Answered By: Judith Jablonski
Last Updated: Oct 27, 2015     Views: 4892

There are two types of literature reviews to be found in journals.
 
The first type is the comprehensive, article-length review (sometimes referred to as a systematic review). Green, Johnson and Adams (2006) describe this kind of literature review as
 
"a type of research article published in a professional peer-reviewed journal. The purpose of a literature review is to objectively report the current knowledge on a topic and base this summary on previously published research. A literature review provides the reader with a comprehensive overview and helps place that information into perspective." [1]
 
The second type of literature review is the substantive section of a larger publication such as a scholarly journal article, a thesis, or a doctoral dissertation. The purpose of this review is to provide an overview of the research that the author finds relevant to his/her research question. The review acts to provide context for the reader as well as serving as the foundation upon which the author/researcher will base his or her own research findings. [2]
 
FINDING SYSTEMATIC/COMPREHENSIVE LITERATURE REVIEWS
 

Here are some search tips that will help you locate comprehensive literature reviews in the APUS Library's databases:

1. You can include keywords in your search statement.

EXAMPLES

  • motor learning AND literature review
  • motor learning AND systematic review

2. Most databases do not include literature review as a separate field but some do.

Here are a few examples. (This is not a complete listing but gives you an idea of what to look for.)

  • CINAHL Complete
    • Enter your subject search terms in the search box at the top.
    • Under SEARCH OPTIONS  below, look in the PUBLICATION TYPE box.
    • Select the Systematic Review option.
       
  • Education Journals (ProQuest)*
    • Use the Advanced Search option.
    • Enter your subject search terms in the search box at the top.
    • Under More Search Options below, look in the DOCUMENT TYPE box.
    • Select the Literature Review option.
       
  • PsycINFO | PsycARTICLES | PsycBOOKS (ProQuest)*
    • Use the Advanced Search option.
    • Enter your subject search terms in the search box at the top.
    • Under More Search Options below, look in the METHODOLOGY box.
    • Select the Literature Review and Systematic Review options.
       

* The ProQuest search interface includes Literature Review  or Systematic Review in its MORE SEARCH OPTIONS section. However, not all of the ProQuest database publishers have included this field in their source records. In this case, try searching using the Keywords approach described above.


FINDING LITERATURE REVIEWS IN SCHOLARLY ARTICLES

Most research articles include a section that reviews previous studies or published discussions. Depending on the editorial conventions of the journal, this section may be under the heading of Literature Review or could also be included in the article's introduction.
 
NOTE: Not all research articles will have extensive literature review sections. This is usually due to editorial policies which limit article page length.
 
Here are some search tips that will help you locate literature reviews in the APUS Library's databases:
 
 
LOCATING DATABASES
 

This FAQ shows how to locate the above databases (and all other databases) in the APUS Library: Where can I find my favorite library database?


[1] Green B.N., Johnson C.D., &  Adams A. (2006). Writing narrative literature reviews for peer-reviewed journals: Secrets of the trade. Journal of Chiropractic Medicine 5(3):101-117.

[2] Consortium Library. (2015). Literature reviews (or reviews of the literature). Accessed on October 20, 2015. http://libguides.consortiumlibrary.org/litreviews
 

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