Reading it Right. Abstaining from Unproductive Literature with a Reading Strategy

A literature review is a comprehensive summary of previous research on a topic. The primary purpose of a literature review is to demonstrate the required backup of knowledge and exploration into your specific domain of study. It is not a mere reporting of the work but rather a critical review to identify research gaps and possibilities to contribute with your research.

Why is a literature review required?

A literature review provides a comprehensive overview of what is currently known about a topic. This overview is usually organized by finding relevant articles within the domain of your study and finding subject matter relevant to your research within voluminous texts. However, a literature review is usually not conducted for the purpose of discovery of new knowledge. Rather, the purpose is to show that you have done your due diligence and are systematic in your search for relevant literature. This review is essential when you want to make a point about a particular topic in your research and have to justify your claims. 

 

Conduct systematic search and identify relevant articles

  • The first step to conducting a literature review is to find relevant literature within your field. You can search through the journals and websites of related domains to find relevant articles. 

  • Next, you need to determine the scope of the review. 

  • What are the specific topics you want to cover in your literature review? 

  • What are the key questions you want to answer? 

  • Is the field a narrow subdomain of interest or do you want to cover the related domains?

Once you have your topics and questions, you can begin the search for relevant literature. You can begin your search by using a combination of keywords, authors, and publication dates of the articles you identified to help you narrow down the specific articles you want to review. You can also use tools like the Pubmed or Google Scholar search engines to help you identify relevant articles. Understand, however, that the articles will only be relevant if you are actively looking for them with the right keywords and context.


Developing a Literature Review Strategy

Next, you need to determine the scope of the review. What are the specific topics you want to cover in your literature review? What are the key questions you want to answer? Is the field a narrow subdomain of interest or do you want to cover the related domains? Once you have your topics and questions, you can begin the search for relevant literature. You can begin your search by using a combination of keywords, authors, and publication dates of the articles you identified to help you narrow down the specific articles you want to review. You can also use tools like the Pubmed or Google Scholar search engines to help you identify relevant articles. Understand, however, that these articles will only be relevant if you are actively looking for them.


Limitations of literature review

As with any type of research, there are limitations of a literature review. Although this research is generally unbiased, it is based on the published findings of others. If the conclusions drawn from the literature review are not accurate, then the research will have to be re-oriented. The literature review also has a time limit which means that there can be limitations of time and space. A thorough literature review can take a lot of time and space in a journal or book. Depending on the scope of the review and your resources, it may be difficult to conduct an appropriate level of review in the time allotted.

A reading strategy that establishes a proper schedule to cover sorted amounts of literature based on the above prescribed methods is necessary so that you do not derail from the scope of the research or expend additional time in covering unnecessary details.

A literature review is a critical review of existing literature and is often conducted as part of a research project to analyze previous research on a topic. The primary purpose of a literature review is to demonstrate the required backup of knowledge and exploration into your specific domain of study. It is not a mere reporting of the work but rather a critical review to identify research gaps and possibilities to contribute with your research. A literature review is essential for research if you want to make a point about a particular topic in your research and have to justify your claims. The first step to conducting a literature review is to find relevant literature within your field. Once you have your topics and questions, you can begin the search for relevant literature with a target based time schedule to cover a reasonable amount of necessary literature.

 
Category : Literature Review
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