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  • © 2020

How to Perform a Systematic Literature Review

A Guide for Healthcare Researchers, Practitioners and Students

  • Edward Purssell   ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3748-0864 0 ,
  • Niall McCrae   ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9776-7694 1

School of Health Sciences, City, University of London, London, UK

You can also search for this author in PubMed   Google Scholar

Florence Nightingale Faculty of Nursing Midwifery & Palliative Care, King’s College London, London, UK

Presents a logical approach to systematic literature reviewing

offers a corrective to flawed guidance in existing books

An accessible but intellectually stimulating guide with illuminating examples and analogies

70k Accesses

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  • Table of contents

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Table of contents (11 chapters)

Front matter, introduction.

  • Edward Purssell, Niall McCrae

A Brief History of the Systematic Review

The aim and scope of a systematic review: a logical approach, searching the literature, screening search results: a 1-2-3 approach, critical appraisal: assessing the quality of studies, reviewing quantitative studies: meta-analysis and narrative approaches, reviewing qualitative studies and metasynthesis, reviewing qualitative and quantitative studies and mixed-method reviews, meaning and implications: the discussion, making an impact: dissemination of results, back matter.

The systematic review is a rigorous method of collating and synthesizing evidence from multiple studies, producing a whole greater than the sum of parts. This textbook is an authoritative and accessible guide to an activity that is often found overwhelming. The authors steer readers on a logical, sequential path through the process, taking account of the different needs of researchers, students and practitioners. Practical guidance is provided on the fundamentals of systematic reviewing and also on advanced techniques such as meta-analysis. Examples are given in each chapter, with a succinct glossary to support the text.  

This up-to-date, accessible textbook will satisfy the needs of students, practitioners and educators in the sphere of healthcare, and contribute to improving the quality of evidence-based practice. The authors will advise some freely available or inexpensive open source/access resources (such as PubMed, R and Zotero) to help students how to perform a systemic review, in particular those with limited resources.

  • Methodology
  • Evidence-based practice

Edward Purssell

Florence Nightingale Faculty of Nursing Midwifery & Palliative Care, King’s College London, London, UK

Niall McCrae

Dr. Niall McCrae teaches mental health nursing and research methods at the Florence Nightingale Faculty of Nursing, Midwifery & Palliative Care at King’s College London. His research interests are dementia, depression, the impact of social media on younger people, and the history of mental health care. Niall has written two previous books: The Moon and Madness (Imprint Academic, 2011) and The Story of Nursing in British Mental Hospitals: Echoes from the Corridors (Routledge, 2016). He is a regular writer for Salisbury Review magazine. 

In partnership Purssell and McCrae have written several papers on research methodology and literature reviewing for healthcare journals. Both have extensive experience of teaching literature reviewing at all academic levels, and explaining complex concepts in a way that is accessible to all

Book Title : How to Perform a Systematic Literature Review

Book Subtitle : A Guide for Healthcare Researchers, Practitioners and Students

Authors : Edward Purssell, Niall McCrae

DOI : https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-49672-2

Publisher : Springer Cham

eBook Packages : Medicine , Medicine (R0)

Copyright Information : The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Softcover ISBN : 978-3-030-49671-5 Published: 05 August 2020

eBook ISBN : 978-3-030-49672-2 Published: 04 August 2020

Edition Number : 1

Number of Pages : VII, 188

Number of Illustrations : 7 b/w illustrations, 12 illustrations in colour

Topics : Nursing Research , Nursing Education , Research Skills

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An Introduction to Systematic Reviews

An Introduction to Systematic Reviews

  • David Gough - EPPI-Centre, University College London, UK
  • Sandy Oliver - University College London, UK
  • James Thomas - University College London, UK
  • Description

Focused on actively using systematic review as method, this book provides clear, step-by-step advice on the logic and processes of systematic reviewing.

Stressing the importance of precision and accuracy, this new edition carefully balances a need for insightful theory with real-world pragmatism; it introduces a wide range of cutting-edge approaches to research synthesis including text mining, living reviews and new ideas in mixed methods reviews such as qualitative comparative analysis.

The book also includes:

  • A new chapter on statistical synthesis
  • Coverage of computer-assisted methods and relevant software
  • Expanded sections on data extraction and management
  • A guide to working with many different types of data including longitudinal and panel.

Packed with examples from across the social sciences, this book helps students and researchers alike in turning systematic reviews into recommendations for policy and practice.

