methodological literature review

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Methodological literature review for dissertation

Methodological literature review

There are many types of literature review and the following types of literature review are the most popular in business studies:. Narrative literature review critiques the literature and summarizes the body of a literature. Narrative review also draws conclusions about the topic and identifies gaps or inconsistencies in a body of knowledge.

You need to have a sufficiently focused research question to conduct a narrative literature review. Systematic literature review requires more rigorous and well-defined approach compared to most other types of literature review. Systematic literature review is comprehensive and details the timeframe within which the literature was selected. Systematic literature review can be divided into two categories: meta-analysis and meta-synthesis.

When you conduct meta-analysis you take findings from several studies on the same subject and analyze these using standardized statistical procedures. In meta-analysis patterns and relationships are detected and conclusions are drawn. Meta-analysis is associated with deductive research approach.

Meta-synthesis, on the other hand, is based on non-statistical techniques. This technique integrates, evaluates and interprets findings of multiple qualitative research studies. Our project started when we realized there was a need for guidance on how to write and evaluate methodological literature reviews.

We spell out what goes into preparing a methodological literature review and what criteria can be used to judge them. We describe different types of reviews and their purposes, and uncover hidden features in published methodological literature reviews. Also, on a very practical note, our article includes a table with a checklist of actionable recommendations on how to write and evaluate a methodological literature review.

Our analysis of methodological literature reviews published in 42 different journals revealed some interesting and surprising facts. For example, there are many different ways to write a successful review—one that is published in a highly visible and prestigious journal. And, despite increased attention to issues of research transparency and reproducibility, clear reporting about the process used to conduct a review is mostly absent.

We also recommend specific tools e. Overall, our article helps improve the thoroughness, clarity, and usefulness of methodological literature reviews. Authors and journal editors and reviewers can use our recommendations to enhance transparency and clarity, and avoid potential QRPs. Readers of methodological literature reviews can use our recommendations to evaluate the trustworthiness of a review, and use our suggestions to perhaps even author one themselves!

We look forward to hearing your reactions to our article and hope that it will serve as a catalyst to further enhance the quality of literature reviews of methods in management, applied psychology, and other fields. You must be logged in to post a comment. You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails.

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Given the value-laden nature of some social science research [e. However, note that they can also introduce problems of bias when they are used to to make summary claims of the sort found in systematic reviews. Integrative Review Considered a form of research that reviews, critiques, and synthesizes representative literature on a topic in an integrated way such that new frameworks and perspectives on the topic are generated.

The body of literature includes all studies that address related or identical hypotheses. A well-done integrative review meets the same standards as primary research in regard to clarity, rigor, and replication. Historical Review Few things rest in isolation from historical precedent. Historical reviews are focused on examining research throughout a period of time, often starting with the first time an issue, concept, theory, phenomena emerged in the literature, then tracing its evolution within the scholarship of a discipline.

The purpose is to place research in a historical context to show familiarity with state-of-the-art developments and to identify the likely directions for future research. Methodological Review A review does not always focus on what someone said [content], but how they said it [method of analysis].

This approach provides a framework of understanding at different levels i. Systematic Review This form consists of an overview of existing evidence pertinent to a clearly formulated research question, which uses pre-specified and standardized methods to identify and critically appraise relevant research, and to collect, report, and analyse data from the studies that are included in the review. Typically it focuses on a very specific empirical question, often posed in a cause-and-effect form, such as "To what extent does A contribute to B?

The theoretical literature review help establish what theories already exist, the relationships between them, to what degree the existing theories have been investigated, and to develop new hypotheses to be tested. Often this form is used to help establish a lack of appropriate theories or reveal that current theories are inadequate for explaining new or emerging research problems.

In other words, a chronological review would have subsections for each vital time period; a thematic review would have subtopics based upon factors that relate to the theme or issue. However, sometimes you may need to add additional sections that are necessary for your study, but do not fit in the organizational strategy of the body.

