5 Important Guidelines for Writing Systematic Literature Review
Writing a literature review is a technique that almost all students who ever write a dissertation must know. A literature review is the second chapter of a dissertation that aims to collect all background information related to the subject under study in light of already published articles. Searching for the best suitable relevant articles, assessing the quality of the information in them, and finding ways to relate it to your research goals are the main tasks to accomplish while writing a review.
Apart from this, arranging highly scattered data in a logical order is a tricky task in review writing. Thus, the difficulties in dealing with so many things at a time and structuring the information in the best possible order impose many challenges when writing a systematic review. Thereby, this article will discuss five important guidelines for writing a systematic literature review so you can easily bypass all these writing problems.
What is a systematic literature review?
As per the definition of the systematic review, it is the systematic, explicit, and reproducible method for the evaluation, identification, and summarisation of an existing body of scholarly work reported on a topic of discussion by other researchers, practitioners, and scholars. Its main purpose is to compile all revenant studies in one place to make the available evidence more assessable, so decisions can be made on concrete assertions.
Guidelines for writing a systematic literature review:
Broadly, identifying, evaluating, and summarising the findings are the main tasks involved in a systematic review. To complete all these steps, one can follow the following guidelines:
Guideline # 1: Research questions formulation:
Conducting a review without forming well-defined research questions is like conducting research without specifying the research goals. Research questions help researchers in searching only the literature providing answers in one way or another.
Research questions must be formulated at the start of the project, so researchers can find whether there is enough information to conduct a review or not. Furthermore, research questions must be short, precise, and focused, which can be done by choosing any framework like PICO, SPIDER, or PICOS. Hiring a dissertation writing service is also helpful in this regard.
Guideline # 2: Making a search strategy:
Search strategy may be different for different researchers working on different niches. Generally, it includes the selection of keywords, choosing various databases for research, and setting inclusion or exclusion criteria. Deciding on all these things before starting a literature search is essential to only consider highly relevant data for conducting a systematic literaure review.
Guideline # 3: Identifying the relevant material across various databases:
After making an initial search plan, the next step must be to use the plan to reach the data that may help you in collecting data from various sources. It is the title of the scholarly articles, abstract, and other parts of the paper that help you find the feasibility of including a source in a study. Apart from this, the reviewer is allowed to add or delete any article at any stage of the review.
Guideline # 4: Assessing the quality of information:
A systematic literature review is different from a literature review as it is more sensitive to assessing the quality and risk of bias associated with outcomes of a published study. For assessing the quality, you can take into consideration as many of the following questions as you wish:
- What are the research questions of a study that you are planning to add to your review?
- Is a piece of literature funded by an agency that may impact the findings?
- Are there any conflicting issues associated with a study?
- What is the reputation of the authors who published a source of information?
- Is the research methodology in compliance with the findings of a study?
Guideline # 5: Summarise the evidence and interpret findings:
Last but not least is the summarisation of evidence that you extracted from an original study, no matter whether it favours or opposes your claim. It will be the honesty in the summarisation of evidence that will help you in reaching the best possible outcomes. Furthermore, while summarization and evaluating, you must conserve your original voice and refrain from paraphrasing.
After all is said and done, we can come to the point that a systematic literature review asks you to do some extra efforts that are not necessary for conducting a literature review. For getting benefit from this method of analysis, you must make a detailed research strategy. Additionally, summarisation and evaluation of evidence are also specific features of systematic reviews. These features are important to reduce the risk of biased representation and evaluation of facts. For more interesting articles like this, visit wire media!