Chapter Six: Understanding the Literature Review in Published Studies

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Last updated: May 9, 2019

What is the purpose of the literature review in a published study?
1. to describe the current knowledge of the practice problem2. to identify gaps in the knowledge base3. to explain how the study being reported contributed to building knowledge in this area.

What is considered a current source for a literature review?
current sources are those published within the 5 years before the manuscript was accepted for publication

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What is a citation or “citing” something?
the act of quoting a source, using it as an example, or presenting it as support for a position taken. A citation within a paper should have a full reference at the end of a paper.

What is theoretical literature?
concept analyses, models, frameworks, and theories all can be mentioned within a review of literature. If so, they are considered theoretical literature.

What is empirical or data-based literature?
research studies, such as those found in journals or books, and unpublished studies such as masters theses and doctoral dissertations.

What does “peer-reviewed” mean?
It means that scholars familiar with the topic of the research read the report and validated its accuracy and the appropriateness of the methodology used in the study. Thus, the study is considered to be trustworthy.

What is a primary source?
A primary source is written by the person who originated or is responsible for generating the ideas published…

typically the persons who conducted the research or generated the theory.Use primary sources in your papers and research as frequently as possible and summarize what they say yourself.

What is a secondary source?
A secondary source summarizes or quotes content from a primary source. Authors of secondary sources paraphrase work from researchers and theorists.

Consider this…in your papers and scholarly work, only quote a secondary source when you cannot locate and read a primary source for yourself, as you are trusting the author’s interpretation / perception / bias of what they have read. What if they are incorrect..

..?

What is a landmark study?
Studies that may have been conducted years ago, but that are considered significant research projects that generate knowledge that influences a discipline or sometimes society as a whole.

What is a replication study?
A reproduction or repetition of a study that researchers conducted to determine whether the findings of the original study could be found consistently in different settings and with different subjects. Replication studies are important to build evidence for practice.

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