer review can be a rather lengthy process, a full search for newly appeared literature at the revision stage may be worthwhile.
Assessing the contribution of papers that have just appeared is particularly challenging, because there is little perspective with which to gauge their significance and impact on further research and society. Inevitably, new papers on the reviewed topic including independently written literature reviews will appear from all quarters after the review has been published, so that there may soon be the need for an updated review.
But this is the nature of science  — . I wish everybody good luck with writing a review of the literature. Many thanks to M. Barbosa, K. Dehnen-Schmutz, T.
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Weisberg, and X. Xu for insights and discussions, and to P. Bourne, T. Matoni, and D. Smith for helpful comments on a previous draft. Rule 1: Define a Topic and Audience How to choose which topic to review? The topic must at least be: interesting to you ideally, you should have come across a series of recent papers related to your line of work that call for a critical summary , an important aspect of the field so that many readers will be interested in the review and there will be enough material to write it , and a well-defined issue otherwise you could potentially include thousands of publications, which would make the review unhelpful.
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Rule 2: Search and Re-search the Literature After having chosen your topic and audience, start by checking the literature and downloading relevant papers. Five pieces of advice here: keep track of the search items you use so that your search can be replicated  , keep a list of papers whose pdfs you cannot access immediately so as to retrieve them later with alternative strategies , use a paper management system e. Download: PPT. Figure 1. A conceptual diagram of the need for different types of literature reviews depending on the amount of published research papers and literature reviews.
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Rule 3: Take Notes While Reading If you read the papers first, and only afterwards start writing the review, you will need a very good memory to remember who wrote what, and what your impressions and associations were while reading each single paper. Rule 4: Choose the Type of Review You Wish to Write After having taken notes while reading the literature, you will have a rough idea of the amount of material available for the review. Rule 5: Keep the Review Focused, but Make It of Broad Interest Whether your plan is to write a mini- or a full review, it is good advice to keep it focused 16 , Rule 6: Be Critical and Consistent Reviewing the literature is not stamp collecting.
After having read a review of the literature, a reader should have a rough idea of: the major achievements in the reviewed field, the main areas of debate, and the outstanding research questions. Rule 7: Find a Logical Structure Like a well-baked cake, a good review has a number of telling features: it is worth the reader's time, timely, systematic, well written, focused, and critical. Rule 8: Make Use of Feedback Reviews of the literature are normally peer-reviewed in the same way as research papers, and rightly so . Rule 9: Include Your Own Relevant Research, but Be Objective In many cases, reviewers of the literature will have published studies relevant to the review they are writing.
Rule Be Up-to-Date, but Do Not Forget Older Studies Given the progressive acceleration in the publication of scientific papers, today's reviews of the literature need awareness not just of the overall direction and achievements of a field of inquiry, but also of the latest studies, so as not to become out-of-date before they have been published. Acknowledgments Many thanks to M. References 1. Rapple C The role of the critical review article in alleviating information overload. Annual Reviews White Paper. Accessed May Identify areas of prior scholarship to preventduplication of effort.
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Point a way forward for further research. Count…Develop general explanation for observed variationsin a behavior or phenomenon. Identify data sources that other researchers haveused. Develop alternative research projects. Discover how a research project is related to thework of others. Literature can be reviewed from twosources Primary sources2. Secondary sourceswww.
Feelingsafe the psychosocial needs of ICU patients. Journal ofNursing Scholarship, American Journal of criticalcare, Electronic Sources:Computer-assisted literature search hasrevolutionized the review of literature. These searches, however, for a variety ofreasons may not provide the desiredreferences.
Count…General literature search can be conductedthrough search engines like Yahoo www. A free search may be carriedwww. It may be searched atwww.
Writing the Introduction…While writing the introduction, following steps shouldbe taken care of:Define or identify the general topic, issue, or area ofconcern, thus, providing appropriate context forreviewing the literature. Writing the Body…Following measures need to be undertaken while writingthe body of the literature. Example…Sexual harassment has many consequences.
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Example of a badreviewExample of a better reviewwww. Literature reviews are not the place for long quotes or in-depthanalysis of each point. Be selective:Researcher should narrow down a lot of information into asmall space for literature review.