Banner

Citation Styles

  • Chicago Style
  • Annotated Bibliographies

What is a Lit Review?

How to write a lit review.

  • Video Introduction to Lit Reviews

Main Objectives

Examples of lit reviews, additional resources.

  • Zotero (Citation Management)

What is a literature review?

green checkmark

  • Either a complete piece of writing unto itself or a section of a larger piece of writing like a book or article
  • A thorough and critical look at the information and perspectives that other experts and scholars have written about a specific topic
  • A way to give historical perspective on an issue and show how other researchers have addressed a problem
  • An analysis of sources based on your own perspective on the topic
  • Based on the most pertinent and significant research conducted in the field, both new and old

Red X

  • A descriptive list or collection of summaries of other research without synthesis or analysis
  • An annotated bibliography
  • A literary review (a brief, critical discussion about the merits and weaknesses of a literary work such as a play, novel or a book of poems)
  • Exhaustive; the objective is not to list as many relevant books, articles, reports as possible
  • To convey to your reader what knowledge and ideas have been established on a topic
  • To explain what the strengths and weaknesses of that knowledge and those ideas might be
  • To learn how others have defined and measured key concepts    
  • To keep the writer/reader up to date with current developments and historical trends in a particular field or discipline
  • To establish context for the argument explored in the rest of a paper
  • To provide evidence that may be used to support your own findings
  • To demonstrate your understanding and your ability to critically evaluate research in the field
  • To suggest previously unused or underused methodologies, designs, and quantitative and qualitative strategies
  • To identify gaps in previous studies and flawed methodologies and/or theoretical approaches in order to avoid replication of mistakes
  • To help the researcher avoid repetition of earlier research
  • To suggest unexplored populations
  • To determine whether past studies agree or disagree and identify strengths and weaknesses on both sides of a controversy in the literature

Cat

  • Choose a topic that is interesting to you; this makes the research and writing process more enjoyable and rewarding.
  • For a literature review, you'll also want to make sure that the topic you choose is one that other researchers have explored before so that you'll be able to find plenty of relevant sources to review.

magnifying glass held up to cat

  • Your research doesn't need to be exhaustive. Pay careful attention to bibliographies. Focus on the most frequently cited literature about your topic and literature from the best known scholars in your field. Ask yourself: "Does this source make a significant contribution to the understanding of my topic?"
  • Reading other literature reviews from your field may help you get ideas for themes to look for in your research. You can usually find some of these through the library databases by adding literature review as a keyword in your search.
  • Start with the most recent publications and work backwards. This way, you ensure you have the most current information, and it becomes easier to identify the most seminal earlier sources by reviewing the material that current researchers are citing.

Labeled "Scientific Cat Types" with cartoon of cat on back ("Nugget"), cat lying iwth legs tucked underneath ("loaf") and cat sprawled out ("noodle")

The organization of your lit review should be determined based on what you'd like to highlight from your research. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Chronology : Discuss literature in chronological order of its writing/publication to demonstrate a change in trends over time or to detail a history of controversy in the field or of developments in the understanding of your topic.  
  • Theme: Group your sources by subject or theme to show the variety of angles from which your topic has been studied. This works well if, for example, your goal is to identify an angle or subtopic that has so far been overlooked by researchers.  
  • Methodology: Grouping your sources by methodology (for example, dividing the literature into qualitative vs. quantitative studies or grouping sources according to the populations studied) is useful for illustrating an overlooked population, an unused or underused methodology, or a flawed experimental technique.

cat lying on laptop as though typing

  • Be selective. Highlight only the most important and relevant points from a source in your review.
  • Use quotes sparingly. Short quotes can help to emphasize a point, but thorough analysis of language from each source is generally unnecessary in a literature review.
  • Synthesize your sources. Your goal is not to make a list of summaries of each source but to show how the sources relate to one another and to your own work.
  • Make sure that your own voice and perspective remains front and center. Don't rely too heavily on summary or paraphrasing. For each source, draw a conclusion about how it relates to your own work or to the other literature on your topic.
  • Be objective. When you identify a disagreement in the literature, be sure to represent both sides. Don't exclude a source simply on the basis that it does not support your own research hypothesis.
  • At the end of your lit review, make suggestions for future research. What subjects, populations, methodologies, or theoretical lenses warrant further exploration? What common flaws or biases did you identify that could be corrected in future studies?

cat lying on laptop, facing screen; text reads "needs moar ciatations"

  • Double check that you've correctly cited each of the sources you've used in the citation style requested by your professor (APA, MLA, etc.) and that your lit review is formatted according to the guidelines for that style.

Your literature review should:

  • Be focused on and organized around your topic.
  • Synthesize your research into a summary of what is and is not known about your topic.
  • Identify any gaps or areas of controversy in the literature related to your topic.
  • Suggest questions that require further research.
  • Have your voice and perspective at the forefront rather than merely summarizing others' work.
  • Cyberbullying: How Physical Intimidation Influences the Way People are Bullied
  • Use of Propofol and Emergence Agitation in Children
  • Eternity and Immortality in Spinoza's 'Ethics'
  • Literature Review Tutorials and Samples - Wilson Library at University of La Verne
  • Literature Reviews: Introduction - University Library at Georgia State
  • Literature Reviews - The Writing Center at UNC Chapel Hill
  • Writing a Literature Review - Boston College Libraries
  • Write a Literature Review - University Library at UC Santa Cruz
  • << Previous: Annotated Bibliographies
  • Next: Zotero (Citation Management) >>
  • Last Updated: Jan 17, 2024 2:47 PM
  • URL: https://researchguides.elac.edu/Citation

Purdue Online Writing Lab Purdue OWL® College of Liberal Arts

Writing a Literature Review

OWL logo

Welcome to the Purdue OWL

This page is brought to you by the OWL at Purdue University. When printing this page, you must include the entire legal notice.

Copyright ©1995-2018 by The Writing Lab & The OWL at Purdue and Purdue University. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, reproduced, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our terms and conditions of fair use.

A literature review is a document or section of a document that collects key sources on a topic and discusses those sources in conversation with each other (also called synthesis ). The lit review is an important genre in many disciplines, not just literature (i.e., the study of works of literature such as novels and plays). When we say “literature review” or refer to “the literature,” we are talking about the research ( scholarship ) in a given field. You will often see the terms “the research,” “the scholarship,” and “the literature” used mostly interchangeably.

Where, when, and why would I write a lit review?

There are a number of different situations where you might write a literature review, each with slightly different expectations; different disciplines, too, have field-specific expectations for what a literature review is and does. For instance, in the humanities, authors might include more overt argumentation and interpretation of source material in their literature reviews, whereas in the sciences, authors are more likely to report study designs and results in their literature reviews; these differences reflect these disciplines’ purposes and conventions in scholarship. You should always look at examples from your own discipline and talk to professors or mentors in your field to be sure you understand your discipline’s conventions, for literature reviews as well as for any other genre.

A literature review can be a part of a research paper or scholarly article, usually falling after the introduction and before the research methods sections. In these cases, the lit review just needs to cover scholarship that is important to the issue you are writing about; sometimes it will also cover key sources that informed your research methodology.

Lit reviews can also be standalone pieces, either as assignments in a class or as publications. In a class, a lit review may be assigned to help students familiarize themselves with a topic and with scholarship in their field, get an idea of the other researchers working on the topic they’re interested in, find gaps in existing research in order to propose new projects, and/or develop a theoretical framework and methodology for later research. As a publication, a lit review usually is meant to help make other scholars’ lives easier by collecting and summarizing, synthesizing, and analyzing existing research on a topic. This can be especially helpful for students or scholars getting into a new research area, or for directing an entire community of scholars toward questions that have not yet been answered.

What are the parts of a lit review?

Most lit reviews use a basic introduction-body-conclusion structure; if your lit review is part of a larger paper, the introduction and conclusion pieces may be just a few sentences while you focus most of your attention on the body. If your lit review is a standalone piece, the introduction and conclusion take up more space and give you a place to discuss your goals, research methods, and conclusions separately from where you discuss the literature itself.

Introduction:

  • An introductory paragraph that explains what your working topic and thesis is
  • A forecast of key topics or texts that will appear in the review
  • Potentially, a description of how you found sources and how you analyzed them for inclusion and discussion in the review (more often found in published, standalone literature reviews than in lit review sections in an article or research paper)
  • Summarize and synthesize: Give an overview of the main points of each source and combine them into a coherent whole
  • Analyze and interpret: Don’t just paraphrase other researchers – add your own interpretations where possible, discussing the significance of findings in relation to the literature as a whole
  • Critically Evaluate: Mention the strengths and weaknesses of your sources
  • Write in well-structured paragraphs: Use transition words and topic sentence to draw connections, comparisons, and contrasts.

Conclusion:

  • Summarize the key findings you have taken from the literature and emphasize their significance
  • Connect it back to your primary research question

How should I organize my lit review?

Lit reviews can take many different organizational patterns depending on what you are trying to accomplish with the review. Here are some examples:

  • Chronological : The simplest approach is to trace the development of the topic over time, which helps familiarize the audience with the topic (for instance if you are introducing something that is not commonly known in your field). If you choose this strategy, be careful to avoid simply listing and summarizing sources in order. Try to analyze the patterns, turning points, and key debates that have shaped the direction of the field. Give your interpretation of how and why certain developments occurred (as mentioned previously, this may not be appropriate in your discipline — check with a teacher or mentor if you’re unsure).
  • Thematic : If you have found some recurring central themes that you will continue working with throughout your piece, you can organize your literature review into subsections that address different aspects of the topic. For example, if you are reviewing literature about women and religion, key themes can include the role of women in churches and the religious attitude towards women.
  • Qualitative versus quantitative research
  • Empirical versus theoretical scholarship
  • Divide the research by sociological, historical, or cultural sources
  • Theoretical : In many humanities articles, the literature review is the foundation for the theoretical framework. You can use it to discuss various theories, models, and definitions of key concepts. You can argue for the relevance of a specific theoretical approach or combine various theorical concepts to create a framework for your research.

What are some strategies or tips I can use while writing my lit review?

Any lit review is only as good as the research it discusses; make sure your sources are well-chosen and your research is thorough. Don’t be afraid to do more research if you discover a new thread as you’re writing. More info on the research process is available in our "Conducting Research" resources .

As you’re doing your research, create an annotated bibliography ( see our page on the this type of document ). Much of the information used in an annotated bibliography can be used also in a literature review, so you’ll be not only partially drafting your lit review as you research, but also developing your sense of the larger conversation going on among scholars, professionals, and any other stakeholders in your topic.

Usually you will need to synthesize research rather than just summarizing it. This means drawing connections between sources to create a picture of the scholarly conversation on a topic over time. Many student writers struggle to synthesize because they feel they don’t have anything to add to the scholars they are citing; here are some strategies to help you:

  • It often helps to remember that the point of these kinds of syntheses is to show your readers how you understand your research, to help them read the rest of your paper.
  • Writing teachers often say synthesis is like hosting a dinner party: imagine all your sources are together in a room, discussing your topic. What are they saying to each other?
  • Look at the in-text citations in each paragraph. Are you citing just one source for each paragraph? This usually indicates summary only. When you have multiple sources cited in a paragraph, you are more likely to be synthesizing them (not always, but often
  • Read more about synthesis here.

The most interesting literature reviews are often written as arguments (again, as mentioned at the beginning of the page, this is discipline-specific and doesn’t work for all situations). Often, the literature review is where you can establish your research as filling a particular gap or as relevant in a particular way. You have some chance to do this in your introduction in an article, but the literature review section gives a more extended opportunity to establish the conversation in the way you would like your readers to see it. You can choose the intellectual lineage you would like to be part of and whose definitions matter most to your thinking (mostly humanities-specific, but this goes for sciences as well). In addressing these points, you argue for your place in the conversation, which tends to make the lit review more compelling than a simple reporting of other sources.

Boatwright Memorial Library

  • Literature Reviews
  • Quick Citing in Databases
  • Chicago/Turabian
  • ASA & AAA (Soc/Ant)
  • ACS (Chemistry)
  • AP (Associated Press)
  • APSA (Political Science)
  • SBL (Society of Biblical Literature)
  • Harvard Style
  • MS Word Help
  • DOIs (Digital Object Identifiers)
  • Annotated Bibliographies
  • EndNote Web
  • Citation exercises This link opens in a new window

Literature Reviews: Overview

This video from NCSU Libraries gives a helpful overview of literature reviews. Even though it says it's "for graduate students," the principles are the same for undergraduate students too!

Reading a Scholarly Article

  • Reading a Scholarly Article or Literature Review Highlights sections of a scholarly article to identify structure of a literature review.
  • Anatomy of a Scholarly Article (NCSU Libraries) Interactive tutorial that describes parts of a scholarly article typical of a Sciences or Social Sciences research article.
  • Evaluating Information | Reading a Scholarly Article (Brown University Library) Provides examples and tips across disciplines for reading academic articles.
  • Reading Academic Articles for Research [LIBRE Project] Gabriel Winer & Elizabeth Wadell (ASCCC Open Educational Resources Initiative (OERI))

Literature Review Examples

UR Libraries subscription

What is a Literature Review?

The literature review is a written explanation by you, the author, of the research already done on the topic, question or issue at hand. What do we know (or not know) about this issue/topic/question?

  • A literature review provides a thorough background of the topic by giving your reader a guided overview of major findings and current gaps in what is known so far about the topic. 
  • The literature review is not a list (like an annotated bibliography) -- it is a narrative helping your reader understand the topic and where you will "stand" in the debate between scholars regarding the interpretation of meaning and understanding why things happen. Your literature review  helps your reader start to see the "camps" or "sides" within a debate, plus who studies the topic and their arguments. 
  • A good literature review should help the reader sense how you will answer your research question and should highlight the preceding arguments and evidence you think are most helpful in moving the topic forward.
  • The purpose of the literature review is to dive into the existing debates on the topic to learn about the various schools of thought and arguments, using your research question as an anchor. If you find something that doesn't help answer your question, you don't have to read (or include) it. That's the power of the question format: it helps you filter what to read and include in your literature review, and what to ignore.

How Do I Start?

Essentially you will need to:

  • Identify and evaluate relevant literature (books, journal articles, etc.) on your topic/question.
  • Figure out how to classify what you've gathered. You could do this by schools of thought, different answers to a question, the authors' disciplinary approaches, the research methods used, or many other ways.
  • Use those groupings to craft a narrative, or story, about the relevant literature on this topic. 
  • Remember to cite your sources properly! 
  • Research: Getting Started Visit this guide to learn more about finding and evaluating resources.
  • Literature Review: Synthesizing Multiple Sources (IUPUI Writing Center) An in-depth guide on organizing and synthesizing what you've read into a literature review.
  • Guide to Using a Synthesis Matrix (NCSU Writing and Speaking Tutorial Service) Overview of using a tool called a Synthesis Matrix to organize your literature review.
  • Synthesis Matrix Template (VCU Libraries) A word document from VCU Libraries that will help you create your own Synthesis Matrix.

