EIGHT*
LITERATURE REVIEW METHODOLOGIES

Which review type is best to answer your research question(s)?

*LitR-Ex.com is an evolving innovation. Additional literature review types will be included, as appropriate.

 
Banana Pattern

SYSTEMATIC

Rigorous process to answer a specific (narrow) research question. Answers the "what" about a phenomenon, but not the "how" and "why." Resource and time intensive.

pexels-felix-mittermeier-325845.jpg

REALIST

Explores how and why outcomes of an intervention take their form by specifically exploring contexts and mechanisms. Reporting requires explicit description of contexts, mechanisms, and outcomes.

pexels-pixabay-268953.jpg

NARRATIVE

Flexible yet rigorous approach to creating a rich description or overview about a topic. Researcher reflexivity is paramount to understand how their experiences shaped their interpretations in the review.

Random Objects

SCOPING

Systematic approach to capturing information about the current state of knowledge and/or identifying gaps in the literature. While similar to other review types, scoping reviews produce a clear picture of the "lay of the land."

pexels-ann-h-1888023.jpg

STATE OF THE ART

Consolidates evidence from the past and present to develop suggestions of what can happen next, in the future.

Learn More
Keyboard Purse

META-ETHNOGRAPHY

Uses original interpretations from a series of primary qualitative studies to synthesize a new understanding of phenomena. Does not include quantitative data.

Missing Piece

CRITICAL

Requires creativity, flexibility, and expert judgement (over systematicity) to explore current research and clinical practices and propose a modified or new way forward.

pexels-rodolfo-clix-1036936.jpg

INTEGRATIVE

Draws on existing theories from diverse disciplines to identify which theory is more relevant to a particular context, or propose a modified or new theory to explain phenomena.