Review in Research
Dr. Khalid Mahmood
University of the Punjab
Professor of Information Management at University of the
Post-doctoral research fellow at University of California, Loss
Supervised many doctoral, M.Phil. and master theses
Worked for various research journals as editor, reviewer and
editorial board member
Conducted many trainings on research writing and publishing
I have prepared this presentation with the
help of many books, presentations and
I pay my sincere gratitude to all authors,
professors and experts for their efforts and
Literature review - Definition
A body of text that aims to review the critical points of
current knowledge on a particular topic
A comprehensive survey of publications in a specific field
of study or related to a particular line of research
A summary of existing published literature made by
experts who select and weigh findings available from the
A summary and interpretation of research findings
reported in the literature
A process and documentation of the current relevant
research literature regarding a particular topic or subject
Purposes of literature review
Define and limit problem
Develop familiarity with topic
Limit research to a subtopic within larger body of knowledge
Place study in historical perspective
Analysis of way in which study relates to existing knowledge
Avoid unintentional and unnecessary replication
Awareness of prior studies so as to avoid unneeded replication
Replication is reasonable if it is needed to verify prior results,
investigate results that failed to be significant, or relate problem
to a specific site
Purposes of literature review…
Select promising methods and measures
Knowledge of and insight into specific research designs for
investigating a problem
Awareness of specific instruments, sampling procedures, and
Relate findings to previous knowledge and suggest future
Relating prior research to what is known places current study in
This knowledge allows researcher to focus problem on what is
Develop research hypotheses
Suggestions for specific research hypotheses
Meta-analysis Quantitatively combines the results of studies that are
the result of a systematic literature review.
Capable of performing a statistical analysis of the
pooled results of relevant studies.
Literature review designs
Narrative review Selective review of the literature that broadly covers
a specific topic.
Does not follow strict systematic methods to locate
and synthesize articles.
Systematic review Utilizes exacting search strategies to make certain
that the maximum extent of relevant research has
Original articles are methodologically appraised and
When we need to do a
At the beginning of the research project
Chapter 2, 1 & 3
Constantly update during research
When writing discussion and conclusion
What is literature
Interviews and other
Steps in narrative review
Identifying a topic
Searching and finding literature
Reading literature critically
Writing and presenting literature review
Searching and finding literature
Bibliographic information, abstract and full
Formal and informal sources of literature
Print and online literature
Evaluation for relevance
Index of a book, chapter or section headings,
abstract of an article, introduction and
conclusion, references or bibliography
Evaluation for reliability
Audience, authority, bias, currency, scope
Passive vs. active reading
Varying definitions of key terms
Enough evidence for claims?
Findings consistent with those of similar
How does each reading relate to your topic
Define your argument/thesis.
Identify major trends or patterns emerging
from the readings.
Reassemble your notes based on the results
of readings, using organizational aids such as
post-its, flags, etc.
Create a detailed topic outline
Sample topic outline
Psychological Aspects of Organ Donation: Individual and Next-of-
Kin Donation Decisions
A. Establish importance of topic (cite
statistics on scarcity of organs).
B. Delimit the review to psychological
components of decisions.
C. Describe organization of the paper,
indicating that the remaining topics in
the outline will be discussed.
II. Individual decisions regarding posthumous
A. Beliefs about organ donation
B. Attitudes toward donating
C. Stated willingness to donate
D. Summary of research on individual
III. Next-of-kin consent decisions
A. Beliefs about donating others’ organs.
B. Attitudes toward next-of-kin donations.
C. Summary of research on next-of-kin
IV. Methodological issues and directions for
A. Improvement in attitude measures and
B. Greater differentiation by type of
C. Stronger theoretical emphasis.
D. Greater interdisciplinary focus.
V. Summary, Conclusions, and Implications
A. Summary of points I-IV.
B. Need well-developed theoretical
models of attitudes and decision
C. Current survey data limited in scope
and application points to need for
more sophisticated research in
D. Need more use of sophisticated data
E. Conclusion: Psychology can draw from
various subdisciplines for an understanding
of donation decisions so intervention
strategies can be identifiable. Desperately
need to increase the available supply of
Note on your topic outline relationships among studies:
which researchers, what page, etc. support each point?
Note consistency of results from study to study.
Note discrepancies among studies and provide possible
explanations such as dates of studies, different
Note landmark studies and if replicated.
Note how individual studies help illustrate or advance
Note gaps or areas needing more research.
Make sure your detailed outline follows a logical
sequence of topics and subtopics. This will give your
literature review the coherence it needs.