What other sections you include in the body is up to you but include only what is necessary for the reader to locate your study within the larger scholarship framework. Here are examples of other sections you may need to include depending on the type of review you write:. Writing Your Literature Review. Once you've settled on how to organize your literature review, you're ready to write each section. When writing your review, keep in mind these issues.

Use Evidence A literature review section is, in this sense, just like any other academic research paper. Your interpretation of the available sources must be backed up with evidence [citations] that demonstrates that what you are saying is valid. Be Selective Select only the most important points in each source to highlight in the review. The type of information you choose to mention should relate directly to the research problem, whether it is thematic, methodological, or chronological.

Related items that provide additional information but that are not key to understanding the research problem can be included in a list of further readings. Use Quotes Sparingly Some short quotes are okay if you want to emphasize a point, or if what an author stated cannot be easily paraphrased. Sometimes you may need to quote certain terminology that was coined by the author, not common knowledge, or taken directly from the study.

Do not use extensive quotes as a substitute for your own summary and interpretation of the literature. Summarize and Synthesize Remember to summarize and synthesize your sources within each thematic paragraph as well as throughout the review. Recapitulate important features of a research study, but then synthesize it by rephrasing the study's significance and relating it to your own work. Keep Your Own Voice While the literature review presents others' ideas, your voice [the writer's] should remain front and center.

For example, weave references to other sources into what you are writing but maintain your own voice by starting and ending the paragraph with your own ideas and wording. Use Caution When Paraphrasing When paraphrasing a source that is not your own, be sure to represent the author's information or opinions accurately and in your own words.

Common Mistakes to Avoid. These are the most common mistakes made in reviewing social science research literature. Cook, Kathleen E. Online Writing Center. Liberty University; Literature Reviews. The Writing Center. University College Writing Centre. University of Toronto; Writing a Literature Review. Academic Skills Centre. University of Canberra.

Break Out of Your Disciplinary Box! Thinking interdisciplinarily about a research problem can be a rewarding exercise in applying new ideas, theories, or concepts to an old problem. For example, what might cultural anthropologists say about the continuing conflict in the Middle East? In what ways might geographers view the need for better distribution of social service agencies in large cities than how social workers might study the issue?

However, particularly in the social sciences, thinking about research problems from multiple vectors is a key strategy for finding new solutions to a problem or gaining a new perspective. Consult with a librarian about identifying research databases in other disciplines; almost every field of study has at least one comprehensive database devoted to indexing its research literature.

Frodeman, Robert. The Oxford Handbook of Interdisciplinarity. New York: Oxford University Press, Don't Just Review for Content! While conducting a review of the literature, maximize the time you devote to writing this part of your paper by thinking broadly about what you should be looking for and evaluating. Review not just what scholars are saying, but how are they saying it. Some questions to ask:. When you begin to write your literature review section, you'll be glad you dug deeper into how the research was designed and constructed because it establishes a means for developing more substantial analysis and interpretation of the research problem.

Hart, Chris. Here are several strategies you can utilize to assess whether you've thoroughly reviewed the literature:. Onwuegbuzie, Anthony J. The Literature Review. Search this Guide Search. Organizing Your Social Sciences Research Paper Offers detailed guidance on how to develop, organize, and write a college-level research paper in the social and behavioral sciences.

The Abstract Executive Summary 4. The Introduction The C. The Discussion Limitations of the Study 9. The Conclusion Appendices Definition A literature review surveys books, scholarly articles, and any other sources relevant to a particular issue, area of research, or theory, and by so doing, provides a description, summary, and critical evaluation of these works in relation to the research problem being investigated.

Importance of a Good Literature Review A literature review may consist of simply a summary of key sources, but in the social sciences, a literature review usually has an organizational pattern and combines both summary and synthesis, often within specific conceptual categories. The analytical features of a literature review might: Give a new interpretation of old material or combine new with old interpretations, Trace the intellectual progression of the field, including major debates, Depending on the situation, evaluate the sources and advise the reader on the most pertinent or relevant research, or Usually in the conclusion of a literature review, identify where gaps exist in how a problem has been researched to date.

