The process of reading, analyzing, evaluating, and summarizing scholarly materials about a specific topic.
The results of a literature review may be compiled in a report or they may serve as part of a research article, thesis, or grant proposal.
- "Research literature reviews can be contrasted with more subjective examinations of recorded information. When doing a research review, you systematically examine all sources and describe and justify what you have done. This enables someone else to reproduce your methods and to determine objectively whether to accept the results of the review.
"In contrast, subjective reviews tend to be idiosyncratic. Subjective reviewers choose articles without justifying why they are selected, and they may give equal credence to good and poor studies. The results of subjective reviews are often based on a partial examination of the available literature, and their findings may be inaccurate or even false."
(Arlene Fink, Conducting Research Literature Reviews: From the Internet to Paper. Sage, 2009)
- "There should be clear links between the aims of your research and the literature review, the choice of research designs and means used to collect data, your discussion of the issues, and your conclusions and recommendations. To summarize, we can say that the research should:
- focus on a specific problem, issue or debate;
- relate to that problem, issue or debate in terms that show a balance between the theoretical, methodological and practical aspects of the topic;
- include a clearly stated research methodology based on the existing literature;
- provide an analytical and critically evaluative stance to the existing literature on the topic.
(Chris Hart, Doing a Literature Review. Sage, 1998)