As you may know, there are many types of reviews in academic literature. Systematic reviews, meta-analyses, scoping reviews, literature reviews, and more! With such nuanced differences it can sometimes be hard to know what type of review would be most helpful in your research, or what type of review you’d like to write.
In this post, we’d like to link out to some great guides and resources which can help you better understand these differences. We’ll also include a couple of sample searches illustrating how to best locate reviews in Fielding’s library.
- Types of Reviews Chart — This comprehensive chart is posted to a LibGuide created by Duke University’s Medical library. It does a great job of breaking down and defining many review types.
- Literature Review Guide with E-Lectures — Created by Harvard’s Graduate School of Education’s Gutman library, this outstanding guide walks through the literature review process and is accompanied by short e-lectures. This is a highly recommended starting point to learn more about conducting literature reviews.
- Scoping Reviews Wiki — Created by a group of health librarians in Canada, this wiki page contains excellent information about scoping reviews (as do their many other pages on various topics)!
Resources in the Library
Don’t forget that you can also find great information about how to do reviews, or sample reviews, in Fielding’s library collection.
The best place to locate materials which offer definitions and guidance on conducting reviews is our Sage Research Methods Online database.
Once you connect via our ‘databases’ list you can simply search for a review type to find related materials:
This will often produce a concise definition along with a number of related results. Remember, you can always click on the ‘ See more in Methods Map’ link when available to see how your search term relates to other methods and ideas:
Tips on locating sample reviews
While some databases include a ‘document type’ or ‘methodology’ filter which allows you to limit your results to reviews, by and large one of the most effective strategies is to include search terms related to the review type of interest in your search.
Here are a few examples/results utilizing different search tools and topics.
A sample search for systematic reviews related to autism in young children:
If it’s too small to see on your device, the search would look like this on a single line:
autism AND (toddlers OR “young children”) AND “systematic review”
Here’s a screenshot of the results. Remember, FASTsearch often returns large quantities of results so you can always use the filters on the left side of the screen to better target what you need:
A sample Google Scholar search for literature reviews or meta-analyses related to organizational leadership:
And a screenshot of the results produced. (Pro Tip: connect to Google Scholar through the library to see our ‘Full-Text @ Fielding’ links):
A sample search for literature reviews related to PTSD and veterans in ProQuest’s psychology database:
On a single line: veterans AND PTSD AND “literature review”
Some of the possible results:
We hope these tips will help you up your review game!