Finding and Understanding Evidence-Based Practice and Research

What is a Literature Review?

"A literature review is typically the section of a research paper, dissertation or thesis that considers the writing that other authors have already produced on the topic" ("Literature Review," 2011).

Basically, a literature review is a section of a paper or an entire article where a researcher picks a topic, sees what is written about it, and analyzes and synthesizes the findings. They are somewhat similar to systematic reviews in that they are reviewing literature, but they lack the strict inclusion and exclusion criteria.

Find Literature Reviews

The best way to find a literature review is by adding a search term of literature review to your search string. See example below:

sleep AND intervention AND literature review

As mentioned above, many articles only have a literature review section, which is separate from the introduction to the research study that they are carrying out. However, you can occasionally find an article where the entirety of the article is a literature review. 

Example of Literature Review


Literature review. (2011). In P. Stokes, Palgrave Key concepts: Key concepts in business and management research methods. Macmillan Publishers Ltd.