Additional Tutorials and Resources

  • UR Writer's Web: Using Sources Guidance from the UR Writing Center on how to effectively use sources in your writing (which is what you're doing in your literature review!).
  • Write a Literature Review (VCU Libraries) "Lit Reviews 101" with links to helpful tools and resources, including powerpoint slides from a literature review workshop.
  • Literature Reviews (UNC Writing Center) Overview of the literature review process, including examples of different ways to organize a lit review.
  • “Ten Simple Rules for Writing a Literature Review.” Pautasso, Marco. “Ten Simple Rules for Writing a Literature Review.” PLOS Computational Biology, vol. 9, no. 7, July 2013, p. e1003149.
  • Writing the Literature Review Part I (University of Maryland University College) Video that explains more about what a literature review is and is not. Run time: 5:21.
  • Writing the Literature Review Part II (University of Maryland University College) Video about organizing your sources and the writing process. Run time: 7:40.
  • Writing a Literature Review (OWL @ Purdue)
  • << Previous: Annotated Bibliographies
  • Next: Zotero >>

Georgia Gwinnett College Kaufman Library logo

Table of contents

Why write a literature review, examples of literature reviews, step 1: search for relevant literature, step 2: evaluate and select sources, step 3: identify themes, debates and gaps, step 4: outline your literature review’s structure, step 5: write your literature review, frequently asked questions about literature reviews, introduction.

  • Quick Run-through
  • Step 1 & 2

When you write a dissertation or thesis, you will have to conduct a literature review to situate your research within existing knowledge. The literature review gives you a chance to:

  • Demonstrate your familiarity with the topic and scholarly context
  • Develop a theoretical framework and methodology for your research
  • Position yourself in relation to other researchers and theorists
  • Show how your dissertation addresses a gap or contributes to a debate

You might also have to write a literature review as a stand-alone assignment. In this case, the purpose is to evaluate the current state of research and demonstrate your knowledge of scholarly debates around a topic.

The content will look slightly different in each case, but the process of conducting a literature review follows the same steps. We’ve written a step-by-step guide that you can follow below.

Literature review guide

Prevent plagiarism, run a free check.

Writing literature reviews can be quite challenging! A good starting point could be to look at some examples, depending on what kind of literature review you’d like to write.

  • Example literature review #1: “Why Do People Migrate? A Review of the Theoretical Literature” ( Theoretical literature review about the development of economic migration theory from the 1950s to today.)
  • Example literature review #2: “Literature review as a research methodology: An overview and guidelines” ( Methodological literature review about interdisciplinary knowledge acquisition and production.)
  • Example literature review #3: “The Use of Technology in English Language Learning: A Literature Review” ( Thematic literature review about the effects of technology on language acquisition.)
  • Example literature review #4: “Learners’ Listening Comprehension Difficulties in English Language Learning: A Literature Review” ( Chronological literature review about how the concept of listening skills has changed over time.)

You can also check out our templates with literature review examples and sample outlines at the links below.

Download Word doc Download Google doc

Before you begin searching for literature, you need a clearly defined topic .

If you are writing the literature review section of a dissertation or research paper, you will search for literature related to your research objectives and questions .

If you are writing a literature review as a stand-alone assignment, you will have to choose a focus and develop a central question to direct your search. Unlike a dissertation research question, this question has to be answerable without collecting original data. You should be able to answer it based only on a review of existing publications.

Make a list of keywords

Start by creating a list of keywords related to your research topic. Include each of the key concepts or variables you’re interested in, and list any synonyms and related terms. You can add to this list if you discover new keywords in the process of your literature search.

  • Social media, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, TikTok
  • Body image, self-perception, self-esteem, mental health
  • Generation Z, teenagers, adolescents, youth

Search for relevant sources

Use your keywords to begin searching for sources. Some databases to search for journals and articles include:

  • Your university’s library catalogue
  • Google Scholar
  • Project Muse (humanities and social sciences)
  • Medline (life sciences and biomedicine)
  • EconLit (economics)
  • Inspec (physics, engineering and computer science)

You can use boolean operators to help narrow down your search:

Read the abstract to find out whether an article is relevant to your question. When you find a useful book or article, you can check the bibliography to find other relevant sources.

To identify the most important publications on your topic, take note of recurring citations. If the same authors, books or articles keep appearing in your reading, make sure to seek them out.

You probably won’t be able to read absolutely everything that has been written on the topic – you’ll have to evaluate which sources are most relevant to your questions.

For each publication, ask yourself:

  • What question or problem is the author addressing?
  • What are the key concepts and how are they defined?
  • What are the key theories, models and methods? Does the research use established frameworks or take an innovative approach?
  • What are the results and conclusions of the study?
  • How does the publication relate to other literature in the field? Does it confirm, add to, or challenge established knowledge?
  • How does the publication contribute to your understanding of the topic? What are its key insights and arguments?
  • What are the strengths and weaknesses of the research?

Make sure the sources you use are credible, and make sure you read any landmark studies and major theories in your field of research.

You can find out how many times an article has been cited on Google Scholar – a high citation count means the article has been influential in the field, and should certainly be included in your literature review.

The scope of your review will depend on your topic and discipline: in the sciences you usually only review recent literature, but in the humanities you might take a long historical perspective (for example, to trace how a concept has changed in meaning over time).

Remember that you can use our template to summarise and evaluate sources you’re thinking about using!

Take notes and cite your sources

As you read, you should also begin the writing process. Take notes that you can later incorporate into the text of your literature review.

It’s important to keep track of your sources with references to avoid plagiarism . It can be helpful to make an annotated bibliography, where you compile full reference information and write a paragraph of summary and analysis for each source. This helps you remember what you read and saves time later in the process.

You can use our free APA Reference Generator for quick, correct, consistent citations.

To begin organising your literature review’s argument and structure, you need to understand the connections and relationships between the sources you’ve read. Based on your reading and notes, you can look for:

  • Trends and patterns (in theory, method or results): do certain approaches become more or less popular over time?
  • Themes: what questions or concepts recur across the literature?
  • Debates, conflicts and contradictions: where do sources disagree?
  • Pivotal publications: are there any influential theories or studies that changed the direction of the field?
  • Gaps: what is missing from the literature? Are there weaknesses that need to be addressed?

This step will help you work out the structure of your literature review and (if applicable) show how your own research will contribute to existing knowledge.

  • Most research has focused on young women.
  • There is an increasing interest in the visual aspects of social media.
  • But there is still a lack of robust research on highly-visual platforms like Instagram and Snapchat – this is a gap that you could address in your own research.

There are various approaches to organising the body of a literature review. You should have a rough idea of your strategy before you start writing.

Depending on the length of your literature review, you can combine several of these strategies (for example, your overall structure might be thematic, but each theme is discussed chronologically).

Chronological

The simplest approach is to trace the development of the topic over time. However, if you choose this strategy, be careful to avoid simply listing and summarising sources in order.

Try to analyse patterns, turning points and key debates that have shaped the direction of the field. Give your interpretation of how and why certain developments occurred.

If you have found some recurring central themes, you can organise your literature review into subsections that address different aspects of the topic.

For example, if you are reviewing literature about inequalities in migrant health outcomes, key themes might include healthcare policy, language barriers, cultural attitudes, legal status, and economic access.

Methodological

If you draw your sources from different disciplines or fields that use a variety of research methods , you might want to compare the results and conclusions that emerge from different approaches. For example:

  • Look at what results have emerged in qualitative versus quantitative research
  • Discuss how the topic has been approached by empirical versus theoretical scholarship
  • Divide the literature into sociological, historical, and cultural sources

Theoretical

A literature review is often the foundation for a theoretical framework . You can use it to discuss various theories, models, and definitions of key concepts.

You might argue for the relevance of a specific theoretical approach, or combine various theoretical concepts to create a framework for your research.

Like any other academic text, your literature review should have an introduction , a main body, and a conclusion . What you include in each depends on the objective of your literature review.

The introduction should clearly establish the focus and purpose of the literature review.

If you are writing the literature review as part of your dissertation or thesis, reiterate your central problem or research question and give a brief summary of the scholarly context. You can emphasise the timeliness of the topic (“many recent studies have focused on the problem of x”) or highlight a gap in the literature (“while there has been much research on x, few researchers have taken y into consideration”).

Depending on the length of your literature review, you might want to divide the body into subsections. You can use a subheading for each theme, time period, or methodological approach.

As you write, make sure to follow these tips:

  • Summarise and synthesise: give an overview of the main points of each source and combine them into a coherent whole.
  • Analyse and interpret: don’t just paraphrase other researchers – add your own interpretations, discussing the significance of findings in relation to the literature as a whole.
  • Critically evaluate: mention the strengths and weaknesses of your sources.
  • Write in well-structured paragraphs: use transitions and topic sentences to draw connections, comparisons and contrasts.

In the conclusion, you should summarise the key findings you have taken from the literature and emphasise their significance.

If the literature review is part of your dissertation or thesis, reiterate how your research addresses gaps and contributes new knowledge, or discuss how you have drawn on existing theories and methods to build a framework for your research. This can lead directly into your methodology section.

A literature review is a survey of scholarly sources (such as books, journal articles, and theses) related to a specific topic or research question .

It is often written as part of a dissertation , thesis, research paper , or proposal .

There are several reasons to conduct a literature review at the beginning of a research project:

  • To familiarise yourself with the current state of knowledge on your topic
  • To ensure that you’re not just repeating what others have already done
  • To identify gaps in knowledge and unresolved problems that your research can address
  • To develop your theoretical framework and methodology
  • To provide an overview of the key findings and debates on the topic

Writing the literature review shows your reader how your work relates to existing research and what new insights it will contribute.

The literature review usually comes near the beginning of your  dissertation . After the introduction , it grounds your research in a scholarly field and leads directly to your theoretical framework or methodology .

Cite this Scribbr article

If you want to cite this source, you can copy and paste the citation or click the ‘Cite this Scribbr article’ button to automatically add the citation to our free Reference Generator.

McCombes, S. (2022, June 07). What is a Literature Review? | Guide, Template, & Examples. Scribbr. Retrieved 31 May 2024, from https://www.scribbr.co.uk/thesis-dissertation/literature-review/

Is this article helpful?

Shona McCombes

Shona McCombes

Other students also liked, how to write a dissertation proposal | a step-by-step guide, what is a theoretical framework | a step-by-step guide, what is a research methodology | steps & tips.

Conduct a literature review

What is a literature review.

A literature review is a summary of the published work in a field of study. This can be a section of a larger paper or article, or can be the focus of an entire paper. Literature reviews show that you have examined the breadth of knowledge and can justify your thesis or research questions. They are also valuable tools for other researchers who need to find a summary of that field of knowledge.

Unlike an annotated bibliography, which is a list of sources with short descriptions, a literature review synthesizes sources into a summary that has a thesis or statement of purpose—stated or implied—at its core.

How do I write a literature review?

Step 1: define your research scope.

  • What is the specific research question that your literature review helps to define?
  • Are there a maximum or minimum number of sources that your review should include?

Ask us if you have questions about refining your topic, search methods, writing tips, or citation management.

Step 2: Identify the literature

Start by searching broadly. Literature for your review will typically be acquired through scholarly books, journal articles, and/or dissertations. Develop an understanding of what is out there, what terms are accurate and helpful, etc., and keep track of all of it with citation management tools . If you need help figuring out key terms and where to search, ask us .

Use citation searching to track how scholars interact with, and build upon, previous research:

  • Mine the references cited section of each relevant source for additional key sources
  • Use Google Scholar or Scopus to find other sources that have cited a particular work

Step 3: Critically analyze the literature

Key to your literature review is a critical analysis of the literature collected around your topic. The analysis will explore relationships, major themes, and any critical gaps in the research expressed in the work. Read and summarize each source with an eye toward analyzing authority, currency, coverage, methodology, and relationship to other works. The University of Toronto's Writing Center provides a comprehensive list of questions you can use to analyze your sources.

Step 4: Categorize your resources

Divide the available resources that pertain to your research into categories reflecting their roles in addressing your research question. Possible ways to categorize resources include organization by:

  • methodology
  • theoretical/philosophical approach

Regardless of the division, each category should be accompanied by thorough discussions and explanations of strengths and weaknesses, value to the overall survey, and comparisons with similar sources. You may have enough resources when:

  • You've used multiple databases and other resources (web portals, repositories, etc.) to get a variety of perspectives on the research topic.
  • The same citations are showing up in a variety of databases.

Additional resources

Undergraduate student resources.

  • Literature Review Handout (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
  • Learn how to write a review of literature (University of Wisconsin-Madison)

Graduate student and faculty resources

  • Information Research Strategies (University of Arizona)
  • Literature Reviews: An Overview for Graduate Students (NC State University)
  • Oliver, P. (2012). Succeeding with Your Literature Review: A Handbook for Students [ebook]
  • Machi, L. A. & McEvoy, B. T. (2016). The Literature Review: Six Steps to Success [ebook]
  • Graustein, J. S. (2012). How to Write an Exceptional Thesis or Dissertation: A Step-by-Step Guide from Proposal to Successful Defense [ebook]
  • Thomas, R. M. & Brubaker, D. L. (2008). Theses and Dissertations: A Guide to Planning, Research, and Writing

what is citation in literature review

  • Special Collections Home
  • Archives Home
  • Madrid Home
  • Assessement
  • Contact/Directory
  • Library Associates
  • Archives & Digital Services
  • Databases - Article Linker FAQ
  • Digital Collections
  • Government Information
  • Library Catalog
  • Library Catalog - Alerts/Other Material
  • Locating Materials in Pius Library
  • Meet your Librarian
  • SLU Journals and SLU Edited Journals
  • SLUth Search Plus
  • Special Collections
  • Research Guides
  • Academic Technology Commons
  • Course Reserves
  • Course Reserves FAQ
  • Interlibrary Loan
  • Journal Articles on Demand
  • Library Access
  • library Account
  • Library Instructions
  • Library Resources for Faculty and Staff
  • Off Campus Library Access
  • Questions? Ask Us!
  • Study Space and Lockers
  • Writing Program Information Literacy Instruction
  • Pius Faculty and Staff
  • Meet Your Pius Research Librarian
  • MCL Faculty and Staff
  • Meet Your MCL Liaison Librarian

How to do a Literature Review

  • Steps in a Literature Review
  • Basic Search Functions
  • What are subject headings?
  • Choosing a Database
  • Boolean Operators
  • Proximity Operators
  • How to document your search
  • What is citation harvesting (or citation chasing)

Citation Harvesting

This can be called citation harvesting, citation chasing, snowballing, etc.

You use SCOPUS OR Web of Science to do this.

  • << Previous: How to document your search
  • Next: Books >>
  • Last Updated: Feb 12, 2024 9:29 AM
  • URL: https://libguides.slu.edu/litreview

U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

The .gov means it’s official. Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you’re on a federal government site.

The site is secure. The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

  • Publications
  • Account settings

Preview improvements coming to the PMC website in October 2024. Learn More or Try it out now .

  • Advanced Search
  • Journal List
  • Perspect Med Educ
  • v.7(2); 2018 Apr

Logo of pmeded

Writing an effective literature review

Lorelei lingard.

Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, Health Sciences Addition, Western University, London, Ontario Canada

In the Writer’s Craft section we offer simple tips to improve your writing in one of three areas: Energy, Clarity and Persuasiveness. Each entry focuses on a key writing feature or strategy, illustrates how it commonly goes wrong, teaches the grammatical underpinnings necessary to understand it and offers suggestions to wield it effectively. We encourage readers to share comments on or suggestions for this section on Twitter, using the hashtag: #how’syourwriting?

This Writer’s Craft instalment is the second in a two-part series that offers strategies for effectively presenting the literature review section of a research manuscript. This piece argues that citation is not just a technical practice but also a rhetorical one, and offers writers an expanded vocabulary for using citation to maximal effect.

Many writers think of citation as the formal system we use to avoid plagiarism and acknowledge others’ work. But citation is a much more nuanced practice than this. Not only does citation allow us to represent the source of knowledge, but it also allows us to position ourselves in relation to that knowledge, and to place that knowledge in relation to other knowledge . In short, citation is how we artfully tell the story of what the field knows, how it came to that knowledge, and where we stand in relation to it as we write the literature review section to frame our own work. Seen this way, citation is a sophisticated task, requiring in-depth knowledge of the literature in a domain.

