What is a literature review?

Education | 2011. 9. 16. 05:09 | Posted by 스마트 안전보건
What is a literature review?
  1. A literature review is a process of surveying sources, both published and unpublished, relevant to the research interest.
  2. This is a process that typically continues throughout the research process.
  3. The reporting of reviewed literature is often considered part of this process.
Roles of related literature
  1. Knowledge of related research enables investigators to define the frontiers of their field.
  2. A thorough review of related theory and research enables researchers to place their questions in perspective.
  3. Reviewing related literature helps researchers to limit their research question and to clarify and define the concepts of the study.
  4. Through studying related research, investigators learn which methodologies have proven useful and which seem less promising.
  5. A thorough search through related research avoids unintentional replication of previous studies.
  6. The study of related literature places researchers in a better position to interpret the significance of their own results.


Why perform a literature review?

  1. Learn the known and unknown of an area of interest
  2. Identify areas of consensus and debate
  3. Familiarize with previous designs, surveys, tests, analyses
  4. See current trends in research
Quantitative Research:
  • Identify current endpoints of knowledge and cater specific research questions to this perspective
  • Identify appropriate methodologies
  • Judge the significance of research from the perspective of your field
Qualitative Research:
  • Identify literature that has already inspired the research
  • Search the literature of a similar study from a different field
  • Postpositivist: do not allow a literature review to influence your observations.
  • Instead review similar work after your study is complete

How do we perform a literature review?

One type of sources:
  • Primary Sources
  • Secondary Sources
Primary Sources report original research.
  • Refereed / Peer Reviewed Journals
  • Non-Refereed Journals
  • Original Presentations
Secondary Sources summarize, review, or discuss original research from other sources.
  • Textbooks
  • Monographs
  • Encyclopedias
  • Handbooks


Another type of sources

  • Formal Sources
  • Informal Sources
Formal Sources are published works of research.
  • Journal Articles
  • Dictionaries
  • Thesauri
  • Encyclopedias
  • Textbooks
Informal Sources are not published in the usual sense.
  • Technical Reports
  • Conference Proceedings
  • Pre-Prints
  • Symposia
  • Theses
  • Dissertations
Some common sources for references:
  • Online Searches
  • Database
  • Aggregate Collection
  • Citation Index
  • Print Journals
  • Textbooks
  • Tests in Print


Online Search: General Process

  • Identify keywords
  • Perform a logical search for titles
  • Collect relevant abstracts
  • Review the full text if needed
Online Search: Options
  1. ERIC (Educational Resources Information Center) - www.eric.ed.gov
  2. PsycINOF - www.apa.org/psycinfo
  3. Professional development collection - www.ebscohost.com/thisTopic.php?topicID=123&marketID=1
  4. Academic search premier - www.ebscohost.com/thisMarket.php?marketID=1
  5. Web of knowledge - www.isiwebofknowledge.com
  6. JSTOR - www.jstor.org
  7. Google scholar - scholar.google.com
  8. WorldCat - www.worldcat.org
Other Sources:
  1. Social Science Citation Index
  2. American Educators' Encyclopedia
  3. International Dictionary of Education
  4. Thesaurus of ERIC Descriptors
  5. Proquest Digital Dissertation
  6. Tests in Print (Myrphy et al. 2002)
Tips for searches:
  • Record Everything!
  • Move from secondary sources (textbooks) to primary sources
  • (articles) as more detail is needed
  • Move from newer sources to older sources
General Strategies
  • Carefully construct a concise research question
  • Identify important concepts (keywords)
  • Create synonyms for important concepts (keywords)
  • Carefully check coverage of databases
  • Choose types of sources and time periods
Criteria of determining the quality of online journals
  1. Reputation of the journal
  2. Stringency of its editorial policies
  3. Reporting of primary research, as opposed to feature articles synthesizing or summarizing bodies of research for the lay audience
  4. Use of blind reviews
  5. Reputation of its reviewers
  6. Journal's affiliation with distinguished learned societies
  7. The presence or absence of advertising
  8. Audience for which the journal is intended
Organizing the related literature
  1. Begin reading the most recent studies in the field and then work backward through earlier volumes.
  2. Read the abstract or summary sections of a report first to determine whether it is relevant to the question.
  3. Before taking notes, skim the report quickly to find those sections that are related to the question.
  4. Make notes on file cards, in a word processing program, or in some format that can be accessed easily or moved around to cluster with other notes on related research
  5. Write out a separate complete bibliographic reference for each work. For the sake of record keeping, include the reference in the bibliography list and with the individual note card with the notes on the source.
  6. To facilitate sorting and organizing, do not put more than on reference on each page, entry, or card.
  7. Be sure to indicate which parts of the notes are direct quotations from author and which are your own paraphrases.
  8. If you searched online databases, keep the search strategies on file.

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