Literature reviews are systematic syntheses of previous work around a particular topic. Nearly all scholars have written literature reviews at some point; such reviews are common requirements for class projects or as part of theses, are often the first section of empirical papers, and are sometimes written to summarize a field of study. Given the increasing amount of literature in many fields, reviews are critical in synthesizing scientific knowledge. Although common and important to science, literature reviews are rarely considered to be held to the same scientific rigor as other aspects of the research process. This entry describes the types of literature reviews and scientific standards for conducting literature reviews.
Although beginning scholars often believe that there is one predefined approach, various types ...
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