Doing Your Literature Review

Doing Your Literature Review : Traditional and Systematic Techniques

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The literature review is a compulsory part of research and, increasingly, may form the whole of a student research project. This highly accessible book guides students through the production of either a traditional or a systematic literature review, clearly explaining the difference between the two types of review, the advantages and disadvantages of both, and the skills needed. It gives practical advice on reading and organising relevant literature and critically assessing the reviewed field.

Contents include:

using libraries and the internet
note making
critical analysis
referencing, plagiarism and copyright.

This book will be relevant to students from any discipline. It includes contributions from two lecturers who have many years experience of teaching research methods and the supervision of postgraduate research dissertations and a librarian, each offering expert advice on either the creation and assessment of literature reviews or the process of searching for information. The book also highlights the increasing importance for many disciplines of the systematic review methodology and discusses some of the specific challenges which it brings.

Jill K. Jesson has worked with multi-disciplinary research teams within the Aston School of Pharmacy, Aston Business School and with M-E-L Research, an independent public services research consultancy. She has now left Aston University and is working as a Consultant.

Lydia Matheson is an Information Specialist working for Library & Information Services at Aston University.

Fiona M. Lacey is an academic pharmacist, a member of the pharmacy practice teaching group in the School of Pharmacy, and Associate Dean in the School of Life and Health Sciences at Aston.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 192 pages
  • 170 x 242 x 10.41mm | 330g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • First Edition
  • black & white tables, figures
  • 1848601549
  • 9781848601543
  • 142,043

Table of contents

Who is this book for?
How is this book different?
The rationale and history behind the contributions from a researcher and from an information specialist
Features of the book
Layout of the book
What is a literature review?
Terminology used in this book
Different styles of review
Two styles or approaches
A critical approach
Knowledge and literature
Why and when will you need to review the literature?
The research question and the literature review
What is appropriate literature?
Choosing which style of review: a traditional narrative review or a systematic review
Project management
Searching for Information
Develop online searches by identifying key words and creating a search record
The range of information sources available for complex searches.
What do you need from a resource to make it appropriate for locating journal articles for your review?
Reading Skills
Be analytical in your reading
Where to start
Reading techniques - scan, skim and understand
Reading different types of material
Grey literature: non academic sources and policy reports
Recording and note making
From Making Notes to Writing
From notes to writing
Writing - critical writing and types of argument
Making a value judgment and bias
The Traditional Review
Overview of the debate
Types of review: critical, conceptual state of the art, expert and scoping
Draw up an analytical framework - how to sort the material
Moving to analysis and synthesis
The presentation of your review
Summarizing the gap - dare to have an opinion.
Writing up Your Review
A short summary
A self-standing review
Abstract, executive summary and annotated bibliography
Writing the review
Key words or phrases to help you move from stage 1 to stage 2
The 'so what' question, originality and making a value judgment
The Systematic Review
Development of the review protocol
Formulating the review question
Documenting your progress
Locating studies and sources of information
Selecting studies: inclusion and exclusion criteria
Appraisal - assessing the quality of research
Data extraction
Synthesis, drawing conclusions, what the review shows
Evolving formats of systematic review
Meta- Analysis
What is meta-analysis?
Can I use meta-analysis to summarise the results of my systematic review?
Undertaking your meta-analysis
Displaying the results of a meta-analysis
Is your meta-analysis free from bias?
Performing a sensitivity analysis
Referencing and Plagiarism
Why is referencing important?
What do you need to reference?
How many references should I provide?
When and how to reference
Referencing systems
Where to find citation information you need
Appendix 1: Further reading
Appendix 2: Critical review checklist
Appendix 3: Systematic review online resources
Appendix 4: Resources for meta-analysis
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Review quote

The book does what it promises: it is an accessible and practical book, which many researchers can benefit from to improve their literature reviews. -- Willemijn Krebbekx, Universiteit van Amsterdam 'The main strength lies in the book's practical nature. The authors place great emphasis on the importance of proper searching techniques and encourage the use of specialist librarians. Chapters on reading and note-taking skills contain useful detail often missing from similar books - such as which bits of an article to read first, and how to make and store relevant notes that will be usable later. The examples of how to improve specific passages of writing are very valuable.' -- Jenni Brooks 'Tasks, tips, examples, figures and summaries in each chapter give the book a "self-guided" feel appropriate in a textbook, and the language is rarely arcane. Four useful appendices and a fine index complete the work. Overall, this is a sound guide for the absolute neophyte in how to create useable literature reviews. Part 2 is especially recommended as a good discussion of the ways and means of writing reviews. The work is useful for students at most levels, and for those who teach research methods and want a clear guide for literature reviews for their reading lists' -
G. E. Gorman
Online Information Review
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About Dr. Jill Jesson

Jill Jesson entered higher education as a mature student. She
won a First Class Honours BSc in Behavioural Science, and in 1988 was awarded
her PhD for a pioneering doctoral thesis on black businesses, both from Aston University.
Since then she has worked with multi-disciplinary research teams within the
Aston School of Pharmacy, Aston
Business School
and with M-E-L Research, an independent public services research consultancy.
Her publications cover community pharmacy practice, public health and social
care. Her special interest in literature review and the idea for this book
developed as a result of teaching applied research to pharmacy undergraduates
and Business School Masters students.

Matheson is an Information Specialist working for Library & Information
Services at Aston
University. She
undertook her BA Honours in English at York
University and her PG Diploma in
Librarianship at the University
of Central England.
Her current role includes supporting business school students and developing
the library's online learning module for staff and students. She is
currently Secretary of the Business Librarians Association and a member of
CILIP. Before 2002, she worked on Stories from the Web for
Birmingham Libraries and the SENCO Electronic Communications Project for the
National Council for Educational Technology.

Fiona M. Lacey is a Glasgow
native and graduate in Pharmacy, from Strathclyde University.
She has been a registered pharmacist since 1982, practicing mainly in community
pharmacy. Following a PhD in pharmacology, she gained post doctoral experience
of R&D as a laboratory scientist in a UK-based multinational pharmaceutical
company. She has been at Aston
University since 1997,
where she has taught various scientific and professional aspects of Pharmacy to
undergraduate and postgraduate students. Her interest in literature review and
the systematic review came through years of supervising student research
projects. She is currently Associate Dean in the School of Life and Health
Sciences at Aston University.
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Rating details

27 ratings
3.55 out of 5 stars
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3 37% (10)
2 7% (2)
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