"An excellent introduction to systematic review delivered in an accessible style and logical format. This new edition encourages thoughtful consideration of key methodological concepts in the generation and conduct of systematic reviews and embraces recent advances in review synthesis methods. Useful to researchers and students at all levels."

"[This] book is written in a very accessible style, supported with examples of existing systematic reviews and meta-analyses at all stages of synthesis....The step-by-step structure and clear labelling of this book make it the ideal systematic review resource for students and researchers at all levels."

We currently do not have a user friendly guide for our students to conducting a systematic review. Therefore, this textbook will be one of the key texts recommended. The assessment on the module regards carrying out a systematic review on a chronic condition of the student's choice.

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Systematic approaches to a successful literature review

Profile image of Andrew Booth

In today's dynamic healthcare practice and education environments, we are constantly challenged to ensure that practice is underpinned with the best available evidence. However, with the volume of primary research available, it can be difficult to identify just what constitutes sound evidence and the means to arrive at this destination! One of the most accessible ways to accomplish the task is through the conduct of a literature review. Literature reviews are of growing importance in practice and academic settings and have a pivotal role in identifying the scope and quality of what is known on a given subject area. However, to be effective, a literature review must be guided by a systematic and rigorous approach. In their recently published book, Booth, Papaioannou and Sutton (2012) provide an engaging road map, packed full of tips and tools to successfully guide you to your destination.

Related Papers

systematic literature review book pdf

• Learning outcomes • The nature of a literature review • Identifying the main subject and themes • Reviewing previous research • Emphasizing leading research studies • Exploring trends in the literature • Summarizing key ideas in a subject area • Summary A literature review is usually regarded as being an essential part of student projects, research studies and dissertations. This chapter examines the reasons for the importance of the literature review, and the things which it tries to achieve. It also explores the main strategies which you can use to write a good literature review.

Rebekka Tunombili

Pretty Xeena

Review Typology

Tanvir C. Turin

Background: Literature reviews play a significant role in healthcare practice. There are different types of reviews available depending on the nature of the research question and the extent of reviewing that is conducted. In this article, we have summarized the major types of literature reviews, their strength and weakness, and provide representative examples. Methods: We have examined the different types of common reviews that have been used in the health research literature. We collected the information on these review types and have summarized them with providing corresponding examples. Results: We have discussed the major types of reviews: literature review, critical review, scoping review, systematic review, meta-analysis, qualitative systematic review, realist review, and review of reviews. We have mentioned the usability, strengths and weaknesses, utilizing the Search, Appraisal, Synthesis, Analysis (SALSA) framework, and have provided corresponding examples for each of these types of reviews in different tables. Conclusion: This article is a summary of different types of reviews and their implication in practice. This paper is thus intended for beginners who want to know about literature reviews. Introduction Literature reviews are becoming more and more important and favoured in the evidencebased practice (EBP) of health and social care 1. Healthcare professionals require updated information regarding research and development to inform their practice. However, with such large amounts of materials being published, it is impossible for anyone to cover every single piece of information or evidence on any given topic. A literature review thus gives audiences the opportunity to have summarized information on any topic without reading all of the evidence published in that specific area. Although the culture of the review article began more than two centuries ago, it wasn't until the 20th century that an explicit method was devised to carry out review research 2. In addition, the emergence of EBP instigated more rigorous and quality controlled approaches of review articles so that the synthesized summary results could be utilized with confidence 3 .

Abdullah Ramdhani , Tatam Chiway , Muhammad Ali Ramdhani

Amanda Bolderston

A literature review can be an informative, critical, and useful synthesis of a particular topic. It can identify what is known (and unknown) in the subject area, identify areas of controversy or debate, and help formulate questions that need further research. There are several commonly used formats for literature reviews, including systematic reviews conducted as primary research projects; reviews written as an introduction and foundation for a research study, such as a thesis or dissertation; and reviews as secondary data analysis research projects. Regardless of the type, a good review is characterized by the author’s efforts to evaluate and critically analyze the relevant work in the field. Published reviews can be invaluable, because they collect and disseminate evidence from diverse sources and disciplines to inform professional practice on a particular topic. This directed reading will introduce the learner to the process of conducting and writing their own literature review.

Auxiliadora Padilha

Frances Slack

This article offers support and guidance for students undertaking a literature review as part of their dissertation during an undergraduate or Masters course. A literature review is a summary of a subject field that supports the identification of specific research questions. A literature review needs to draw on and evaluate a range of different types of sources including academic and professional journal articles, books, and web-based resources. The literature search helps in the identification and location of relevant documents and other sources. Search engines can be used to search web resources and bibliographic databases. Conceptual frameworks can be a useful tool in developing an understanding of a subject area. Creating the literature review involves the stages of: scanning, making notes, structuring the literature review, writing the literature review, and building a bibliography .

