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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Literature Reviews in Health Sciences

Overview of types of literature reviews

About Literature Reviews

A literature review offers a snapshot of publications that address a topic. There a different types of literature reviews that provide varying degrees of scope and focus. A narrative review is often part of a research publication and it situates a focused issue that the research addresses withing the broader landscape of a topic. A literature review can also be a publication in its own right, as with Systematic Reviews, Meta-Analyses, Scoping Reviews and others.

In a literature review:

SEARCH may or may not be comprehensive

APPRAISAL may or may not include quality assessment

SYNTHESIS is narrative

ANALYSIS may be chronological, conceptual, thematic, etc.

From: A typology of reviews: an analysis of 14 review types and associated methodologies. Grant MJ & Booth A. Health information and Libraries Journal year: 2009 26(2):91 -108. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-1842.2009.00848.x.