Citation is more than just referencing; it is how we represent the social construction of knowledge in a field. A citation strategy is any indication in the text about the source and nature of knowledge. Consider the following passage, in which all citation strategies are italicized:

Despite years of effort to teach and enforce positive professional norms and standards, many reports of challenges to medical professionalism continue to appear, both in the medical and education literature and, often in reaction, in the lay press . 1,2,3,4,5 Examples of professional lapses dot the health care landscape: regulations are thwarted, records are falsified, patients are ignored, colleagues are berated. 2,4,6 The medical profession has articulated its sense of what professionalism is in a number of important position statements . 7,8 These statements tend to be built upon abstracted principles and values, such as the taxonomy presented in the American Board of Internal Medicine’s (ABIM’s) Project Professionalism : altruism, accountability, excellence, duty, honour, integrity, and respect for others. 7 (From Ginsburg et al., The anatomy of a professional lapse [ 1 ])

In this passage, citation as referencing (in the form of Vancouver format superscript numbers) is used to acknowledge the source of knowledge. There are more than just references in this passage, however. Citation strategies also include statements that characterize the density of that knowledge (‘many reports’), its temporal patterns (‘continue to appear’), its diverse origins (‘both in the medical and education literature’), its social nature (‘often in reaction’), and its social import (‘important position statements’). Citation does more than just acknowledge the source of something you’ve read. It is how you represent the social nature of knowledge as coming from somewhere, being debated and developed, and having impact on the world [ 2 ]. If we remove all these citation strategies, the passage sounds at best like common sense or, at worst, like unsubstantiated personal opinion:

Despite years of effort to teach and enforce positive professional norms and standards, challenges to medical professionalism continue. Examples of professional lapses dot the health care landscape: regulations are thwarted, records are falsified, patients are ignored, colleagues are berated. Professionalism is a set of principles and values: altruism, accountability, excellence, duty, honour, integrity, and respect for others.

But perhaps you’ve been told that your literature review should be ‘objective’—that you should simply present what is known without taking a stance on it. This is largely untrue, for two reasons. The first involves the distinction between summary and critical summary. A summary is a neutral description of material, but a good literature review contains very little pure summary because, as we review, we must also judge the quality, source and reliability of the knowledge claims we are presenting [ 3 ]. To do this, we engage in critical summary, not only summarizing existing knowledge but offering a stance on it.

The second reason is that, even when we’re aiming for simple summary, a completely neutral presentation of knowledge claims is very difficult to achieve. We take a stance in ways we hardly even notice. Consider how the verb in each of these statements adds a flavour of stance to what is otherwise a summary of a knowledge claim in the field:

Anderson describes how the assessment is overly time-consuming for use in the Emergency Department. Anderson discovered that the assessment was overly time-consuming for use in the Emergency Department. Anderson claims that the assessment is overly time-consuming for use in the Emergency Department.

The first verb, ‘describes’, is neutral: it is not possible to ascertain the writer’s stance on the knowledge Anderson has contributed to the field. The second verb, ‘discovered’, expresses an affiliation or positive stance in the writer, while the third verb, ‘claims’, distances the writer from Anderson’s work. Even these brief summary sentences contain a flavour of critical summary. This is not a flaw; in fact, it is an important method of portraying existing knowledge as a conversation in which the writer is positioning herself and her work. But it should be done consciously and strategically. Tab.  1 offers examples to help writers think about how the verbs in their literature review position them in relation to existing knowledge in the field. Meaning is subject to context and these examples should only be taken as a guide: e. g., ‘suggests’ can be used to signal neutrality or distancing.

Verbs to position the writer in relation to the literature being reviewed

Most of us have favourite verbs that we default to almost unconsciously when we are writing—reports, argues, describes, studies, explains, asserts—but these verbs are not interchangeable. They each inscribe a slightly different stance towards the knowledge—not only the writer’s stance, but also the stance of the researcher who created the knowledge. It is critical to get the original stance right in your critical summary. Nothing irritates me more than seeing my stance mispresented in someone else’s literature review. For example, if I wrote a paragraph offering tentative reflections on a new idea, I don’t want to see that summarized in someone’s literature review as ‘Lingard argues’, when more accurate would be ‘Lingard suggests’ or ‘Lingard explored’.

Writers need to extend their library of citation verbs to allow themselves to accurately and persuasively position knowledge claims published by authors in their field. You can find many online resources to help extend your vocabulary: Tab.  2 , adapted from one such online source [ 4 ], provides some suggestions. Tables like these should be thought of as tools, not rules—keep in mind that words have flexible meanings depending on context and purpose. This is why one word, such as suggest or conclude , can appear in more than one list.

Verbs to represent the nature and strength of an author’s contributions to the literature

Knowledge is a social construction and it accumulates as researchers debate, extend and refine one another’s contributions. To avoid your literature review reading like a laundry list of disconnected ‘facts’, reporting verbs are an important resource. Tab.  3 offers a selection of verbs organized to reflect different relationships among authors in the field of knowledge being reviewed.

Verbs to express relations among authors in the field

Finally, although we have focused on citation verbs in this article, adverbs (e. g., similarly, consequently) and prepositional phrases (e. g., by contrast, in addition) are also important for expressing similar, contrasting or responding relations among knowledge claims and their authors in the field being reviewed.

In summary, an effective literature review not only summarizes existing knowledge, it also critically presents that knowledge to depict an evolving conversation and understanding in a particular domain of study. As writers we need to know when we are summarizing and when we are critically summarizing—summary alone makes for a literature review that reads like a laundry list of undigested ‘facts-in-the-world’. Finally, writers need to attend to the subtle power of citation verbs to position themselves and the authors they are citing in relation to the knowledge being reviewed. Broadening our catalogue of ‘go-to’ verbs is an important step in enlivening and strengthening our writing.

Acknowledgements

Thanks to Mark Goldszmidt for his feedback on an early version of this manuscript.

PhD, is director of the Centre for Education Research & Innovation at Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, and professor for the Department of Medicine at Western University in London, Ontario, Canada.

what is citation in literature review

Get science-backed answers as you write with Paperpal's Research feature

What is a Literature Review? How to Write It (with Examples)

literature review

A literature review is a critical analysis and synthesis of existing research on a particular topic. It provides an overview of the current state of knowledge, identifies gaps, and highlights key findings in the literature. 1 The purpose of a literature review is to situate your own research within the context of existing scholarship, demonstrating your understanding of the topic and showing how your work contributes to the ongoing conversation in the field. Learning how to write a literature review is a critical tool for successful research. Your ability to summarize and synthesize prior research pertaining to a certain topic demonstrates your grasp on the topic of study, and assists in the learning process. 

Table of Contents

  • What is the purpose of literature review? 
  • a. Habitat Loss and Species Extinction: 
  • b. Range Shifts and Phenological Changes: 
  • c. Ocean Acidification and Coral Reefs: 
  • d. Adaptive Strategies and Conservation Efforts: 

How to write a good literature review 

  • Choose a Topic and Define the Research Question: 
  • Decide on the Scope of Your Review: 
  • Select Databases for Searches: 
  • Conduct Searches and Keep Track: 
  • Review the Literature: 
  • Organize and Write Your Literature Review: 
  • How to write a literature review faster with Paperpal? 
  • Frequently asked questions 

What is a literature review?

A well-conducted literature review demonstrates the researcher’s familiarity with the existing literature, establishes the context for their own research, and contributes to scholarly conversations on the topic. One of the purposes of a literature review is also to help researchers avoid duplicating previous work and ensure that their research is informed by and builds upon the existing body of knowledge.

what is citation in literature review

What is the purpose of literature review?

A literature review serves several important purposes within academic and research contexts. Here are some key objectives and functions of a literature review: 2  

1. Contextualizing the Research Problem: The literature review provides a background and context for the research problem under investigation. It helps to situate the study within the existing body of knowledge. 

2. Identifying Gaps in Knowledge: By identifying gaps, contradictions, or areas requiring further research, the researcher can shape the research question and justify the significance of the study. This is crucial for ensuring that the new research contributes something novel to the field. 

Find academic papers related to your research topic faster. Try Research on Paperpal  

3. Understanding Theoretical and Conceptual Frameworks: Literature reviews help researchers gain an understanding of the theoretical and conceptual frameworks used in previous studies. This aids in the development of a theoretical framework for the current research. 

4. Providing Methodological Insights: Another purpose of literature reviews is that it allows researchers to learn about the methodologies employed in previous studies. This can help in choosing appropriate research methods for the current study and avoiding pitfalls that others may have encountered. 

5. Establishing Credibility: A well-conducted literature review demonstrates the researcher’s familiarity with existing scholarship, establishing their credibility and expertise in the field. It also helps in building a solid foundation for the new research. 

6. Informing Hypotheses or Research Questions: The literature review guides the formulation of hypotheses or research questions by highlighting relevant findings and areas of uncertainty in existing literature. 

Literature review example

Let’s delve deeper with a literature review example: Let’s say your literature review is about the impact of climate change on biodiversity. You might format your literature review into sections such as the effects of climate change on habitat loss and species extinction, phenological changes, and marine biodiversity. Each section would then summarize and analyze relevant studies in those areas, highlighting key findings and identifying gaps in the research. The review would conclude by emphasizing the need for further research on specific aspects of the relationship between climate change and biodiversity. The following literature review template provides a glimpse into the recommended literature review structure and content, demonstrating how research findings are organized around specific themes within a broader topic. 

Literature Review on Climate Change Impacts on Biodiversity:

Climate change is a global phenomenon with far-reaching consequences, including significant impacts on biodiversity. This literature review synthesizes key findings from various studies: 

a. Habitat Loss and Species Extinction:

Climate change-induced alterations in temperature and precipitation patterns contribute to habitat loss, affecting numerous species (Thomas et al., 2004). The review discusses how these changes increase the risk of extinction, particularly for species with specific habitat requirements. 

b. Range Shifts and Phenological Changes:

Observations of range shifts and changes in the timing of biological events (phenology) are documented in response to changing climatic conditions (Parmesan & Yohe, 2003). These shifts affect ecosystems and may lead to mismatches between species and their resources. 

c. Ocean Acidification and Coral Reefs:

The review explores the impact of climate change on marine biodiversity, emphasizing ocean acidification’s threat to coral reefs (Hoegh-Guldberg et al., 2007). Changes in pH levels negatively affect coral calcification, disrupting the delicate balance of marine ecosystems. 

d. Adaptive Strategies and Conservation Efforts:

Recognizing the urgency of the situation, the literature review discusses various adaptive strategies adopted by species and conservation efforts aimed at mitigating the impacts of climate change on biodiversity (Hannah et al., 2007). It emphasizes the importance of interdisciplinary approaches for effective conservation planning. 

what is citation in literature review

Strengthen your literature review with factual insights. Try Research on Paperpal for free!    

Writing a literature review involves summarizing and synthesizing existing research on a particular topic. A good literature review format should include the following elements. 

Introduction: The introduction sets the stage for your literature review, providing context and introducing the main focus of your review. 

  • Opening Statement: Begin with a general statement about the broader topic and its significance in the field. 
  • Scope and Purpose: Clearly define the scope of your literature review. Explain the specific research question or objective you aim to address. 
  • Organizational Framework: Briefly outline the structure of your literature review, indicating how you will categorize and discuss the existing research. 
  • Significance of the Study: Highlight why your literature review is important and how it contributes to the understanding of the chosen topic. 
  • Thesis Statement: Conclude the introduction with a concise thesis statement that outlines the main argument or perspective you will develop in the body of the literature review. 

Body: The body of the literature review is where you provide a comprehensive analysis of existing literature, grouping studies based on themes, methodologies, or other relevant criteria. 

  • Organize by Theme or Concept: Group studies that share common themes, concepts, or methodologies. Discuss each theme or concept in detail, summarizing key findings and identifying gaps or areas of disagreement. 
  • Critical Analysis: Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of each study. Discuss the methodologies used, the quality of evidence, and the overall contribution of each work to the understanding of the topic. 
  • Synthesis of Findings: Synthesize the information from different studies to highlight trends, patterns, or areas of consensus in the literature. 
  • Identification of Gaps: Discuss any gaps or limitations in the existing research and explain how your review contributes to filling these gaps. 
  • Transition between Sections: Provide smooth transitions between different themes or concepts to maintain the flow of your literature review. 

Write and Cite as you go with Paperpal Research. Start now for free.   

Conclusion: The conclusion of your literature review should summarize the main findings, highlight the contributions of the review, and suggest avenues for future research. 

  • Summary of Key Findings: Recap the main findings from the literature and restate how they contribute to your research question or objective. 
  • Contributions to the Field: Discuss the overall contribution of your literature review to the existing knowledge in the field. 
  • Implications and Applications: Explore the practical implications of the findings and suggest how they might impact future research or practice. 
  • Recommendations for Future Research: Identify areas that require further investigation and propose potential directions for future research in the field. 
  • Final Thoughts: Conclude with a final reflection on the importance of your literature review and its relevance to the broader academic community. 

what is a literature review

Conducting a literature review

Conducting a literature review is an essential step in research that involves reviewing and analyzing existing literature on a specific topic. It’s important to know how to do a literature review effectively, so here are the steps to follow: 1  

Choose a Topic and Define the Research Question:

  • Select a topic that is relevant to your field of study. 
  • Clearly define your research question or objective. Determine what specific aspect of the topic do you want to explore? 

Decide on the Scope of Your Review:

  • Determine the timeframe for your literature review. Are you focusing on recent developments, or do you want a historical overview? 
  • Consider the geographical scope. Is your review global, or are you focusing on a specific region? 
  • Define the inclusion and exclusion criteria. What types of sources will you include? Are there specific types of studies or publications you will exclude? 

Select Databases for Searches:

  • Identify relevant databases for your field. Examples include PubMed, IEEE Xplore, Scopus, Web of Science, and Google Scholar. 
  • Consider searching in library catalogs, institutional repositories, and specialized databases related to your topic. 

Conduct Searches and Keep Track:

  • Develop a systematic search strategy using keywords, Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT), and other search techniques. 
  • Record and document your search strategy for transparency and replicability. 
  • Keep track of the articles, including publication details, abstracts, and links. Use citation management tools like EndNote, Zotero, or Mendeley to organize your references. 

Review the Literature:

  • Evaluate the relevance and quality of each source. Consider the methodology, sample size, and results of studies. 
  • Organize the literature by themes or key concepts. Identify patterns, trends, and gaps in the existing research. 
  • Summarize key findings and arguments from each source. Compare and contrast different perspectives. 
  • Identify areas where there is a consensus in the literature and where there are conflicting opinions. 
  • Provide critical analysis and synthesis of the literature. What are the strengths and weaknesses of existing research? 

Organize and Write Your Literature Review:

  • Literature review outline should be based on themes, chronological order, or methodological approaches. 
  • Write a clear and coherent narrative that synthesizes the information gathered. 
  • Use proper citations for each source and ensure consistency in your citation style (APA, MLA, Chicago, etc.). 
  • Conclude your literature review by summarizing key findings, identifying gaps, and suggesting areas for future research. 

Whether you’re exploring a new research field or finding new angles to develop an existing topic, sifting through hundreds of papers can take more time than you have to spare. But what if you could find science-backed insights with verified citations in seconds? That’s the power of Paperpal’s new Research feature!  

How to write a literature review faster with Paperpal?

Paperpal, an AI writing assistant, integrates powerful academic search capabilities within its writing platform. With the Research feature, you get 100% factual insights, with citations backed by 250M+ verified research articles, directly within your writing interface with the option to save relevant references in your Citation Library. By eliminating the need to switch tabs to find answers to all your research questions, Paperpal saves time and helps you stay focused on your writing.   