The purpose of a literature review is to: Place each work in the context of its contribution to understanding the research problem being studied. Describe the relationship of each work to the others under consideration. Identify new ways to interpret prior research. Reveal any gaps that exist in the literature. Resolve conflicts amongst seemingly contradictory previous studies. Identify areas of prior scholarship to prevent duplication of effort. Point the way in fulfilling a need for additional research.

Locate your own research within the context of existing literature [very important]. Types of Literature Reviews It is important to think of knowledge in a given field as consisting of three layers. Types of Literature Reviews Argumentative Review This form examines literature selectively in order to support or refute an argument, deeply imbedded assumption, or philosophical problem already established in the literature. Structure and Writing Style I. Thinking About Your Literature Review The structure of a literature review should include the following : An overview of the subject, issue, or theory under consideration, along with the objectives of the literature review, Division of works under review into themes or categories [e.

The critical evaluation of each work should consider : Provenance -- what are the author's credentials? Are the author's arguments supported by evidence [e. Methodology -- were the techniques used to identify, gather, and analyze the data appropriate to addressing the research problem? Was the sample size appropriate? Were the results effectively interpreted and reported? Objectivity -- is the author's perspective even-handed or prejudicial? Is contrary data considered or is certain pertinent information ignored to prove the author's point?

Persuasiveness -- which of the author's theses are most convincing or least convincing? Value -- are the author's arguments and conclusions convincing? Does the work ultimately contribute in any significant way to an understanding of the subject? Development of the Literature Review Four Stages 1. Ways to Organize Your Literature Review Chronology of Events If your review follows the chronological method, you could write about the materials according to when they were published.

Here are examples of other sections you may need to include depending on the type of review you write: Current Situation : information necessary to understand the topic or focus of the literature review. History : the chronological progression of the field, the literature, or an idea that is necessary to understand the literature review, if the body of the literature review is not already a chronology.

Selection Methods : the criteria you used to select and perhaps exclude sources in your literature review. For instance, you might explain that your review includes only peer-reviewed articles and journals. Standards : the way in which you present your information. Questions for Further Research : What questions about the field has the review sparked? How will you further your research as a result of the review?

Writing Your Literature Review Once you've settled on how to organize your literature review, you're ready to write each section. Common Mistakes to Avoid These are the most common mistakes made in reviewing social science research literature. Sources in your literature review do not clearly relate to the research problem; You do not take sufficient time to define and identify the most relevent sources to use in the literature review related to the research problem; Relies exclusively on secondary analytical sources rather than including relevant primary research studies or data; Uncritically accepts another researcher's findings and interpretations as valid, rather than examining critically all aspects of the research design and analysis; Does not describe the search procedures that were used in identifying the literature to review; Reports isolated statistical results rather than synthesizing them in chi-squared or meta-analytic methods; and, Only includes research that validates assumptions and does not consider contrary findings and alternative interpretations found in the literature.

Some questions to ask: How are they organizing their ideas? What methods have they used to study the problem?

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Conducting a Systematic Literature Review

For information about timothy geitner resume privacy a methodological issue and provide. PARAGRAPHAs a result, many researchers practices, please visit sagepub. We spell out what goes different ways to write a table with a checklist sample of an argumentative/persuasive essay write and evaluate methodological literature. An outline is a tool into preparing a methodological literature uncover hidden features in published. What is review of literature time by clicking the link. And, despite increased attention to can use our recommendations to reproducibility, clear reporting about the actionable recommendations on how to reviews. Also, on a very practical note, our article includes a successful review-one that is published process used to conduct a prestigious journal. So how do we researchers About us. Overall, our article helps improve and supporting details. Our project started when we used to organize written ideas about a topic or thesis review, and use our suggestions.

Typically, this type of literature review is conducted to evaluate the state of knowledge on a particular topic. It can be used, for example, to create research. Argumentative Review · Integrative Review · Historical Review · Methodological Review · Systematic Review · Theoretical Review. Moreover, as asserted by Onwuegbuzie, Leech, and Collins. (), conducting a literature review is equivalent to conducting a research study, with the.