Publications

Cherley C Du Plessis

The ability to conduct an explicit and robust literature review by students, scholars or scientists is critical in producing excellent journal articles, academic theses, academic dissertations or working papers. A literature review is an evaluation of existing research works on a specific academic topic, theme or subject to identify gaps and propose future research agenda. Many postgraduate students in higher education institutions lack the necessary skills and understanding to conduct in-depth literature reviews. This may lead to the presentation of incorrect, false or biased inferences in their theses or dissertations. This study offers scientific knowledge on how literature reviews in different fields of study could be conducted to mitigate against biased inferences such as unscientific analogies and baseless recommendations. The literature review is presented as a process that involves several activities including searching, identifying, reading, summarising, compiling, analysing, interpreting and referencing. We hope this article serves as reference material to improve the academic rigour in the literature review chapters of postgraduate students' theses or dissertations. This article prompts established scholars to explore more innovative ways through which scientific literature reviews can be conducted to identify gaps (empirical, knowledge, theoretical, methodological, application and population gap) and propose a future research agenda.

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Literature Reviews

  • Getting started

What is a literature review?

Why conduct a literature review, stages of a literature review, lit reviews: an overview (video), check out these books.

  • Types of reviews
  • 1. Define your research question
  • 2. Plan your search
  • 3. Search the literature
  • 4. Organize your results
  • 5. Synthesize your findings
  • 6. Write the review
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systematic literature review book pdf

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systematic literature review book pdf

Definition: A literature review is a systematic examination and synthesis of existing scholarly research on a specific topic or subject.

Purpose: It serves to provide a comprehensive overview of the current state of knowledge within a particular field.

Analysis: Involves critically evaluating and summarizing key findings, methodologies, and debates found in academic literature.

Identifying Gaps: Aims to pinpoint areas where there is a lack of research or unresolved questions, highlighting opportunities for further investigation.

Contextualization: Enables researchers to understand how their work fits into the broader academic conversation and contributes to the existing body of knowledge.

systematic literature review book pdf

tl;dr  A literature review critically examines and synthesizes existing scholarly research and publications on a specific topic to provide a comprehensive understanding of the current state of knowledge in the field.

What is a literature review NOT?

❌ An annotated bibliography

❌ Original research

❌ A summary

❌ Something to be conducted at the end of your research

❌ An opinion piece

❌ A chronological compilation of studies

The reason for conducting a literature review is to:

systematic literature review book pdf

Literature Reviews: An Overview for Graduate Students

While this 9-minute video from NCSU is geared toward graduate students, it is useful for anyone conducting a literature review.

systematic literature review book pdf

Writing the literature review: A practical guide

Available 3rd floor of Perkins

systematic literature review book pdf

Writing literature reviews: A guide for students of the social and behavioral sciences

Available online!

systematic literature review book pdf

So, you have to write a literature review: A guided workbook for engineers

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Telling a research story: Writing a literature review

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The literature review: Six steps to success

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Systematic approaches to a successful literature review

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VIDEO

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COMMENTS

  1. (PDF) Systematic Literature Reviews: An Introduction

    Systematic literature reviews (SRs) are a way of synthesising scientific evidence to answer a particular research question in a way that is transparent and reproducible, while seeking to...

  2. How to Perform a Systematic Literature Review

    How to Perform a Systematic Literature Review A Guide for Healthcare Researchers, Practitioners and Students Home Textbook Authors: Edward Purssell, Niall McCrae Presents a logical approach to systematic literature reviewing offers a corrective to flawed guidance in existing books

  3. PDF BEGINNER'S GUIDE FOR

    I am happy to write this foreword for Beginner's Guide for Systematic Reviews. This book is mainly aimed at public health and social science researchers for ... In comparison with literature or traditional narrative reviews, systematic reviews are much time-intensive and need a research team with multiple

  4. PDF an introduction to systematic reviews

    1 INTRODUCING SYSTEMATIC REVIEWS David Gough, Sandy Oliver and James Thomas Aims of chapter This chapter:

  5. Guidance on Conducting a Systematic Literature Review

    First published online August 28, 2017 Guidance on Conducting a Systematic Literature Review Yu Xiao and Maria Watson View all authors and affiliations Volume 39, Issue 1 https://doi.org/10.1177/0739456X17723971 PDF / ePub More Abstract Literature reviews establish the foundation of academic inquires.