Here’s how to use the Research feature:  

  • Ask a question: Get started with a new document on paperpal.com. Click on the “Research” feature and type your question in plain English. Paperpal will scour over 250 million research articles, including conference papers and preprints, to provide you with accurate insights and citations. 
  • Review and Save: Paperpal summarizes the information, while citing sources and listing relevant reads. You can quickly scan the results to identify relevant references and save these directly to your built-in citations library for later access. 
  • Cite with Confidence: Paperpal makes it easy to incorporate relevant citations and references into your writing, ensuring your arguments are well-supported by credible sources. This translates to a polished, well-researched literature review. 

The literature review sample and detailed advice on writing and conducting a review will help you produce a well-structured report. But remember that a good literature review is an ongoing process, and it may be necessary to revisit and update it as your research progresses. By combining effortless research with an easy citation process, Paperpal Research streamlines the literature review process and empowers you to write faster and with more confidence. Try Paperpal Research now and see for yourself.  

Frequently asked questions

A literature review is a critical and comprehensive analysis of existing literature (published and unpublished works) on a specific topic or research question and provides a synthesis of the current state of knowledge in a particular field. A well-conducted literature review is crucial for researchers to build upon existing knowledge, avoid duplication of efforts, and contribute to the advancement of their field. It also helps researchers situate their work within a broader context and facilitates the development of a sound theoretical and conceptual framework for their studies.

Literature review is a crucial component of research writing, providing a solid background for a research paper’s investigation. The aim is to keep professionals up to date by providing an understanding of ongoing developments within a specific field, including research methods, and experimental techniques used in that field, and present that knowledge in the form of a written report. Also, the depth and breadth of the literature review emphasizes the credibility of the scholar in his or her field.  

Before writing a literature review, it’s essential to undertake several preparatory steps to ensure that your review is well-researched, organized, and focused. This includes choosing a topic of general interest to you and doing exploratory research on that topic, writing an annotated bibliography, and noting major points, especially those that relate to the position you have taken on the topic. 

Literature reviews and academic research papers are essential components of scholarly work but serve different purposes within the academic realm. 3 A literature review aims to provide a foundation for understanding the current state of research on a particular topic, identify gaps or controversies, and lay the groundwork for future research. Therefore, it draws heavily from existing academic sources, including books, journal articles, and other scholarly publications. In contrast, an academic research paper aims to present new knowledge, contribute to the academic discourse, and advance the understanding of a specific research question. Therefore, it involves a mix of existing literature (in the introduction and literature review sections) and original data or findings obtained through research methods. 

Literature reviews are essential components of academic and research papers, and various strategies can be employed to conduct them effectively. If you want to know how to write a literature review for a research paper, here are four common approaches that are often used by researchers.  Chronological Review: This strategy involves organizing the literature based on the chronological order of publication. It helps to trace the development of a topic over time, showing how ideas, theories, and research have evolved.  Thematic Review: Thematic reviews focus on identifying and analyzing themes or topics that cut across different studies. Instead of organizing the literature chronologically, it is grouped by key themes or concepts, allowing for a comprehensive exploration of various aspects of the topic.  Methodological Review: This strategy involves organizing the literature based on the research methods employed in different studies. It helps to highlight the strengths and weaknesses of various methodologies and allows the reader to evaluate the reliability and validity of the research findings.  Theoretical Review: A theoretical review examines the literature based on the theoretical frameworks used in different studies. This approach helps to identify the key theories that have been applied to the topic and assess their contributions to the understanding of the subject.  It’s important to note that these strategies are not mutually exclusive, and a literature review may combine elements of more than one approach. The choice of strategy depends on the research question, the nature of the literature available, and the goals of the review. Additionally, other strategies, such as integrative reviews or systematic reviews, may be employed depending on the specific requirements of the research.

The literature review format can vary depending on the specific publication guidelines. However, there are some common elements and structures that are often followed. Here is a general guideline for the format of a literature review:  Introduction:   Provide an overview of the topic.  Define the scope and purpose of the literature review.  State the research question or objective.  Body:   Organize the literature by themes, concepts, or chronology.  Critically analyze and evaluate each source.  Discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the studies.  Highlight any methodological limitations or biases.  Identify patterns, connections, or contradictions in the existing research.  Conclusion:   Summarize the key points discussed in the literature review.  Highlight the research gap.  Address the research question or objective stated in the introduction.  Highlight the contributions of the review and suggest directions for future research.

Both annotated bibliographies and literature reviews involve the examination of scholarly sources. While annotated bibliographies focus on individual sources with brief annotations, literature reviews provide a more in-depth, integrated, and comprehensive analysis of existing literature on a specific topic. The key differences are as follows: 

References 

  • Denney, A. S., & Tewksbury, R. (2013). How to write a literature review.  Journal of criminal justice education ,  24 (2), 218-234. 
  • Pan, M. L. (2016).  Preparing literature reviews: Qualitative and quantitative approaches . Taylor & Francis. 
  • Cantero, C. (2019). How to write a literature review.  San José State University Writing Center . 

Paperpal is an AI writing assistant that help academics write better, faster with real-time suggestions for in-depth language and grammar correction. Trained on millions of research manuscripts enhanced by professional academic editors, Paperpal delivers human precision at machine speed.  

Try it for free or upgrade to  Paperpal Prime , which unlocks unlimited access to premium features like academic translation, paraphrasing, contextual synonyms, consistency checks and more. It’s like always having a professional academic editor by your side! Go beyond limitations and experience the future of academic writing.  Get Paperpal Prime now at just US$19 a month!

Related Reads:

  • Empirical Research: A Comprehensive Guide for Academics 
  • How to Write a Scientific Paper in 10 Steps 
  • How Long Should a Chapter Be?
  • How to Use Paperpal to Generate Emails & Cover Letters?

6 Tips for Post-Doc Researchers to Take Their Career to the Next Level

Self-plagiarism in research: what it is and how to avoid it, you may also like, mla works cited page: format, template & examples, how to ace grant writing for research funding..., powerful academic phrases to improve your essay writing , how to write a high-quality conference paper, how paperpal’s research feature helps you develop and..., how paperpal is enhancing academic productivity and accelerating..., how to write a successful book chapter for..., academic editing: how to self-edit academic text with..., 4 ways paperpal encourages responsible writing with ai, what are scholarly sources and where can you....

  • Subject List
  • Take a Tour
  • For Authors
  • Subscriber Services
  • Publications
  • African American Studies
  • African Studies
  • American Literature
  • Anthropology
  • Architecture Planning and Preservation
  • Art History
  • Atlantic History
  • Biblical Studies
  • British and Irish Literature
  • Childhood Studies
  • Chinese Studies
  • Cinema and Media Studies
  • Communication
  • Criminology
  • Environmental Science
  • Evolutionary Biology
  • International Law
  • International Relations
  • Islamic Studies
  • Jewish Studies
  • Latin American Studies
  • Latino Studies
  • Linguistics
  • Literary and Critical Theory
  • Medieval Studies
  • Military History
  • Political Science
  • Public Health
  • Renaissance and Reformation
  • Social Work
  • Urban Studies
  • Victorian Literature
  • Browse All Subjects

How to Subscribe

  • Free Trials

In This Article Expand or collapse the "in this article" section Literature Reviews

Introduction, what is a literature review.

  • Literature Reviews for Thesis or Dissertation
  • Stand-alone and Systemic Reviews
  • Purposes of a Literature Review
  • Texts on Conducting a Literature Review
  • Identifying the Research Topic
  • The Persuasive Argument
  • Searching the Literature
  • Creating a Synthesis
  • Critiquing the Literature
  • Building the Case for the Literature Review Document
  • Presenting the Literature Review

Related Articles Expand or collapse the "related articles" section about

About related articles close popup.

Lorem Ipsum Sit Dolor Amet

Vestibulum ante ipsum primis in faucibus orci luctus et ultrices posuere cubilia Curae; Aliquam ligula odio, euismod ut aliquam et, vestibulum nec risus. Nulla viverra, arcu et iaculis consequat, justo diam ornare tellus, semper ultrices tellus nunc eu tellus.

  • Higher Education Research
  • Meta-Analysis and Research Synthesis in Education
  • Methodologies for Conducting Education Research
  • Mixed Methods Research
  • Philosophy of Education
  • Politics of Education
  • Qualitative Data Analysis Techniques

Other Subject Areas

Forthcoming articles expand or collapse the "forthcoming articles" section.

  • Black Women in Academia
  • Girls' Education in the Developing World
  • History of Education in Europe
  • Find more forthcoming articles...
  • Export Citations
  • Share This Facebook LinkedIn Twitter

Literature Reviews by Lawrence A. Machi , Brenda T. McEvoy LAST REVIEWED: 27 October 2016 LAST MODIFIED: 27 October 2016 DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199756810-0169

Literature reviews play a foundational role in the development and execution of a research project. They provide access to the academic conversation surrounding the topic of the proposed study. By engaging in this scholarly exercise, the researcher is able to learn and to share knowledge about the topic. The literature review acts as the springboard for new research, in that it lays out a logically argued case, founded on a comprehensive understanding of the current state of knowledge about the topic. The case produced provides the justification for the research question or problem of a proposed study, and the methodological scheme best suited to conduct the research. It can also be a research project in itself, arguing policy or practice implementation, based on a comprehensive analysis of the research in a field. The term literature review can refer to the output or the product of a review. It can also refer to the process of Conducting a Literature Review . Novice researchers, when attempting their first research projects, tend to ask two questions: What is a Literature Review? How do you do one? While this annotated bibliography is neither definitive nor exhaustive in its treatment of the subject, it is designed to provide a beginning researcher, who is pursuing an academic degree, an entry point for answering the two previous questions. The article is divided into two parts. The first four sections of the article provide a general overview of the topic. They address definitions, types, purposes, and processes for doing a literature review. The second part presents the process and procedures for doing a literature review. Arranged in a sequential fashion, the remaining eight sections provide references addressing each step of the literature review process. References included in this article were selected based on their ability to assist the beginning researcher. Additionally, the authors attempted to include texts from various disciplines in social science to present various points of view on the subject.

Novice researchers often have a misguided perception of how to do a literature review and what the document should contain. Literature reviews are not narrative annotated bibliographies nor book reports (see Bruce 1994 ). Their form, function, and outcomes vary, due to how they depend on the research question, the standards and criteria of the academic discipline, and the orthodoxies of the research community charged with the research. The term literature review can refer to the process of doing a review as well as the product resulting from conducting a review. The product resulting from reviewing the literature is the concern of this section. Literature reviews for research studies at the master’s and doctoral levels have various definitions. Machi and McEvoy 2016 presents a general definition of a literature review. Lambert 2012 defines a literature review as a critical analysis of what is known about the study topic, the themes related to it, and the various perspectives expressed regarding the topic. Fink 2010 defines a literature review as a systematic review of existing body of data that identifies, evaluates, and synthesizes for explicit presentation. Jesson, et al. 2011 defines the literature review as a critical description and appraisal of a topic. Hart 1998 sees the literature review as producing two products: the presentation of information, ideas, data, and evidence to express viewpoints on the nature of the topic, as well as how it is to be investigated. When considering literature reviews beyond the novice level, Ridley 2012 defines and differentiates the systematic review from literature reviews associated with primary research conducted in academic degree programs of study, including stand-alone literature reviews. Cooper 1998 states the product of literature review is dependent on the research study’s goal and focus, and defines synthesis reviews as literature reviews that seek to summarize and draw conclusions from past empirical research to determine what issues have yet to be resolved. Theoretical reviews compare and contrast the predictive ability of theories that explain the phenomenon, arguing which theory holds the most validity in describing the nature of that phenomenon. Grant and Booth 2009 identified fourteen types of reviews used in both degree granting and advanced research projects, describing their attributes and methodologies.

Bruce, Christine Susan. 1994. Research students’ early experiences of the dissertation literature review. Studies in Higher Education 19.2: 217–229.

DOI: 10.1080/03075079412331382057

A phenomenological analysis was conducted with forty-one neophyte research scholars. The responses to the questions, “What do you mean when you use the words literature review?” and “What is the meaning of a literature review for your research?” identified six concepts. The results conclude that doing a literature review is a problem area for students.

Cooper, Harris. 1998. Synthesizing research . Vol. 2. 3d ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.

The introductory chapter of this text provides a cogent explanation of Cooper’s understanding of literature reviews. Chapter 4 presents a comprehensive discussion of the synthesis review. Chapter 5 discusses meta-analysis and depth.

Fink, Arlene. 2010. Conducting research literature reviews: From the Internet to paper . 3d ed. Los Angeles: SAGE.

The first chapter of this text (pp. 1–16) provides a short but clear discussion of what a literature review is in reference to its application to a broad range of social sciences disciplines and their related professions.

Grant, Maria J., and Andrew Booth. 2009. A typology of reviews: An analysis of 14 review types and associated methodologies. Health Information & Libraries Journal 26.2: 91–108. Print.

DOI: 10.1111/j.1471-1842.2009.00848.x

This article reports a scoping review that was conducted using the “Search, Appraisal, Synthesis, and Analysis” (SALSA) framework. Fourteen literature review types and associated methodology make up the resulting typology. Each type is described by its key characteristics and analyzed for its strengths and weaknesses.

Hart, Chris. 1998. Doing a literature review: Releasing the social science research imagination . London: SAGE.

Chapter 1 of this text explains Hart’s definition of a literature review. Additionally, it describes the roles of the literature review, the skills of a literature reviewer, and the research context for a literature review. Of note is Hart’s discussion of the literature review requirements for master’s degree and doctoral degree work.

Jesson, Jill, Lydia Matheson, and Fiona M. Lacey. 2011. Doing your literature review: Traditional and systematic techniques . Los Angeles: SAGE.

Chapter 1: “Preliminaries” provides definitions of traditional and systematic reviews. It discusses the differences between them. Chapter 5 is dedicated to explaining the traditional review, while Chapter 7 explains the systematic review. Chapter 8 provides a detailed description of meta-analysis.

Lambert, Mike. 2012. A beginner’s guide to doing your education research project . Los Angeles: SAGE.

Chapter 6 (pp. 79–100) presents a thumbnail sketch for doing a literature review.

Machi, Lawrence A., and Brenda T. McEvoy. 2016. The literature review: Six steps to success . 3d ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.

The introduction of this text differentiates between a simple and an advanced review and concisely defines a literature review.

Ridley, Diana. 2012. The literature review: A step-by-step guide for students . 2d ed. Sage Study Skills. London: SAGE.

In the introductory chapter, Ridley reviews many definitions of the literature review, literature reviews at the master’s and doctoral level, and placement of literature reviews within the thesis or dissertation document. She also defines and differentiates literature reviews produced for degree-affiliated research from the more advanced systematic review projects.

back to top

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content on this page. Please subscribe or login .

Oxford Bibliographies Online is available by subscription and perpetual access to institutions. For more information or to contact an Oxford Sales Representative click here .

