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Writing literature review articles

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The purpose of this guide is to:

  • Support you in choosing the correct type of review
  • Give general guidance on searching the literature and writing review articles

For more detailed support, please contact your liaison librarian:

Which review is relevant to my research?

According to Fink (2020) "a  literature review is a systematic, explicit, and reproducible method of identifying, evaluating and synthesizing the existing body of completed and recorded work produced by researchers, scholars, and practitioners” (p. 6). There are many types of reviews conducted by researchers in various disciplines as part of a:

  • thesis/dissertation or other academic requirement 
  • peer-reviewed journal article or book chapter
  • funded research projects (Booth et al., 2022)

To prepare for a review: 

  1. Choose a topic
  2. Think about the purpose and what you want to achieve
  3. Think about the intended audience
  4. Where will the literature be found
  5. What will the literature and data look like (Booth et al., 2022, p. 16-18)

Types of reviews and their uses:

  • Summarises several common review types such as literature reviews, scoping reviews, systematic reviews, and meta-analyses.
  • Includes a table that explains what to include in each section of the different review types
  • Written by Dr. Martin Davies, Senior Learning Skills Advisor, Federation University, Gippsland Campus, 2021.


What type of review is right for you? (flowchart)


Scoping or systematic review? (flowchart)


In the video 50 Shades of Review (1 hr 10 minutes) Dr. Andrew Booth steps through six families of reviews including:

  • Traditional
  • Systematic
  • Rapid
  • Qualitative systematic
  • Mixed methods
  • Purpose specific

N.B. Well worth watching (start at the three and a half minute mark to skip the introduction).


Booth, A., Sutton, A., Clowes, M., & Martyn-St James, M. (2022). Systematic approaches to a successful literature review (3rd ed.). SAGE.

Fink, A. (2020). Conducting research literature reviews: From the Internet to paper (5th ed.). SAGE.