Writing and presenting literature review
A general organization looks like a funnel
Studies like yours
How to organize studies
By publication date
A structure which considers different themes
Focuses on the methods of the researcher, e.g.,
qualitative versus quantitative approaches
Making links between studies
Similarly, author B points to…
Likewise, author C makes the case that…
Author D also makes this point…
Again, it is possible to see how author E agrees with author D…
However, author B points to…
On the other hand, author C makes the case that…
Conversely, Author D argues…
Nevertheless, what author E suggests…
It is useful to prepare.
Such a table provides a quick overview that allows the
reviewer to make sense of a large mass of information.
The tables could include columns with headings such
type of study
data collection approach
Citation Sample Environment Method Conclusions
Bellizzi, Crowley and
125 Adults Furniture store Laboratory
Warm and cool colours created different emotional
responses. Customers view red retail environments as
more negative and unpleasant than blue.
Bellizzi, & Hite
70 Adult women
Study based on PAD affect measures and approach-
More positive retail outcomes occurred in blue
environments than red.
Smith and Curnow
Retail store Field
Time in store reduced with loud music but level of sales
Milliman (1982) 216 Shoppers Supermarket Field
The tempo of background music influenced the pace at
which customers shopped. Slow tempo music slowed
customers down but resulted in increased volume of
Hui, Dubé and Chebat
116 Students Bank branch
- waiting for
The positive impact of music on approach behaviours is
mediated by an emotional evaluation of the environment
and the emotional response to waiting. Pleasurable music
produced longer perceived waiting times.
Areni and Kim (1994) 171 Shoppers Wine store Field
The investigation found that brighter in-store lighting
influenced shoppers to examine and handle more of the
merchandise in the store
Summers and Hebert
2367 Customers Hardware store
Confirmed Areni and Kims (1994) results. Increased
levels of lighting will produce arousal and pleasure and
increase the approach behaviours of customers.
Information prominent citation
For viscoelastic fluids, the behaviour of the time-dependent
stresses in the transient shear flows is also very important
(Boger et al., 1974).
Author prominent citation
Close (1983) developed a simplified theory using an
analogy between heat and mass transfer and the
equivalent heat transfer only case.
Several authors have suggested that automated testing
should be more readily accepted (Balcer, 1989; Stahl,
1989; Carver & Tai, 1991).
Verb tenses – Present
A statement about what the thesis, chapter or
This thesis presents a report of an investigation into …….
This chapter thus provides a basis for the next.
In this section, the results from the first set of experiments are
A statement of a generally accepted scientific fact
There are three factors that control the concentration of
aluminum in seawater.
The finite rate coefficients have an effect on heat transfer through
a horizontal porous layer.
Verb tenses – Present
A review of current research work, or research work
of immediate relevance to your study.
Schulze (2016) concludes that hydraulic rate has a significant
effect on future performance.
Comments, explanations and evaluative statements
made by you when you are reviewing previous
Therefore, this sequential approach is impractical in the real
world where projects are typically large and the activities from
one stage may be carried out in parallel with the activities of
The reason for this anomalous result is that the tests were done
at low hydraulic rates at which the plastic packing was not
Verb tenses – Past
Report the contents, findings or
conclusions of past research
Haberfield (1998) showed that the velocity of many
enzyme reactions was slowed down if the end product
had an increased paramagnetism.
Allington (1999) found that the temperatures varied
significantly over time.
Verb tenses – Present perfect
In citations where the focus is on the research area
of several authors
Several studies have provided support for the suggestion that
the amount of phonological recoding that is carried out depends
on orthographic depth (Frost, 1994; Smart et al, 1997; Katz &
Feldman, 2001, 2002).
Joint roughness has been characterized by a number of authors
(Renger, 1990; Feker & Rengers, 1997; Wu & Ali, 2000).
To generalize about the extent of the previous
Many studies have been conducted in this field.
Few researchers have examined this technique.
There has been extensive research into.........
A good literature review is…
Focused - The topic should be narrow. You should only present
ideas and only report on studies that are closely related to topic.
Concise - Ideas should be presented economically. Don’t take any
more space than you need to present your ideas.
Logical - The flow within and among paragraphs should be a
smooth, logical progression from one idea to the next
Developed - Don’t leave the story half told.
Integrative - Your paper should stress how the ideas in the studies
are related. Focus on the big picture. What commonality do all the
studies share? How are some studies different than others? Your
paper should stress how all the studies reviewed contribute to your
Current - Your review should focus on work being done on the
cutting edge of your topic.