  • About Education »
  • Meet the Editorial Board »
  • Academic Achievement
  • Academic Audit for Universities
  • Academic Freedom and Tenure in the United States
  • Action Research in Education
  • Adjuncts in Higher Education in the United States
  • Administrator Preparation
  • Adolescence
  • Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate Courses
  • Advocacy and Activism in Early Childhood
  • African American Racial Identity and Learning
  • Alaska Native Education
  • Alternative Certification Programs for Educators
  • Alternative Schools
  • American Indian Education
  • Animals in Environmental Education
  • Art Education
  • Artificial Intelligence and Learning
  • Assessing School Leader Effectiveness
  • Assessment, Behavioral
  • Assessment, Educational
  • Assessment in Early Childhood Education
  • Assistive Technology
  • Augmented Reality in Education
  • Beginning-Teacher Induction
  • Bilingual Education and Bilingualism
  • Black Undergraduate Women: Critical Race and Gender Perspe...
  • Blended Learning
  • Case Study in Education Research
  • Changing Professional and Academic Identities
  • Character Education
  • Children’s and Young Adult Literature
  • Children's Beliefs about Intelligence
  • Children's Rights in Early Childhood Education
  • Citizenship Education
  • Civic and Social Engagement of Higher Education
  • Classroom Learning Environments: Assessing and Investigati...
  • Classroom Management
  • Coherent Instructional Systems at the School and School Sy...
  • College Admissions in the United States
  • College Athletics in the United States
  • Community Relations
  • Comparative Education
  • Computer-Assisted Language Learning
  • Computer-Based Testing
  • Conceptualizing, Measuring, and Evaluating Improvement Net...
  • Continuous Improvement and "High Leverage" Educational Pro...
  • Counseling in Schools
  • Critical Approaches to Gender in Higher Education
  • Critical Perspectives on Educational Innovation and Improv...
  • Critical Race Theory
  • Crossborder and Transnational Higher Education
  • Cross-National Research on Continuous Improvement
  • Cross-Sector Research on Continuous Learning and Improveme...
  • Cultural Diversity in Early Childhood Education
  • Culturally Responsive Leadership
  • Culturally Responsive Pedagogies
  • Culturally Responsive Teacher Education in the United Stat...
  • Curriculum Design
  • Data Collection in Educational Research
  • Data-driven Decision Making in the United States
  • Deaf Education
  • Desegregation and Integration
  • Design Thinking and the Learning Sciences: Theoretical, Pr...
  • Development, Moral
  • Dialogic Pedagogy
  • Digital Age Teacher, The
  • Digital Citizenship
  • Digital Divides
  • Disabilities
  • Distance Learning
  • Distributed Leadership
  • Doctoral Education and Training
  • Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) in Denmark
  • Early Childhood Education and Development in Mexico
  • Early Childhood Education in Aotearoa New Zealand
  • Early Childhood Education in Australia
  • Early Childhood Education in China
  • Early Childhood Education in Europe
  • Early Childhood Education in Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Early Childhood Education in Sweden
  • Early Childhood Education Pedagogy
  • Early Childhood Education Policy
  • Early Childhood Education, The Arts in
  • Early Childhood Mathematics
  • Early Childhood Science
  • Early Childhood Teacher Education
  • Early Childhood Teachers in Aotearoa New Zealand
  • Early Years Professionalism and Professionalization Polici...
  • Economics of Education
  • Education For Children with Autism
  • Education for Sustainable Development
  • Education Leadership, Empirical Perspectives in
  • Education of Native Hawaiian Students
  • Education Reform and School Change
  • Educational Statistics for Longitudinal Research
  • Educator Partnerships with Parents and Families with a Foc...
  • Emotional and Affective Issues in Environmental and Sustai...
  • Emotional and Behavioral Disorders
  • English as an International Language for Academic Publishi...
  • Environmental and Science Education: Overlaps and Issues
  • Environmental Education
  • Environmental Education in Brazil
  • Epistemic Beliefs
  • Equity and Improvement: Engaging Communities in Educationa...
  • Equity, Ethnicity, Diversity, and Excellence in Education
  • Ethical Research with Young Children
  • Ethics and Education
  • Ethics of Teaching
  • Ethnic Studies
  • Evidence-Based Communication Assessment and Intervention
  • Family and Community Partnerships in Education
  • Family Day Care
  • Federal Government Programs and Issues
  • Feminization of Labor in Academia
  • Finance, Education
  • Financial Aid
  • Formative Assessment
  • Future-Focused Education
  • Gender and Achievement
  • Gender and Alternative Education
  • Gender, Power and Politics in the Academy
  • Gender-Based Violence on University Campuses
  • Gifted Education
  • Global Mindedness and Global Citizenship Education
  • Global University Rankings
  • Governance, Education
  • Grounded Theory
  • Growth of Effective Mental Health Services in Schools in t...
  • Higher Education and Globalization
  • Higher Education and the Developing World
  • Higher Education Faculty Characteristics and Trends in the...
  • Higher Education Finance
  • Higher Education Governance
  • Higher Education Graduate Outcomes and Destinations
  • Higher Education in Africa
  • Higher Education in China
  • Higher Education in Latin America
  • Higher Education in the United States, Historical Evolutio...
  • Higher Education, International Issues in
  • Higher Education Management
  • Higher Education Policy
  • Higher Education Student Assessment
  • High-stakes Testing
  • History of Early Childhood Education in the United States
  • History of Education in the United States
  • History of Technology Integration in Education
  • Homeschooling
  • Inclusion in Early Childhood: Difference, Disability, and ...
  • Inclusive Education
  • Indigenous Education in a Global Context
  • Indigenous Learning Environments
  • Indigenous Students in Higher Education in the United Stat...
  • Infant and Toddler Pedagogy
  • Inservice Teacher Education
  • Integrating Art across the Curriculum
  • Intelligence
  • Intensive Interventions for Children and Adolescents with ...
  • International Perspectives on Academic Freedom
  • Intersectionality and Education
  • Knowledge Development in Early Childhood
  • Leadership Development, Coaching and Feedback for
  • Leadership in Early Childhood Education
  • Leadership Training with an Emphasis on the United States
  • Learning Analytics in Higher Education
  • Learning Difficulties
  • Learning, Lifelong
  • Learning, Multimedia
  • Learning Strategies
  • Legal Matters and Education Law
  • LGBT Youth in Schools
  • Linguistic Diversity
  • Linguistically Inclusive Pedagogy
  • Literacy Development and Language Acquisition
  • Literature Reviews
  • Mathematics Identity
  • Mathematics Instruction and Interventions for Students wit...
  • Mathematics Teacher Education
  • Measurement for Improvement in Education
  • Measurement in Education in the United States
  • Methodological Approaches for Impact Evaluation in Educati...
  • Mindfulness, Learning, and Education
  • Motherscholars
  • Multiliteracies in Early Childhood Education
  • Multiple Documents Literacy: Theory, Research, and Applica...
  • Multivariate Research Methodology
  • Museums, Education, and Curriculum
  • Music Education
  • Narrative Research in Education
  • Native American Studies
  • Nonformal and Informal Environmental Education
  • Note-Taking
  • Numeracy Education
  • One-to-One Technology in the K-12 Classroom
  • Online Education
  • Open Education
  • Organizing for Continuous Improvement in Education
  • Organizing Schools for the Inclusion of Students with Disa...
  • Outdoor Play and Learning
  • Outdoor Play and Learning in Early Childhood Education
  • Pedagogical Leadership
  • Pedagogy of Teacher Education, A
  • Performance Objectives and Measurement
  • Performance-based Research Assessment in Higher Education
  • Performance-based Research Funding
  • Phenomenology in Educational Research
  • Physical Education
  • Podcasts in Education
  • Policy Context of United States Educational Innovation and...
  • Portable Technology Use in Special Education Programs and ...
  • Post-humanism and Environmental Education
  • Pre-Service Teacher Education
  • Problem Solving
  • Productivity and Higher Education
  • Professional Development
  • Professional Learning Communities
  • Program Evaluation
  • Programs and Services for Students with Emotional or Behav...
  • Psychology Learning and Teaching
  • Psychometric Issues in the Assessment of English Language ...
  • Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Research Samp...
  • Qualitative Research Design
  • Quantitative Research Designs in Educational Research
  • Queering the English Language Arts (ELA) Writing Classroom
  • Race and Affirmative Action in Higher Education
  • Reading Education
  • Refugee and New Immigrant Learners
  • Relational and Developmental Trauma and Schools
  • Relational Pedagogies in Early Childhood Education
  • Reliability in Educational Assessments
  • Religion in Elementary and Secondary Education in the Unit...
  • Researcher Development and Skills Training within the Cont...
  • Research-Practice Partnerships in Education within the Uni...
  • Response to Intervention
  • Restorative Practices
  • Risky Play in Early Childhood Education
  • Scale and Sustainability of Education Innovation and Impro...
  • Scaling Up Research-based Educational Practices
  • School Accreditation
  • School Choice
  • School Culture
  • School District Budgeting and Financial Management in the ...
  • School Improvement through Inclusive Education
  • School Reform
  • Schools, Private and Independent
  • School-Wide Positive Behavior Support
  • Science Education
  • Secondary to Postsecondary Transition Issues
  • Self-Regulated Learning
  • Self-Study of Teacher Education Practices
  • Service-Learning
  • Severe Disabilities
  • Single Salary Schedule
  • Single-sex Education
  • Single-Subject Research Design
  • Social Context of Education
  • Social Justice
  • Social Network Analysis
  • Social Pedagogy
  • Social Science and Education Research
  • Social Studies Education
  • Sociology of Education
  • Standards-Based Education
  • Statistical Assumptions
  • Student Access, Equity, and Diversity in Higher Education
  • Student Assignment Policy
  • Student Engagement in Tertiary Education
  • Student Learning, Development, Engagement, and Motivation ...
  • Student Participation
  • Student Voice in Teacher Development
  • Sustainability Education in Early Childhood Education
  • Sustainability in Early Childhood Education
  • Sustainability in Higher Education
  • Teacher Beliefs and Epistemologies
  • Teacher Collaboration in School Improvement
  • Teacher Evaluation and Teacher Effectiveness
  • Teacher Preparation
  • Teacher Training and Development
  • Teacher Unions and Associations
  • Teacher-Student Relationships
  • Teaching Critical Thinking
  • Technologies, Teaching, and Learning in Higher Education
  • Technology Education in Early Childhood
  • Technology, Educational
  • Technology-based Assessment
  • The Bologna Process
  • The Regulation of Standards in Higher Education
  • Theories of Educational Leadership
  • Three Conceptions of Literacy: Media, Narrative, and Gamin...
  • Tracking and Detracking
  • Traditions of Quality Improvement in Education
  • Transformative Learning
  • Transitions in Early Childhood Education
  • Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities in the Unite...
  • Understanding the Psycho-Social Dimensions of Schools and ...
  • University Faculty Roles and Responsibilities in the Unite...
  • Using Ethnography in Educational Research
  • Value of Higher Education for Students and Other Stakehold...
  • Virtual Learning Environments
  • Vocational and Technical Education
  • Wellness and Well-Being in Education
  • Women's and Gender Studies
  • Young Children and Spirituality
  • Young Children's Learning Dispositions
  • Young Children's Working Theories
  • Privacy Policy
  • Cookie Policy
  • Legal Notice
  • Accessibility

Powered by:

  • [66.249.64.20|185.126.86.119]
  • 185.126.86.119

Harvey Cushing/John Hay Whitney Medical Library

  • Collections
  • Research Help

YSN Doctoral Programs: Steps in Conducting a Literature Review

  • Biomedical Databases
  • Global (Public Health) Databases
  • Soc. Sci., History, and Law Databases
  • Grey Literature
  • Trials Registers
  • Data and Statistics
  • Public Policy
  • Google Tips
  • Recommended Books
  • Steps in Conducting a Literature Review

What is a literature review?

A literature review is an integrated analysis -- not just a summary-- of scholarly writings and other relevant evidence related directly to your research question.  That is, it represents a synthesis of the evidence that provides background information on your topic and shows a association between the evidence and your research question.

A literature review may be a stand alone work or the introduction to a larger research paper, depending on the assignment.  Rely heavily on the guidelines your instructor has given you.

Why is it important?

A literature review is important because it:

  • Explains the background of research on a topic.
  • Demonstrates why a topic is significant to a subject area.
  • Discovers relationships between research studies/ideas.
  • Identifies major themes, concepts, and researchers on a topic.
  • Identifies critical gaps and points of disagreement.
  • Discusses further research questions that logically come out of the previous studies.

APA7 Style resources

Cover Art

APA Style Blog - for those harder to find answers

1. Choose a topic. Define your research question.

Your literature review should be guided by your central research question.  The literature represents background and research developments related to a specific research question, interpreted and analyzed by you in a synthesized way.

  • Make sure your research question is not too broad or too narrow.  Is it manageable?
  • Begin writing down terms that are related to your question. These will be useful for searches later.
  • If you have the opportunity, discuss your topic with your professor and your class mates.

2. Decide on the scope of your review

How many studies do you need to look at? How comprehensive should it be? How many years should it cover? 

  • This may depend on your assignment.  How many sources does the assignment require?

3. Select the databases you will use to conduct your searches.

Make a list of the databases you will search. 

Where to find databases:

  • use the tabs on this guide
  • Find other databases in the Nursing Information Resources web page
  • More on the Medical Library web page
  • ... and more on the Yale University Library web page

4. Conduct your searches to find the evidence. Keep track of your searches.

  • Use the key words in your question, as well as synonyms for those words, as terms in your search. Use the database tutorials for help.
  • Save the searches in the databases. This saves time when you want to redo, or modify, the searches. It is also helpful to use as a guide is the searches are not finding any useful results.
  • Review the abstracts of research studies carefully. This will save you time.
  • Use the bibliographies and references of research studies you find to locate others.
  • Check with your professor, or a subject expert in the field, if you are missing any key works in the field.
  • Ask your librarian for help at any time.
  • Use a citation manager, such as EndNote as the repository for your citations. See the EndNote tutorials for help.

Review the literature

Some questions to help you analyze the research:

  • What was the research question of the study you are reviewing? What were the authors trying to discover?
  • Was the research funded by a source that could influence the findings?
  • What were the research methodologies? Analyze its literature review, the samples and variables used, the results, and the conclusions.
  • Does the research seem to be complete? Could it have been conducted more soundly? What further questions does it raise?
  • If there are conflicting studies, why do you think that is?
  • How are the authors viewed in the field? Has this study been cited? If so, how has it been analyzed?

Tips: 

  • Review the abstracts carefully.  
  • Keep careful notes so that you may track your thought processes during the research process.
  • Create a matrix of the studies for easy analysis, and synthesis, across all of the studies.
  • << Previous: Recommended Books
  • Last Updated: Jan 4, 2024 10:52 AM
  • URL: https://guides.library.yale.edu/YSNDoctoral

Researching and writing for Economics students

4 literature review and citations/references.

Literature reviews and references

Figure 4.1: Literature reviews and references

Your may have done a literature survey as part of your proposal. This will be incorporated into your dissertation, not left as separate stand-alone. Most economics papers include a literature review section, which may be a separate section, or incorporated into the paper’s introduction. (See organising for a standard format.)

Some disambiguation:

A ‘Literature survey’ paper: Some academic papers are called ‘literature surveys’. These try to summarise and discuss the existing work that has been done on a particular topic, and can be very useful. See, for example, works in The Journal of Economic Perspectives, the Journal of Economic Literature, the “Handbook of [XXX] Economics”

Many student projects and undergraduate dissertations are mainly literature surveys.

4.1 What is the point of a literature survey?

Your literature review should explain:

what has been done already to address your topic and related questions, putting your work in perspective, and

what techniques others have used, what are their strengths and weaknesses, and how might they be relevant tools for your own analysis.

Take notes on this as you read, and write them up.

Figure 4.2: Take notes on this as you read, and write them up.

4.2 What previous work is relevant?

Focus on literature that is relevant to your topic only.

But do not focus only on articles about your exact topic ! For example, if your paper is about the relative price of cars in the UK, you might cite papers (i) about the global automobile market, (ii) about the theory and evidence on competition in markets with similar features and (iii) using econometric techniques such as “hedonic regression” to estimate “price premia” in other markets and in other countries.

