Assignment: Analysis and Conceptual Innovation.
Critical review Aims to demonstrate writer has extensively researched literature and critically evaluated its quality. Goes beyond mere description to include degree of analysis and conceptual innovation. Typically results in hypothesis or model
Seeks to identify most significant items in the field
No formal quality assessment. Attempts to evaluate according to contribution
Typically narrative, perhaps conceptual or chronological
Significant component: seeks to identify conceptual contribution to embody existing or derive new theory
Literature review Generic term: published materials that provide examination of recent or current literature. Can cover wide range of subjects at various levels of completeness and comprehensiveness. May include research findings
May or may not include comprehensive searching
May or may not include quality assessment
Typically narrative Analysis may be chronological, conceptual, thematic, etc.
Mapping review/ systematic map
Map out and categorize existing literature from which to commission further reviews and/or primary research by identifying gaps in research literature
Completeness of searching determined by time/scope constraints
No formal quality assessment
May be graphical and tabular
Characterizes quantity and quality of literature, perhaps by study design and other key features. May identify need for primary or secondary research
Meta-analysis Technique that statistically combines the results of quantitative studies to provide a more precise effect of the results
Aims for exhaustive, comprehensive searching. May use funnel plot to assess completeness
Quality assessment may determine inclusion/ exclusion and/or sensitivity analyses
Graphical and tabular with narrative commentary
Numerical analysis of measures of effect assuming absence of heterogeneity
Mixed studies review/mixed methods review
Refers to any combination of methods where one significant component is a literature review (usually systematic). Within a review context it refers to a combination of review approaches for example combining quantitative with qualitative research or outcome with process studies
Requires either very sensitive search to retrieve all studies or separately conceived quantitative and qualitative strategies
Requires either a generic appraisal instrument or separate appraisal processes with corresponding checklists
Typically both components will be presented as narrative and in tables. May also employ graphical means of integrating quantitative and qualitative studies
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