A Systematic Literature Review (SLR) is a necessary part of academic research. Understanding advancement must, at its core, be based on previously completed work. We need to know where the knowledge frontier is to drive it forward. We can better understand the breadth and depth of the existing body of work by evaluating relevant literature and identifying gaps to investigate. We can test a certain hypothesis and establish new hypotheses by summarizing, analysing, and synthesising a group of related material. We can also use a criterion to assess the validity and quality of existing work in order to spot flaws, inconsistencies, and contradictions.
Literature reviews, as scientific investigations, should be valid, trustworthy, and reproducible. Unfortunately, we lack thorough systematic reviews in the planning industry, partially because we rarely address literature review methods and don’t provide enough direction on how to perform effective reviews.
The objective of literature review is to provide instructions on how to perform a systematic literature review. We explain the typology of literature review, define the techniques for performing the review, and offer suggestions to planning researchers based on a survey of publications on the methodology of literature review. The following steps are involved in the Systematic Literature Review;
- Create a Topic
- Search for Literature
- Maintain the Review’s Focus
- Be Consistent and Critical
- Search for a logical structure.
- Utilize the suggestions of others
- Keep yourself up to date
Create a Topic
- There are several concerns in modern science that you might spend a lifetime attending conferences and reading the literature just deciding what to review. On the one hand, if you wait several years to make your decision, many different people had the very idea in the meantime. But, on the other hand, only a well-thought-out topic is likely to result in an outstanding literature review.
- Ideally, you should have come upon a sequence of current publications linked to your line of work that necessitate a critical summary.
- A significant aspect of the area is that many people will read the review and there will be enough material to write it.
- A well-defined subject; otherwise, you risk including thousands of publications, rendering the review useless.
- Dissertations that provide lists of essential research issues to be answered may provide inspiration for possible reviews. But also from chance encounters during idle reading and discussions. You should also choose a target audience in addition to your theme. In many circumstances, the topic will naturally designate an audience, although the same issue may also be of interest to fields adjacent to the one being discussed.
Search for Literature
- Begin by reviewing the literature and downloading relevant articles after you’ve decided on your topic and audience. Here are five points to consider:
- Keep track of the search terms you use (so that your search can duplicate etc.)
- Keep a list of papers you won’t be able to access right away (so you can retrieve them later via alternate methods or utilise a paper management system).
- Early on in the process, establish some criteria for excluding publications that aren’t relevant. These criteria can then be described in the review to assist define its scope, and look for past reviews as well as research publications in the topic you want to review.
Maintain the Review’s Focus
- Whether you intend to write a mini- or full-length review, it is best to keep it focused. Including stuff solely for its sake can easily result in evaluations that try to do too much at once. For multidisciplinary reviews, where the goal is to bridge the gap across fields, the requirement to keep a review focused might be an issue.
- If you’re writing a review on, say, how epidemiological methodologies are employed in modelling the spread of ideas, you might be tempted to incorporate material from both parent domains, epidemiology and cultural diffusion research. To a certain extent, this may be essential, but in this situation, a focused review would only look at research at the intersection of epidemiology and the dissemination of ideas.
- While the emphasis is a crucial aspect of a great review, it must balance with making the review related to a wide range of readers. This square can be circled by analysing the topic’s broader ramifications for other disciplines.
Be Consistent and Critical
- Examining the literature is not the same as collecting stamps. A competent review not only summarises the literature, but also critically evaluates it, finds methodological flaws, and identifies research gaps. A reader should have a rough sense of: after reading a review of the literature:
- The important accomplishments in the discipline under consideration, the main points of contention, and the unresolved research questions.
- On all of these fronts, completing a successful review is difficult. A solution could be to enlist the help of a group of complimentary co-authors: some people great at charting what has been accomplished, while others excel at spotting dark dark clouds, and still others thrive at predicting where solutions will emerge.
Search for a logical structure
- A good review, like a very well cake, has a number of distinguishing characteristics: it is timely, systematic, well-written, targeted, and critical.
- It also necessitates a solid framework. The traditional categorization of research papers into introduction, methods, findings, and discussion does not work or is only used infrequently with reviews.
- However, in the case of reviews, a general introduction to the setting and, toward the end, a recapitulation of the important themes addressed and take-home messages make sense.
- This one is true during the writing process and for readers if the diagram is included as a figure in the review. A well-chosen set of illustrations and figures pertinent to the subject under discussion can also help arrange the text.
Utilize the suggestions of others
- Reviews of the literature are usually peer-reviewed in the same way as research papers, which is understandable.
- In most cases, including reviewer feedback considerably aids in the improvement of a review draught.
- Reviewers who read the review with a fresh perspective may find mistakes, inconsistencies, and ambiguities that the writers did not notice, owing to reviewing the typescript too many times.
- It is, nevertheless, recommended that you check the document again before submitting it, as a last-minute repair of typos, leaps, and unclear sentences may allow the reviewers to focus on the content rather than the form.
- Feedback is essential for producing a solid review, and it should come from a number of peers in order to get a variety of perspectives on the draught.
- This may result in differing opinions on the merits of the article and how to improve it in some circumstances, but this is preferable than no input at all.
Keep yourself up to date
- Given the increasing speed with which scientific papers are produced, today’s literature evaluations must be aware of the broad direction and successes of a field of investigation and the most recent findings to avoid becoming out-of-date before they are published.
- A literature review, in theory, should not reveal a large research gap. A topic that has recently been addressed in a series of papers in publication; the same, of course, applies to older, ignored research.
- Given that it can take months for articles in the press to surface in scientific databases, literature reviewers would do well to keep a watch on electronic lists of papers in press.
- Some reviews claim to have scanned the literature up to a certain point in time, but because peer review can be a protracted process, a thorough search for freshly published material throughout the revision stage may be helpful.
- Assessing the value of recently published articles is particularly difficult because there is little context to judge their significance and impact on future research and society.
A Systematic Literature Review (SLR) is a time-consuming and work undertaking. However, because they require investigation, discovery, learning, and focus, these endeavours can be rewarding. Furthermore, literature reviews provide both medical device developers and manufacturers with a wealth of information. Our PHDizone provides excellent thesis writing services for PhD research scholars.