PLoS Comput Biol 9 7 : e Editor: Philip E. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. The funders had no role in the preparation of the manuscript. Literature reviews are in great demand in most scientific fields. Their need stems from the ever-increasing output of scientific publications .
Conducting a Literature Review
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The literature review is an integral part of any research project and is undertaken as a means of surveying what research has been conducted previously on a particular topic. There are many reasons for conducting a literature review, but one of the primary reasons is to establish a base line of what is already known on a topic before exploring the topic any further. The review typically involves a search of any previously published or presented materials that might have relevance to a prospective new study. If the point of a research project is solely to review what has already been written on a topic, the resulting article is termed a "survey of the literature" or a "literature survey" or even a "literature review. A literature survey might end with a discussion of what work is still needed to further develop knowledge of a particular topic, but it does not, itself, flesh out any of those ideas. Articles of this type can be highly beneficial to someone seeking to launch an original study; literature surveys have already laid some of the groundwork for a prospective researcher's own literature review.
Literature Review: Conducting & Writing
People often treat writing the literature review in an academic paper as a formality. Usually, this means simply listing various studies vaguely related to their work and leaving it at that. But this overlooks how important the literature review is to a well-written experimental report or research paper. Common in the social and physical sciences, but also sometimes required in the humanities, a literature review is a summary of past research in your subject area.
Before starting your literature search, you need to be clear what you are being asked to do. Systematic reviews are carried out by PhD students and research-active staff. Undergraduates and Masters students may be asked to carry out a literature review using systematic review techniques - this will not be a full systematic review. Literature reviews. Systematic reviews for PhD students and researchers.