Consider: If you were Colchester a doctor and wanted to know whether a medicine would be effective for your patients, would you only consider medical studies that ran tests on Colchester residents, or would you consider more general national and international investigations?

4.3 What are “good” economics journal articles?

You should aim to read and cite peer-reviewed articles in reputable economics journals. (Journals in other fields such as Finance, Marketing and Political Science may also be useful.) These papers have a certain credibility as they have been checked by several referees and one or more editors before being published. (In fact, the publication process in Economics is extremely lengthy and difficult.)

Which journals are “reputable”? Economists spend a lot of time thinking about how to rank and compare journals (there are so many papers written about this topic that they someone could start a “Journal of Ranking Economics Journals”. For example, “ REPEC ” has one ranking, and SCIMAGO/SCOPUS has another one. You may want to focus on journals ranked in the top 100 or top 200 of these rankings. If you find it very interesting and relevant paper published somewhere that is ranked below this, is okay to cite it, but you may want to be a bit more skeptical of its findings.

Any journal you find on JSTOR is respectable, and if you look in the back of your textbooks, there will be references to articles in journals, most of which are decent.

You may also find unpublished “working papers”; these may also be useful as references. However, it is more difficult to evaluate the credibility of these, as they have not been through a process of peer review. However, if the author has published well and has a good reputation, it might be more likely that these are worth reading and citing.

Unpublished “working papers”

You may also find unpublished “working papers” or ‘mimeos’; these may also be useful as references. In fact, the publication process in Economics is so slow (six years from first working paper to publication is not uncommon) that not consulting working papers often means not being current.

However, it is more difficult to evaluate the credibility of this ‘grey literature’, as they have not been through a process of peer review. However, if the author has published well and has a good reputation, it might be more likely that these are worth reading and citing. Some working paper series are vetted, such as NBER; in terms of credibility, these might be seen as something in between a working paper and a publication.

Which of the following are “peer-reviewed articles in reputable economics journals”? Which of the following may be appropriate to cite in your literature review and in your final project? 8

Klein, G, J. (2011) “Cartel Destabilization and Leniency Programs – Empirical Evidence.” ZEW - Centre for European Economic Research Discussion Paper No. 10-107

Spencer, B. and Brander, J.A. (1983) “International R&D Rivalry and Industrial Strategy”, Review of Economic Studies Vol. 50, 707-722

Troisi, Jordan D., Andrew N. Christopher, and Pam Marek. “Materialism and money spending disposition as predictors of economic and personality variables.” North American Journal of Psychology 8.3 (2006): 421.

The Economist,. ‘Good, Bad And Ugly’. Web. 11 Apr. 2015. [accessed on…]

Mecaj, Arjola, and María Isabel González Bravo. “CSR Actions and Financial Distress: Do Firms Change Their CSR Behavior When Signals of Financial Distress Are Identified?.” Modern Economy 2014 (2014).

Universities, U. K. “Creating Prosperity: the role of higher education in driving the UK’s creative economy.” London Universities UK (2010).

4.4 How to find and access articles

You should be able to find and access all the relevant articles online. Leafing through bound volumes and photocopying should not be neededs. (Having been a student in the late 90’s and 2000’s, I wish I could get those hours back.)

The old way!

Figure 4.3: The old way!

Good online tools include Jstor (jstor.org) and Google Scholar (scholar.google.co.uk). Your university should have access to Jstor, and Google is accessible to all (although the linked articles may require special access). You will usually have the ‘most access’ when logged into your university or library computing system.If you cannot access a paper, you may want to consult a reference librarian.

It is also ok, if you cannot access the journal article itself, to use the last working paper version (on Google scholar find this in the tab that says “all X versions”, where X is some number, and look for a PDF). However, authors do not always put up the most polished versions, although they should do to promote open-access. As a very last resort, you can e-mail the author and ask him or her to send you the paper.

When looking for references, try to find ones published in respected refereed economics journals (see above ).

4.5 Good starting points: Survey article, course notes, and textbooks

A “survey article” is a good place to start; this is a paper that is largely a categorization and discussion of previous work on a particular topic. You can often find such papers in journals such as

  • the Journal of Economic Perspectives,
  • the Journal of Economic Surveys,
  • and the Journal of Economic Literature.

These will be useful as a “catalog” of papers to read and considers citing. They are also typically very readable and offer a decent introduction to the issue or the field.

It is also helpful to consult module (course) notes and syllabi from the relevant field. Do not only limit yourself to the ones at your own university; many of universities make their course materials publicly accessible online. These will not only typically contain reading lists with well-respected and useful references, they may also contain slides and other material that will help you better understand your topic and the relevant issues.

However, be careful not to take material from course notes without properly citing it. (Better yet, try to find the original paper that the course notes are referring to.)

Textbooks serve as another extremely useful jumping off point. Look through your own textbooks and other textbooks in the right fields. Textbooks draw from, and cite a range of relevant articles and papers. (You may also want to go back to textbooks when you are finding the articles you are reading too difficult. Textbooks may present a simpler version of the material presented in an article, and explain the concepts better.)

4.6 Backwards and forwards with references

When you find a useful paper, look for its “family.” You may want to go back to earlier, more fundamental references, by looking at the articles that this paper cited. See what is listed as “keywords” (these are usually given at the top of the paper), and “JEL codes”. Check what papers this paper cites, and check what other papers cited this paper. On Google scholar you can follow this with a link “Cited by…” below the listed article. “Related articles” is also a useful link.

4.7 Citations

Keep track of all references and citations

You may find it helpful to use software to help you manage your citations

A storage “database” of citations (e.g., Jabref, Zotero, Endnote, Mendeley); these interface well with Google Scholar and Jstor

An automatic “insert citation” and “insert bibliography” in your word processing software

Use a tool like Endnote to manage and insert the bibliographies, or use a bibliography manager software such as Zotero or Jabref,

Further discussion: Citation management tools

List of works cited

Put your list of references in alphabetical order by author’s last name (surname).

Include all articles and works that you cite in your paper; do not include any that you don’t cite.

Avoiding plagiarism and academic offenses**

Here is a definition of plagiarism

The main point is that you need to cite everything that is not your own work. Furthermore, be clear to distinguish what is your own work and your own language and what is from somewhere/someone else.

Why cite? Not just to give credit to others but to make it clear that the remaining uncited content is your own.

Here are some basic rules:

(Rephrased from University of Essex material, as seen in Department of Economics, EC100 Economics for Business Handbook 2017-18, https://www1.essex.ac.uk/economics/documents/EC100-Booklet_2017.pdf accessed on 20 July 2019, pp. 15-16)

Do not submit anything that is not your own work.

Never copy from friends.

Do not copy your own work or previously submitted work. (Caveat: If you are submitting a draft or a ‘literature review and project plan’ at an earlier stage, this can be incorporated into your final submission.

Don’t copy text directly into your work, unless:

  • you put all passages in quotation marks: beginning with ’ and ending with ’, or clearly offset from the main text
  • you cite the source of this text.
It is not sufficient merely to add a citation for the source of copied material following the copied material (typically the end of a paragraph). You must include the copied material in quotation marks. … Ignorance … is no defence.’ (ibid, pp. 15 )

(‘Ibid’ means ‘same as the previous citation’.)

Your university may use sophisticated plagiarism-detection software. Markers may also report if the paper looks suspect

Before final submission, they may ask you to go over your draft and sign that you understand the contents and you have demonstrated that the work is your own.

Not being in touch with your supervisor may put you under suspicion.

Your university may give a Viva Voce oral exam if your work is under suspicion. It is a cool-sounding word but probably something you want to avoid.

Your university may store your work in its our database, and can pursue disciplinary action, even after you have graduated.

Penalties may be severe, including failure with no opportunity to retake the module (course). You may even risk your degree!

Comprehension questions; answers in footnotes

True or false: “If you do not directly quote a paper you do not need to cite it” 9

You should read and cite a paper (choose all that are correct)… 10

  • If it motivates ‘why your question is interesting’ and how it can be modeled economically
  • Only if it asks the same question as your paper
  • Only if it is dealing with the same country/industry/etc as you are addressing
  • If it has any connection to your topic, question, or related matters
  • If it answers a similar question as your paper
  • If it uses and discusses techniques that inform those you are using

4.8 How to write about previous authors’ analysis and findings

Use the right terminology.

“Johnson et al. (2000) provide an analytical framework that sheds substantial doubt on that belief. When trying to obtain a correlation between institutional efficiency and wealth per capita, they are left with largely inconclusive results.”

They are not trying to “obtain a correlation”; they are trying to measure the relationship and test hypotheses.

“Findings”: Critically examine sources

Don’t take everything that is in print (or written online) as gospel truth. Be skeptical and carefully evaluate the arguments and evidence presented. Try to really survey what has been written, to consider the range of opinions and the preponderance of the evidence. You also need to be careful to distinguish between “real research” and propaganda or press releases.

The returns to higher education in Atlantis are extremely high. For the majority of Atlanian students a university degree has increased their lifetime income by over 50%, as reported in the “Benefits of Higher Education” report put out by the Association of Atlantian Universities (2016).

But don’t be harsh without explanation:

Smith (2014) found a return to education in Atlantis exceeding 50%. This result is unlikely to be true because the study was not a very good one.

“Findings:” “They Proved”

A theoretical economic model can not really prove anything about the real world; they typically rely on strong simplifying assumptions.

Through their economic model, they prove that as long as elites have incentives to invest in de facto power, through lobbying or corruption for example, they will invest as much as possible in order to gain favourable conditions in the future for their businesses.
In their two period model, which assumes \[details of key assumptions here\] , they find that when an elite Agent has an incentive to invest in de facto power, he invests a strictly positive amount, up to the point where marginal benefit equals marginal cost”

Empirical work does not “prove” anything (nor does it claim to).

It relies on statistical inference under specific assumptions, and an intuitive sense that evidence from one situation is likely to apply to other situations.

“As Smith et al (1999) proved using data from the 1910-1920 Scandanavian stock exchange, equity prices always increase in response to reductions in corporate tax rates.”
“Smith et al (199) estimated a VAR regression for a dynamic CAP model using data from the 1910-1920 Scandanavian stock exchange. They found a strongly statistically significant negative coefficient on corporate tax rates. This suggests that such taxes may have a negative effect on publicly traded securities. However, as their data was from a limited period with several simultaneous changes in policy, and their results are not robust to \[something here\] , further evidence is needed on this question.”

Use the language of classical 11 statistics:

Hypothesis testing, statistical significance, robustness checks, magnitudes of effects, confidence intervals.

Note that generalisation outside the data depends on an intuitive sense that evidence from one situation is likely to apply to other situations.

“Findings”: How do you (or the cited paper) claim to identify a causal relationship?

This policy was explained by Smith and Johnson (2002) in their research on subsidies and redistribution in higher education. Their results showed that people with higher degree have higher salaries and so pay higher taxes. Thus subsidizing higher education leads to a large social gain.

The results the student discusses seem to show an association between higher degrees and higher salaries. The student seems to imply that the education itself led to higher salaries. This has not been shown by the cited paper. Perhaps people who were able to get into higher education would earn higher salaries anyway. There are ways economists used to try to identify a “causal effect” (by the way, this widely used term is redundant as all effects must have a cause), but a mere association between two variables is not enough

As inflation was systematically lower during periods of recession, we see that too low a level of inflation increases unemployment.

Economists have long debated the nature of this “Phillips curve” relationship. There is much work trying to determine whether the association (to the extent it exists) is a causal one. We could not rule out reverse causality, or third factor that might cause changes in both variables.

4.9 …Stating empirical results

Don’t write: “I accept the null hypothesis.”

Do write: “The results fail to reject the null hypothesis, in spite of a large sample size and an estimate with small standard errors” (if this is the case)

Note: The question of what to infer from acceptance/rejection of null hypotheses is a complex difficult one in Classical (as opposed to Bayesian) statistics. This difficulty is in part philosophical: classical hypothesis testing is deductive , while inference is necessarily inductive.

4.10 What to report

You need to read this paper more clearly; it is not clear what they conclude nor what their evidence is.

4.11 Organising your literature review

A common marking comment:

These papers seem to be discussed in random order – you need some structure organising these papers thematically, by finding, by technique, or chronologically perhaps.

How should you organise it? In what order?

Thematically (usually better)

By method, by theoretical framework, by results or assumptions, by field

Chronologically (perhaps within themes)

Exercise: Compare how the literature review section is organized in papers you are reading.

Organising a set of references

Figure 4.4: Organising a set of references

Q: What sort of structure am I using in the above outline?

It may also be helpful to make a ‘table’ of the relevant literature, as in the figure below. This will help you get a sense of the methods and results, and how the papers relate, and how to assess the evidence. You may end up putting this in the actual paper.

Organisational table from Reinstein and Riener, 2012b

Figure 4.5: Organisational table from Reinstein and Riener, 2012b

4.12 What if you have trouble reading and understanding a paper?

Consult a survey paper, textbook, or lecture notes that discuss this paper and this topic

Try to find an easier related paper

Ask your supervisor for help; if he or she can

Try to understand what you can; do not try to “fake it”

4.13 Some literature survey do’s and don’ts

Do not cite irrelevant literature.

Do not merely list all the papers you could find.

Discuss them, and their relevance to your paper.

What are their strengths and weaknesses? What techniques do they use, and what assumptions do they rely on? How do they relate to each other?

Use correct citation formats.

Try to find original sources (don’t just cite a web link).

Don’t just cut and paste from other sources. And make sure to attribute every source and every quote. Be clear: which part of your paper is your own work and what is cited from others? The penalties for plagiarism can be severe!

  • Critically examine the sources, arguments, and methods

4.14 Comprehension questions: literature review

How to discuss empirical results: “Causal” estimation, e.g., with Instrumental Variables

Which is the best way to state it? 12

“As I prove in table 2, more lawyers lead to slower growth (as demonstrated by the regression analysis evidence).”

“Table 2 provides evidence that a high share of lawyers in a city’s population leads to slower growth.”

3.“Table 2 shows that a high share of lawyers in a city’s population is correlated with slower growth.”

Which is better? 13

  • “However, when a set of observable determinants of city growth (such as Census Region growth) are accounted for, the estimate of this effect becomes less precise.”
  • “In the correct regression I control for all determinants of city growth and find that there is no effect of lawyers on growth”

Stating empirical results: descriptive

“Using the US data from 1850-1950, I find that inflation is lower during periods of recession. This is statistically significant in a t-test [or whatever test] at the 99% level, and the difference is economically meaningful. This is consistent with the theory of …, which predicts that lower inflation increases unemployment. However, other explanations are possible, including reverse causality, and unmeasured covarying lags and trends.”

“I find a significantly lower level of inflation during periods of recession, and the difference is economically meaningful. This relationship is statistically significant and the data is accurately measured. Thus I find that inflation increases unemployment.”

Some tips on writing a good paper– relevant to literature reviews

  • Answer the question
  • Provide clear structure and signposting
  • Demonstrate an ability for critical analysis
  • Refer to your sources
  • Produce a coherent, clear argument
  • Take time to proofread for style and expresssion
  • Source “Assignment Writing Skills EBS 3rd year 2012”"

Answer: only b is a ‘peer reviewed article in a reputable economics journal’. All of these might be useful to cite, however. ↩

False. You need to cite any content and ideas that are not your own. ↩

Answers: 1, 5, and 6. Note that 2 and 3 are too narrow criteria, and 4 is too broad. ↩

or Bayesian if you like ↩

The second one; if this is really causal evidence. ↩

The first one. There is no ‘correct regression’. It is also not really correct in classical statistics to ‘find no effect’. ↩

  • UConn Library
  • Literature Review: The What, Why and How-to Guide
  • Citation Resources

Literature Review: The What, Why and How-to Guide — Citation Resources

  • Getting Started
  • Introduction
  • How to Pick a Topic
  • Strategies to Find Sources
  • Evaluating Sources & Lit. Reviews
  • Tips for Writing Literature Reviews
  • Writing Literature Review: Useful Sites
  • Other Academic Writings

Plagarism - What is it and how to avoid it

From UConn’s Community Standards : “Academic misconduct is dishonest or unethical academic behavior that includes, but is not limited, to misrepresenting mastery in an academic area (e.g., cheating), failing to properly credit information, research or ideas to their rightful originators or representing such information, research or ideas as your own (e.g., plagiarism).” — University of Connecticut, Community Standards, Appendix A

The best way to avoid plagiarizing on your paper is to cite your sources using one of the many citations style used in academia. The Citation Guides and Management Tools Guide is your one stop shop to learn more about the most commonly used citation styles.

