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Structured Review Service: Review Types

Literature Reviews

A literature review describes what related research has already been conducted, how it informs the thesis, and how the thesis fits into the research in the field. It can cover a wide range of subjects at various levels of completeness and comprehensiveness.

RESOURCES

 

Scoping Reviews

"A scoping review or scoping study is a form of knowledge synthesis that addresses an exploratory research question aimed at mapping key concepts, types of evidence, and gaps in research related to a defined area or field by systematically searching, selecting, and synthesizing existing knowledge." (Colquhoun, et al., 2014)

Scoping Reviews are a preliminary assessment of the potential size and scope of available research literature. They can be used to make the case for a certain type of research or as a precursor to a Systematic Review.

STEPS

  • Define your question
  • Develop a scoping review protocol
  • Create a comprehensive search strategy
  • Evidence selection
  • Critical appraisal (optional)
  • Data extraction (synthesis)
  • Analysis of the evidence
  • Presentation of results

RESOURCES

 

Systematic Reviews

According to the Cochrane Collaboration: A systematic review attempts to identify, appraise and synthesize all the empirical evidence that meets pre-specified eligibility criteria to answer a specific research question. And uses explicit, systematic methods that are selected with a view aimed at minimizing bias, to produce more reliable findings to inform decision making. 

Useful for pooling data from eligible RCTs and can be used to make clinical decisions; can be mixed methods (qualitative AND quantitative).

STEPS

  • Gather your team
  • Clarify the question
  • Define eligibility criteria
  • Develop a protocol
  • Search for studies
  • Select studies
  • Extract data
  • Quality assessment
  • Synthesize the data and write the report

RESOURCES

 

Rapid Reviews

Rapid reviews offer an assessment of what is already known about a policy or practice issue, by using systematic review methods to search and critically appraise existing research (Grant & Booth 2009).  They are less rigorous than systematic reviews, and are used when a short deadline is required. 

STEPS

  • Formulate a question
  • Search the literature
  • Select sources
  • Appraise selected sources
  • Synthesis of evidence

RESOURCES