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Biological Sciences
Malcolm Mac Kinnon

Lecture 3 9/25/2012 4:59:00 AM How do you conduct a Literature Review? A good Literature review:  Identifies- no one formula but… o Not mere synthesis or regurgitation of who said what on a given subject  Analyzes- ideally a critically, interpretive piece  Assesses- offers assessment of the quality and scope of existing knowledge  Interprets- brings together what is known in order to highlight what further research and analysis is needed Types of Literature Reviews  Narrative reviews (editorials, commentaries, overview articles)  Qualitative systematic reviews (more comprehensive than narrative)  Quantitative systematic reviews (meta-analysis) Narrative Reviews  Includes editorials, commentaries, descriptive overviews of articles  Most common, least sound in terms of quality of evidence  Aim to show how concepts, theories, and methods developed within a particular subject over particular period of time  Largely descriptive, may be opinion-pieces Qualitative Systematics Reviews  More rigorous than narrative reviews  Researchers attempt to obtain all original (primary) research studies published on a given topic by searching multiple databases, performing hand searches, and contacting authors of previously published research  Each article is reviewed in a systematic and consistent manner, often by several independent reviewers  Articles are interrogated and rated using a standardized scoring system developed by the authors Quantitative Systematic Reviews  Introduced in 1976, also known as meta-analysis  Critically evaluates each paper and statistically combines the results of the studies (pooling of data across studies)  Useful when studies are based on small sample size  Synthesis of what is known and not known about the efficacy of a particular intervention  Highest form of evidence for clinical dec
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