  • Citation Styles and Management Tools Guide by Samuel Boss Last Updated Apr 9, 2024 2559 views this year

Purpose of Citations, When and What to Cite?

  • OWL Purdue: Research and Citation Resources Explains in detail how, when, and why to use this citation style for both print and online sources, with an emphasis to the major citation styles: APA, MLA and Chicago.

There are four main reasons:

  • To acknowledge the author(s) of the work that you used to write your paper.
  • To provide context to your research and demonstrate that your paper is well-researched.
  • To allow readers to find the original source and learn more about some aspect that you mentioned only briefly in the document.
  • To enable further research by letting others discover what has already been explored and written about on a given topic.

What and When to Cite?

You should always cite other people's words, ideas and other intellectual property that you use in your papers or that influence your ideas. This includes but isn't limited to books, journal articles, web pages, reports, data, statistics, speeches, lectures, personal interviews, etc. You should cite whenever you:

  • use a direct quote
  • use facts or statistics that are relatively less known or relate directly to your argument.

Stable Links

A stable link is a web address that will consistently point to a specific information source such as an ebook, an article, a record in the catalog, a video, or a database. A stable link may also be called a permalink, document URL, persistent URL, or durable URL depending on the resource. You may also use a DOI (digital object identifier) found in many databases.

When citing online references your citation should look something like this:

Rivera Villegas, Carmen M. "La loca de la casa" de Marta Aponte Alsina: Reinvenciones romanticas de un canon fundacional.” Confluencia: Revista Hispanica de Cultura y Literatura , vol. 23, no. 1, 2007, p. 62, www.jstor.org/stable/27923253. Accessed 20 May 2009.

Rivera Villegas, Carmen M. "La loca de la casa" de Marta Aponte Alsina: Reinvenciones romanticas de un canon fundacional.” Confluencia: Revista Hispanica de Cultura y Literatura , vol. 23, no. 1, 2007, p. 62, JSTOR , doi:10.1353/mfs.1997.0056.

  • << Previous: Writing Literature Review: Useful Sites
  • Next: Other Academic Writings >>
  • Last Updated: Sep 21, 2022 2:16 PM
  • URL: https://guides.lib.uconn.edu/literaturereview

Creative Commons

Usc Upstate Library Home

Literature Review: Citation Styles & Plagiarism

  • Literature Review
  • Purpose of a Literature Review
  • Work in Progress
  • Compiling & Writing
  • Books, Articles, & Web Pages
  • Types of Literature Reviews
  • Departmental Differences
  • Citation Styles & Plagiarism
  • Know the Difference! Systematic Review vs. Literature Review

Citation Styles

What is a citation?

A  citation  is a reference to a source used in your research. It is how you give credit to the author for their creative and intellectual works that you referenced as support for your research.  Generally, citations should include author’s name, date, publisher information, journal information and/or DOI (Digital Object Identifier).

What are citation styles?

Citation styles are the formal way that citation information is formatted. It dictates what information is included, how it is ordered as well as punctuation and other formatting. There are many different styles and each mandate order of appearance of information (such as publication date, title, and page numbers following the author name etc), conventions of punctuation, use of italics (and underlining for emphasis) that are particular to their style.

How do I choose a citation style?

There are many different ways of citing resources from your research. The citation style sometimes depends on the academic discipline involved and sometimes depends on the publisher/ place of publishing. For example:

  • APA (American Psychological Association) is used by Education, Psychology, and some Sciences
  • ACS (American Chemical Society) is often used in Chemistry and some of the physical sciences
  • MLA (Modern Language Association) style is used by the Humanities
  • Chicago & Turabian (two styles very similar in formatting) are generally used by Business, History, and the Fine Arts

REMEMBER : Ultimately your professor will decide which citation style will be used, remember to consult with your professor to determine what is required in your assignment.

  • USC Upstate Citation Styles LibGuide
  • Chicago / Turabian Style Guide USC Upstate
  • USC Upstate LibGuide: MLA 8th Edition LibGuide
  • USC Upstate LibGuide: APA 7th Ed. Style Guide

The Library has created a Plagiarism Prevention LibGuide that can help you to avoid accidental plagiarism mistakes.  Remember you could be expelled or suspended if found guilty of plagiarism.

Many ways to Plagiarize

All of the following are considered plagiarism:

  • Turning in someone’s work as your own.
  • Failing to put a quotation in quotation marks.
  • Copying words or ideas from someone else without giving credit.
  • Giving incorrect information about the source of the quotation.
  • Changing words but copying the sentence structure of a source without giving credit.
  • Using a previous assignment or essay as a new assignment.
  • 10 Most common types of Plagiarism
  • Types of Plagiarism & Academic Cheating
  • The Most Common and Serious Types of Research Plagiarism
  • << Previous: Departmental Differences
  • Next: Know the Difference! Systematic Review vs. Literature Review >>
  • Last Updated: Oct 19, 2023 12:07 PM
  • URL: https://uscupstate.libguides.com/Literature_Review

what is citation in literature review

  • University of Oregon Libraries
  • Research Guides

How to Write a Literature Review

Citation chaining.

  • Literature Reviews: A Recap
  • Reading Journal Articles
  • Does it Describe a Literature Review?
  • 1. Identify the Question
  • 2. Review Discipline Styles
  • Searching Article Databases
  • Finding Full-Text of an Article

Linking UO Libraries with Google Scholar to Find Full-Text Articles

  • When to Stop Searching
  • 4. Manage Your References
  • 5. Critically Analyze and Evaluate
  • 6. Synthesize
  • 7. Write a Literature Review

Chat

Citation chaining   is the process by which you use one good information source, such as an article relevant to your topic, and mine its list of References for additional useful resources. This is called backward  chaining. You can locate those cited articles by inputting the citation information into Citation Linker , putting the exact title in LibrarySearch, or often you can do this directly within an article database.

You can also do forward chaining; this identifies those who have cited the article. This is simple to do in Google Scholar .

When you search  Google Scholar  on your personal computer, you can configure your settings so that UO Libraries resource links appear in your results. Then you can click the UO FindText  to access a library item.

(TIP: If you're at a temporary computer and don't want to activate these settings, you can access  Google Scholar via our Databases page  (Library Home Page > Databases A-Z > G > Google Scholar). 

screen shot of Google Scholar search for Oregon Trail generation

Long description of "Google Scholar search results screen shot" for web accessibility

To configure your Google Scholar Library Links, click on  Settings . in the upper right of the search page.

Screen shot of Google Scholars with Settings in menu indicated

Then select  Library Links  and search for "University of Oregon." Check the box in the search select and click "Save."

Screen shot showing Library Links in Google Scholars Settings with University of Oregon libraries indicated

  • << Previous: Finding Full-Text of an Article
  • Next: When to Stop Searching >>
  • Last Updated: May 3, 2024 5:17 PM
  • URL: https://researchguides.uoregon.edu/litreview

Contact Us Library Accessibility UO Libraries Privacy Notices and Procedures

Make a Gift

1501 Kincaid Street Eugene, OR 97403 P: 541-346-3053 F: 541-346-3485

  • Visit us on Facebook
  • Visit us on Twitter
  • Visit us on Youtube
  • Visit us on Instagram
  • Report a Concern
  • Nondiscrimination and Title IX
  • Accessibility
  • Privacy Policy
  • Find People

Help | Advanced Search

Computer Science > Computation and Language

Title: text generation: a systematic literature review of tasks, evaluation, and challenges.

Abstract: Text generation has become more accessible than ever, and the increasing interest in these systems, especially those using large language models, has spurred an increasing number of related publications. We provide a systematic literature review comprising 244 selected papers between 2017 and 2024. This review categorizes works in text generation into five main tasks: open-ended text generation, summarization, translation, paraphrasing, and question answering. For each task, we review their relevant characteristics, sub-tasks, and specific challenges (e.g., missing datasets for multi-document summarization, coherence in story generation, and complex reasoning for question answering). Additionally, we assess current approaches for evaluating text generation systems and ascertain problems with current metrics. Our investigation shows nine prominent challenges common to all tasks and sub-tasks in recent text generation publications: bias, reasoning, hallucinations, misuse, privacy, interpretability, transparency, datasets, and computing. We provide a detailed analysis of these challenges, their potential solutions, and which gaps still require further engagement from the community. This systematic literature review targets two main audiences: early career researchers in natural language processing looking for an overview of the field and promising research directions, as well as experienced researchers seeking a detailed view of tasks, evaluation methodologies, open challenges, and recent mitigation strategies.

Submission history

Access paper:.

  • HTML (experimental)
  • Other Formats

license icon

References & Citations

  • Google Scholar
  • Semantic Scholar

BibTeX formatted citation

BibSonomy logo

Bibliographic and Citation Tools

Code, data and media associated with this article, recommenders and search tools.

  • Institution

arXivLabs: experimental projects with community collaborators

arXivLabs is a framework that allows collaborators to develop and share new arXiv features directly on our website.

Both individuals and organizations that work with arXivLabs have embraced and accepted our values of openness, community, excellence, and user data privacy. arXiv is committed to these values and only works with partners that adhere to them.

Have an idea for a project that will add value for arXiv's community? Learn more about arXivLabs .

  • Case Report
  • Open access
  • Published: 01 June 2024

Superficial thrombophlebitis in the forearm leading to entrapment of the radial nerve branch: a first case report and literature review

  • Yinwei Zhang 1   na1 ,
  • Weijie Zhou 2   na1 ,
  • Jun Zhou 1 ,
  • Weitao Chu 1 ,
  • Jun Fan 1 &

BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders volume  25 , Article number:  429 ( 2024 ) Cite this article

Metrics details

This article reports a case of a female patient admitted with swelling and subcutaneous mass in the right forearm, initially suspected to be multiple nerve fibroma. However, through preoperative imaging and surgery, the final diagnosis confirmed superficial thrombophlebitis. This condition resulted in entrapment of the radial nerve branch, leading to noticeable nerve entrapment and radiating pain. The surgery involved the excision of inflammatory tissue and thrombus, ligation of the cephalic vein, and complete release of the radial nerve branch. Postoperative pathology confirmed the presence of Superficial Thrombophlebitis. Through this case, we emphasize the importance of comprehensive utilization of clinical, imaging, and surgical interventions for more accurate diagnosis and treatment. This is the first clinical report of radial nerve branch entrapment due to superficial thrombophlebitis.

Peer Review reports

Introduction

Superficial thrombophlebitis (ST) refers to an inflammatory condition affecting the superficial veins, often accompanied by the formation of blood clots [ 1 ]. It has long been believed that ST is a benign, self-limiting condition, which typically resolves rapidly on its own [ 2 ]. This clinical diagnosis is characterized by discomfort, erythema, induration, perivenous edema, and a reddish cord along the vein [ 3 ]. The lump resulting from superficial thrombophlebitis can be palpated along the course of the superficial branch of the radial nerve, leading to compression and subsequent development of Wartenberg syndrome [ 4 ]. Initially, Wartenberg syndrome was thought to be caused by an inflammation of the superficial radial sensory nerve, but gradually it was found to be caused by nerve entrapment [ 5 ]. Robert Wartenberg originally described the compression of the radial nerve's superficial branch in 1932, where is caused by entrapment of the superficial branch of the radial nerve at this site, where the nerve originates beneath the muscles [ 5 , 6 ]. This paper presents the first reported case of superficial radial nerve branch compression caused by thrombophlebitis.

Case description

The patient presented with swelling on the dorsal aspect of the right forearm, accompanied by redness on the radial side. Subcutaneous nodules were palpable, and occasional numbness at the tiger's mouth was reported. The Tinel's sign is positive for the superficial branch of the radial nerve and radiating pain symptoms raised concerns about potential neurological disorders. Preoperative ultrasound indicated multiple hypoechoic masses interconnected within the subcutaneous muscle layer, with the largest measuring 7 × 3x3 mm, suggestive of multiple nerve fibromas (Fig.  1 ). Magnetic resonance imaging further revealed localized edema and inflammation on the radial side of the forearm with indistinct borders, strongly supporting the necessity for surgery (Fig.  2 ). During the operation, a location-based incision under the brachial plexus block revealed locally inflamed subcutaneous fat. Segmental thrombus in the cephalic vein and compression of the radial nerve branch were observed with local fat infiltration. Measures taken included excision of inflammatory tissue and thrombus, ligation of the cephalic vein, and thorough release of the radial nerve branch (Fig.  3 ). Postoperative pathology confirmed the presence of Superficial Thrombophlebitis, further validating the effectiveness of the surgery (Fig.  4 ). This provided a precise diagnosis and direction for the patient's treatment.

figure 1

Superficial ultrasound reveals thrombus formation

figure 2

MRI shows inflammatory high signal

figure 3

Intraoperative anatomy: Thrombosis of cephalic vein, and the superficial thrombophlebitis compress the superficial branch of radial nerve

figure 4

Postoperative pathological findings: vascular lumen fibrous tissue hyperplasia, phagocytosis of hemosiderin tissue cells aggregation, thrombosis. ( A - D : H&E;  A : × 20 magnification, B : × 10 magnification, C : × 10 magnification, D : × 10 magnification)

Superficial thrombophlebitis refers to an inflammatory condition affecting the veins located immediately beneath the skin's surface. Superficial thrombophlebitis shares a common etiology with other thrombotic disorders [ 7 ]. However, varicose veins remain the most clinically identifiable risk factor [ 8 ]. There is some evidence suggesting a relationship between ST and venous thromboembolism [ 9 ]. In this case the patient did not find any of the above triggers. In the patient's forearm, there were no visible varicose veins. There was no history of recent pregnancy, trauma, birth control pills, superficial vein injection or venous catheterization and surgery. Ultrasound is the preferred diagnostic modality, which can be utilized to exclude venous thromboembolism (VTE) and determine the extent of the disease [ 10 ]. This clinical diagnostic is characterized by discomfort, erythema, induration, and perivenous edema, reddish cord along the vein [ 11 ]. The current treatment methods are to relieve symptoms, limit the expansion of thrombosis and reduce the risk of pulmonary embolism [ 12 ]. The treatment of ST includes pressure socks, limb elevation, pain control, low molecular weight heparin and surgical intervention [ 13 ].

During the operation, there was no obvious inflammatory infiltration of the superficial branch of the radial nerve and the lump resulting from superficial thrombophlebitis palpated along the course of the superficial branch of the radial nerve, leading to compression and subsequent development of Wartenberg syndrome [ 4 ]. The similar pain can be from the overlap of the lateral antebrachial cutaneous nerve which occurs in 75% of people [ 14 ]. Superficial position of the superficial branch of the radial nerve, which is easy to be injured, including trauma, external compression (wrist watch, plaster model), internal compression (ganglion cyst, lipoma, abscess, bone spur) and iatrogenic injury [ 15 ]. The combination of MR or ultrasound imaging and electrical diagnosis research can realize more accurate initial diagnosis and timely treatment [ 16 ]. Although the prognosis of compression neuropathy depends on the degree of nerve injury, early surgical intervention is very important [ 17 , 18 ]. In this case, the superficial branch of the radial nerve was compressed by a thrombotic superficial vein, so the right forearm radial nerve compression release and hemangioma resection were performed.

