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Review of literature is one of the most important steps in the research process. It is an account of what is already known about a particular phenomenon. The main purpose of literature review is to convey to the readers about the work already done and the knowledge and ideas that have been already established on a particular topic of research.
Literature review is a laborious task, but it is essential if the research process is to be successful.
“A Literature Review is a body of text that aims to review the critical point of knowledge on a particular topic of research”
Literature Review is defined as a broad ,comprehensive , in depth, systematic and critical review of scholarly publication, unpublished printed or audio visual materials and personal communications.
According to Polit and Hungler,
It refers to the activities involved in searching for information on a topic and developing a comprehensive picture of the state as knowledge on that topic.
According to Nancy burns and Groove,
The review of literature is a summary of current knowledge about a particular practice problem and includes what is known and not known about the problem.
Purposes of Literature Review
To determine what is already known about the topic that you want to study.
Define ethical implications.
It helps to build on previous knowledge in the research process.
That help to plan the research methodology, design selection of tool, sample and plan for statistical analysis.
Identify data sources that other researchers have used.
Learn how others have defined and measured key concepts.
7. Place each in context of its contribution to the understanding of subject under review.
8. Describe the relationship of each study to the other research studies under consideration.
9. Identify areas of prior scholarship to prevent duplication of effort
10. The researcher may be able to capitalize on the success as well as the errors of other investigators.
11. Define concepts.
12. Identify pitfalls and weaknesses.
13. Assess modern equipments.
14.Describe modified procedure..
15. The research studies have recommendation for future research which can be taken for new research.
16. Place one’s original work in context of existing literature.
17. See what has and has not been investigated.
18. Identify new ways to interpret and shed light on any gaps in previous research.
Determine what is known and not known about a subject, concepts of problem.
Discovery of unanswered questions about subjects, concepts or problems.
Determination of any gaps or inconsistencies in a body of knowledge.
Describe the strength and weakness of designs/methods of inquiry and instruments used in earlier research work.
Development of hypothesis to be tested in a research study.
It also helps in development of research instruments.
Discover conceptual traditions used to examine problems.
Determine the need for replication of well designed study or refinements of a study.
9. Generation of useful research questions or projects/ activities for the discipline.
10. Identification of suitable design and data collection methods for a research study.
11. Promotes development of protocols and policies related to nursing practice (administration, education, research and service.)
12. Assistance in interpreting study findings and in developing implications and recommendations.
13. Determination of a need to replicate a prior study in different study settings or different sample designs or sizes or different study populations.
TYPES OF INFORMATION TO SEEK
Process of Literature Review
ORGANIZING THE LITERATURE REVIEWED
Were the methods used to identify references appropriate?
How many existing references were retrieved?
Is the information retrieved accurate?
Is the review readable? Does it synthesize the available information?
Are assumptions and potential biases addressed?
Are discrepancies in findings among studies discussed?
Are both conceptual and theoretical issues addressed?