For any researcher, it is of utmost importance to perform a comprehensive review of a topic. Not to mention, it is the initial step to thoroughly comprehend all the research points in order to curate a hypothesis about your study. You must use the appropriate tools and methods to conduct this kind of literature review. Systematic reviews assist in combining the findings of numerous research, typically including an intervention, to address concerns regarding efficacy or health impacts. They are also employed to identify potential influences on treatment outcomes.
A approach of doing a critical examination of the research issue is to conduct a systematic literature review. This kind of research tries to establish conclusions supported by evidence and offer suggestions that can be carried out and enhanced in the future. The following are the steps for carrying out a systematic literature review:
An example of a systematic review would be a study that aims to evaluate the effectiveness of a certain medical treatment for a specific condition. The research question for the systematic review would be: "What is the effectiveness of treatment X for condition Y?"
A systematic review aims to gain an overview of the available evidence on a particular topic rather than identifying research results that support or refute a particular hypothesis or theory. Systematic reviews are generally more reliable than other forms of review because they incorporate all relevant data into one document.
A meta-analysis combines the results from multiple studies to get a more reliable, comprehensive understanding of a particular question. A meta-analysis is a quantitative review of previous work that aims to represent the "state of the art" on a particular topic (e.g., diet). The goal is to summarize research findings without having to read each study. Meta-analysis has been used in many fields, such as medicine and psychology, where data from multiple sources are combined into one large dataset that provides a more complete picture than obtained by using any individual basis alone.
Before starting your literature review, you should perform this preliminary step. It helps you to identify the scope and focus of your study and the purpose of conducting it. It would help if you decided what variables you want to include in your research and how they will be measured.
You need to search for relevant studies through any appropriate library, including university libraries and government agencies. You can also use other databases such as ProQuest, Dissertation Abstracts International, or Psychinf. You can also get help from friends who are familiar with the topic or who have access to such databases through their jobs or previous research projects.
Once you have found relevant studies, it is important that you define the criteria for inclusion and exclusion so that you can avoid having too many irrelevant ones in your final analysis (i.e., data reduction). These definitions may include the following:
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