This case emphasizes the importance of comprehensive use of clinical symptoms and imaging examinations when facing unexplained forearm swelling and neurological symptoms. Preoperative assessment assists in more accurately determining the nature of the lesion, guiding the surgical approach. The success of the surgery underscores the critical role of surgical intervention in definitive diagnosis and treatment, especially in dealing with similar complex cases [ 19 ].

Superficial thrombophlebitis resulting in entrapment of the radial nerve branch in the forearm is a rare yet noteworthy condition that we have recently discovered. Through this case, we highlight the importance of timely comprehensive diagnosis and surgical treatment, providing valuable insights for similar cases.

Availability of data and materials

No datasets were generated or analysed during the current study.

Nasr H, Scriven JM. Superficial thrombophlebitis (superficial venous thrombosis). BMJ. 2015;350:h2039.

Article   CAS   PubMed   Google Scholar  

Decousus H, Epinat M, Guillot K, Quenet S, Boissier C, Tardy B. Superficial vein thrombosis: risk factors, diagnosis, and treatment. Curr Opin Pulm Med. 2003;9(5):393–7.

Article   PubMed   Google Scholar  

Di Nisio M, Wichers IM, Middeldorp S. Treatment for superficial thrombophlebitis of the leg. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2018;2(2):CD004982.

PubMed   Google Scholar  

Ilan DI, Medvecky M, Raskin KB, Boppana S. Radial nerve entrapment secondary to a solitary nodular fasciitis mass in the forearm. Am J Orthop (Belle Mead NJ). 2006;35(2):85–7.

Ehrlich W, Dellon AL, Mackinnon SE. Classical article: Cheiralgia paresthetica (entrapment of the radial nerve). A translation in condensed form of Robert Wartenberg’s original article published in 1932. J Hand surg. 1986;11(2):196–9.

Article   CAS   Google Scholar  

Ikiz ZA, Uçerler H. Anatomic characteristics and clinical importance of the superficial branch of the radial nerve. Surg Radiol Anat. 2004;26(6):453–8.

Leon L, Giannoukas AD, Dodd D, Chan P, Labropoulos N. Clinical significance of superficial vein thrombosis. European J Vasc Endovasc Surg. 2005;29(1):10–7.

De Maeseneer MG. Superficial thrombophlebitis of the lower limb: practical recommendations for diagnosis and treatment. Acta Chir Belg. 2005;105(2):145–7.

Dewar C, Panpher S. Incidence of deep vein thrombosis in patients diagnosed with superficial thrombophlebitis after presenting to an emergency department outpatient deep vein thrombosis service. Emerg Med J. 2010;27(10):758–61.

Marković MD, Lotina SI, Davidović LB, Vojnović BR, Kostić DM, Cinara IS, et al. Acute superficial thrombophlebitis–modern diagnosis and therapy. Srp Arh Celok Lek. 1997;125(9–10):261–6.

Lanbeck P, Odenholt I, Paulsen O. Antibiotics differ in their tendency to cause infusion phlebitis: a prospective observational study. Scand J Infect Dis. 2002;34(7):512–9.

Dua A, Patel B, Heller J, Kuy S, DuBose J, Tomasek JS, et al. Variability in the management of superficial venous thrombophlebitis among phlebologists and vascular surgeons. Perspect Vasc Surg Endovasc Ther. 2013;25(1–2):5–10.

Bauersachs RM. Diagnosis and treatment of superficial vein thrombosis. Hamostaseologie. 2013;33(3):232–40.

Mackinnon SE, Dellon AL. The overlap pattern of the lateral antebrachial cutaneous nerve and the superficial branch of the radial nerve. J Hand Surg. 1985;10(4):522–6.

Shields LBE, Iyer VG, Zhang YP, Shields CB. Etiological study of superficial radial nerve neuropathy: series of 34 patients. Front Neurol. 2023;14:1175612.

Article   PubMed   PubMed Central   Google Scholar  

Rossey-Marec D, Simonet J, Beccari R, Michot C, Bencteux P, Dacher JN, et al. Ultrasonographic appearance of idiopathic radial nerve constriction proximal to the elbow. J Ultrasound Med. 2004;23(7):1003–7.

Jin Q, Lu H. Angioleiomyoma of the hand with nerve compression. J Int Med Res. 2020;48(6):300060520928683.

Sun J, Zou X, Fu Q, Wu J, Yuan S, Alhaskawi A, et al. Case report: Ultrasound-guided needle knife technique for carpal ligament release in carpal tunnel syndrome treatment. Front Neurol. 2023;14:1291702.

Dong Y, Lu H. Editorial: Surgical treatment of peripheral neuropathic pain, peripheral nerve tumors, and peripheral nerve injury. Front Neurol. 2023;14:1266638.

Download references

Acknowledgements

Not applicable.

Author information

Yinwei Zhang and Weijie Zhou these authors contributed equally to this work.

Authors and Affiliations

Department of Orthopedics, Jinyun People’s Hospital, No.299 Ziwei Nouth Road, Lishui, Zhejiang Province, 321400, People’s Republic of China

Yinwei Zhang, Jun Zhou, Weitao Chu & Jun Fan

Department of Orthopedics, No., 903 Hospital of PLA Joint Logistic Support Force, #40 Airport Road, Hangzhou, 31003, People’s Republic of China

Weijie Zhou

Department of Orthopedics, The First Affiliated Hospital, Zhejiang University, #79 Qingchun Road, Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, 31003, People’s Republic of China

You can also search for this author in PubMed   Google Scholar

Contributions

Y.Z.W.Z., J.Z., and J.F. designed the study. H.L., W.Z., and Y.Z. performed literature collection. Y.Z., W.Z., J.Z., and Hui Lu analyzed the results. W.Z. drafted the manuscript. J.Z., H.L., Y.Z., and J.F. critically revised the manuscript. The authors have read and approved the final manuscript.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Jun Fan .

Ethics declarations

Ethics approval and consent to participate, consent for publication.

Written informed consent was obtained from the patient for the publication of clinical details and clinical images. Upon request, a copy of the consent form is available for review by the Editor of this journal.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing interests.

Additional information

Publisher's note.

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ . The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/ ) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article.

Zhang, Y., Zhou, W., Zhou, J. et al. Superficial thrombophlebitis in the forearm leading to entrapment of the radial nerve branch: a first case report and literature review. BMC Musculoskelet Disord 25 , 429 (2024). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12891-024-07545-4

Download citation

Received : 03 March 2024

Accepted : 27 May 2024

Published : 01 June 2024

DOI : https://doi.org/10.1186/s12891-024-07545-4

Share this article

Anyone you share the following link with will be able to read this content:

Sorry, a shareable link is not currently available for this article.

Provided by the Springer Nature SharedIt content-sharing initiative

  • Superficial thrombophlebitis
  • Radial nerve entrapment

BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders

ISSN: 1471-2474

what is citation in literature review

IMAGES

  1. What is Citation in English Literature? Give Examples

    what is citation in literature review

  2. Citation Help

    what is citation in literature review

  3. what is citation with example

    what is citation in literature review

  4. What is a Literature Review

    what is citation in literature review

  5. (PDF) Roles of the Cited Author in Citations of the Literature Review

    what is citation in literature review

  6. Giving credit and citing sources 101

    what is citation in literature review

VIDEO

  1. Citation and Referencing for beginners

  2. HOW TO CITE SOURCES IN LITERATURE REVIEW (APA 7th Edition)

  3. How to Write a Literature Review: 3 Minute Step-by-step Guide

  4. How to Write a Literature Review in 30 Minutes or Less

  5. What is a Literature Review? Explained with a REAL Example

  6. How to Write a Literature Review

COMMENTS

  1. Research Guides: Citation Styles: Literature Reviews

    Step 4: Write. Be selective. Highlight only the most important and relevant points from a source in your review. Use quotes sparingly. Short quotes can help to emphasize a point, but thorough analysis of language from each source is generally unnecessary in a literature review. Synthesize your sources.

  2. Writing a Literature Review

    A literature review is a document or section of a document that collects key sources on a topic and discusses those sources in conversation with each other (also called synthesis ). The lit review is an important genre in many disciplines, not just literature (i.e., the study of works of literature such as novels and plays).

  3. How to Write a Literature Review

    Examples of literature reviews. Step 1 - Search for relevant literature. Step 2 - Evaluate and select sources. Step 3 - Identify themes, debates, and gaps. Step 4 - Outline your literature review's structure. Step 5 - Write your literature review.

  4. LibGuides: CITING SOURCES RESEARCH GUIDE: Literature Reviews

    The literature review is a written explanation by you, the author, of the research already done on the topic, question or issue at hand. ... about the relevant literature on this topic. Remember to cite your sources properly! Research: Getting Started. Visit this guide to learn more about finding and evaluating resources. Literature Review ...

  5. Literature Review

    Literature Review via APA Style.org "a narrative summary and evaluation of the findings or theories within a literature base. Also known as 'narrative literature review'.

  6. PDF Conducting a Literature Review

    Literature Review A literature review is a survey of scholarly sources that provides an overview of a particular topic. Literature reviews are a collection of the most relevant and significant publications regarding that topic in order to provide a comprehensive look at what has been said on the topic and by whom.

  7. What is a Literature Review?

    A literature review is a survey of scholarly sources on a specific topic. It provides an overview of current knowledge, allowing you to identify relevant theories, methods, and gaps in the existing research. There are five key steps to writing a literature review: Search for relevant literature. Evaluate sources. Identify themes, debates and gaps.

  8. Conduct a literature review

    Step 2: Identify the literature. Start by searching broadly. Literature for your review will typically be acquired through scholarly books, journal articles, and/or dissertations. Develop an understanding of what is out there, what terms are accurate and helpful, etc., and keep track of all of it with citation management tools.

  9. Research Guides: How to do a Literature Review: What is citation

    the basic steps for a literature review. This can be called citation harvesting, citation chasing, snowballing, etc.

  10. Writing an effective literature review

    Seen this way, citation is a sophisticated task, requiring in-depth knowledge of the literature in a domain. Citation is more than just referencing; it is how we represent the social construction of knowledge in a field. A citation strategy is any indication in the text about the source and nature of knowledge.

  11. What is a Literature Review? How to Write It (with Examples)

    A literature review is a critical analysis and synthesis of existing research on a particular topic. It provides an overview of the current state of knowledge, identifies gaps, and highlights key findings in the literature. 1 The purpose of a literature review is to situate your own research within the context of existing scholarship ...

  12. Citation Styles Guide

    The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation is the main style guide for legal citations in the US. It's widely used in law, and also when legal materials need to be cited in other disciplines. Bluebook footnote citation. 1 David E. Pozen, Freedom of Information Beyond the Freedom of Information Act, 165, U. P🇦 . L.

  13. Literature Reviews

    The term literature review can refer to the process of doing a review as well as the product resulting from conducting a review. The product resulting from reviewing the literature is the concern of this section. Literature reviews for research studies at the master's and doctoral levels have various definitions.

  14. Steps in Conducting a Literature Review

    A literature review may be a stand alone work or the introduction to a larger research paper, depending on the assignment. ... Use a citation manager, such as EndNote as the repository for your citations. See the EndNote tutorials for help. Review the literature. Some questions to help you analyze the research:

  15. Writing a literature review

    A formal literature review is an evidence-based, in-depth analysis of a subject. There are many reasons for writing one and these will influence the length and style of your review, but in essence a literature review is a critical appraisal of the current collective knowledge on a subject. Rather than just being an exhaustive list of all that ...

  16. 4 Literature review and citations/references

    4. Literature review. and citations/references. Figure 4.1: Literature reviews and references. Your may have done a literature survey as part of your proposal. This will be incorporated into your dissertation, not left as separate stand-alone. Most economics papers include a literature review section, which may be a separate section, or ...

  17. A Complete Guide on How to Write Good a Literature Review

    To cite a literature review in APA style, you need to provide the author's name, the title of the article, and the year of publication. For example: Patel, A. B., & Stokes, G. S. (2012). The relationship between personality and intelligence: A meta-analysis of longitudinal research. Personality and Individual Differences, 53(1), 16-21

  18. Literature Review: The What, Why and How-to Guide

    What kinds of literature reviews are written? Narrative review: The purpose of this type of review is to describe the current state of the research on a specific topic/research and to offer a critical analysis of the literature reviewed. Studies are grouped by research/theoretical categories, and themes and trends, strengths and weakness, and gaps are identified.

  19. Citation Resources

    What and When to Cite? You should always cite other people's words, ideas and other intellectual property that you use in your papers or that influence your ideas. This includes but isn't limited to books, journal articles, web pages, reports, data, statistics, speeches, lectures, personal interviews, etc. You should cite whenever you:

  20. Literature review as a research methodology: An ...

    A literature review can broadly be described as a more or less systematic way of collecting and synthesizing previous research (Baumeister & Leary, 1997; Tranfield, Denyer, & Smart, 2003). ... In truth, review articles that are a medley of word clouds and citation analyses are highly unlikely to be published. This is a pity, as these ...

  21. Citation Styles & Plagiarism

    Citation styles are the formal way that citation information is formatted. It dictates what information is included, how it is ordered as well as punctuation and other formatting. There are many different styles and each mandate order of appearance of information (such as publication date, title, and page numbers following the author name etc ...

  22. LibGuides: Reference and Instruction Guide: Literature Review

    As well as accurate in-text citations, a literature review must contain complete and correct citations for every source. Use quotes sparingly. Most literature reviews do not use direct quotes from the text. Use short quotes if you need to once in a while, but do not quote large passages of text. Your goal is to summarize in your own words the ...

  23. Beginning Steps and Finishing a Review

    Citation alerts: when a work is cited, an alert can be sent that shows it has been used, which also can provide current or new information on a topic. 3(i). (For Systematic Reviews or Meta-Analyses) Use a guideline and document your searches and protocol. ... Remember, the literature review is an iterative process. You may need to revisit parts ...

  24. Citation Chaining

    Citation chaining is the process by which you use one good information source, such as an article relevant to your topic, and mine its list of References for additional useful resources. This is called backward chaining.You can locate those cited articles by inputting the citation information into Citation Linker, putting the exact title in LibrarySearch, or often you can do this directly ...

  25. [2405.15604] Text Generation: A Systematic Literature Review of Tasks

    We provide a systematic literature review comprising 244 selected papers between 2017 and 2024. This review categorizes works in text generation into five main tasks: open-ended text generation, summarization, translation, paraphrasing, and question answering. For each task, we review their relevant characteristics, sub-tasks, and specific ...

  26. Sweet syndrome in the setting of breast cancer: A literature review

    Methods: A literature review from 1/1950-11/2023 was conducted for co-existing diagnoses of BC and SS in the PubMed Database. Search terms included Sweet Syndrome or Acute febrile neutrophilic dermatosis with Breast Cancer with subtypes. Key outcomes included: trigger identification, breast cancer subtypes, and treatment options.

  27. Superficial thrombophlebitis in the forearm leading to entrapment of

    Superficial thrombophlebitis (ST) refers to an inflammatory condition affecting the superficial veins, often accompanied by the formation of blood clots [].It has long been believed that ST is a benign, self-limiting condition, which typically resolves rapidly on its own [].This clinical diagnosis is characterized by discomfort, erythema, induration, perivenous edema, and a reddish cord along ...