  6. PDF Conducting Your Literature Review

    This book focuses on the steps needed to conduct a systematic litera- ture review and includes tips for modifying or leaving out steps as needed depending on your audience, purpose, and goal. WHAT YOU WILL LEARN FROM THIS BOOK

  7. PDF Introducing systematic reviews

    We define a systematic review as 'a review of research literature using systematic and explicit, account-able methods'. Reviewing evidence, and synthesising findings, is something that we do all the time when going about our daily lives. For example, consider the range of activities involved in buying a new car.

  8. Guidance on Conducting a Systematic Literature Review

    This article is organized as follows: The next section presents the methodology adopted by this research, fol- lowed by a section that discusses the typology of literature reviews and provides empirical examples; the subsequent section summarizes the process of literature review; and the last section concludes the paper with suggestions on how t...

  9. PDF DOING A SYSTEMATIC REVIEW

    1 Carrying Out a Systematic Review as a Master's Thesis Rumona Dickson, M. Gemma Cherry and Angela Boland This chapter will help you to... Understand the term 'systematic review' Gain an awareness of the historical context and development of systematic reviewing Appreciate the learning experience provided through conducting a systematic review

  10. PDF Systematic Literature Reviews: an Introduction

    Systematic literature reviews (SRs) are a way of synthesising scientific evidence to answer a particular research question in a way that is transparent and reproducible, while seeking to include all published evidence on the topic and appraising the quality of this evidence.

  11. How-to conduct a systematic literature review: A quick guide for

    A Systematic Literature Review (SLR) is a research methodology to collect, identify, and critically analyze the available research studies (e.g., articles, conference proceedings, books, dissertations) through a systematic procedure . An SLR updates the reader with current literature about a subject .

  12. PDF Introduction to Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis:

    formulated question that uses systematic and explicit methods to identify, select, and critically appraise relevant research, and to collect and analyze data from the studies that are included in the review Meta-analysis (MA): Use of statistical techniques in an SR to integrate the results of included studies to conduct statistical inference

  13. An Introduction to Systematic Reviews

    Contents. Reviews. Preview. Focused on actively using systematic review as method, this book provides clear, step-by-step advice on the logic and processes of systematic reviewing. Stressing the importance of precision and accuracy, this new edition carefully balances a need for insightful theory with real-world pragmatism; it introduces a wide ...

  14. PDF How to write a systematic literature review: a guide for medical students

    Systematic review allows the assessment of primary study quality, identifying the weaknesses in current experimental efforts and guiding the methodology of future research. Choosing the features of study design to review and critique is dependent on the subject and design of the literature identified.

  15. PDF CHAPTER 3 Conducting a Literature Review

    The chapter then offers concrete steps taken to construct a literature review including identifying what sources are needed, how to find the sources, a systematic method to summarize and synthesize the sources, and organizational and writing strat- egies to produce an excellent literature review. Finally, pitfalls

  16. PDF How to Write a Systematic Review: A Step-by-Step Guide

    Introduction A systematic review attempts to comprehensively and reproducibly collect, appraise, and synthesize all available empirical evidence that meets pre-defined criteria in order to answer a research question. The quantitative combination and statistical synthesis of the systematically-collected data is what defines a meta-analysis.

  17. (PDF) Systematic approaches to a successful literature review

    Systematic approaches to a successful literature review. Andrew Booth. 2011. In today's dynamic healthcare practice and education environments, we are constantly challenged to ensure that practice is underpinned with the best available evidence. However, with the volume of primary research available, it can be difficult to identify just what ...

  18. PDF A systematic literature review of decodable and levelled reading books

    This project reports on a systematic literature review of published research on the topic of using decodable and levelled reading books. 1 . in primary school classrooms. Articles from academic, peer-reviewed journals published between 2000 and 2021 were selected for analysis.

  19. Systematic Reviews in the Social Sciences

    Mark Petticrew is an associate director of the MRC Social and Public Health Sciences Unit at the University of Glasgow, Co-ordinator of the ESRC Centre for Evidence-Based Public Health Policy, and has written widely on systematic reviews.. Helen Roberts is a social scientist, and professor of Child Health at City University, where she leads the Child Health Research and Policy Unit.

  20. Getting started

    Definition: A literature review is a systematic examination and synthesis of existing scholarly research on a specific topic or subject. Purpose: It serves to provide a comprehensive overview of the current state of knowledge within a particular field. Analysis: Involves critically evaluating and summarizing key findings, methodologies, and ...