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Category: Lit Review: How to do Lit Review

Literature Review

For the University of Southampton, the official advice offered by the library is to refer to “Doing a Systematic Review” as listed on the http://library.soton.ac.uk/systematic-reviews website:

1 Planning your review
2 Performing scoping searches, identifying review question and writing  protocol
3 Literature Searching
4 Screening titles and abstracts
5 Obtaining papers
6 Selecting full text articles
7 Data extraction
8 Quality assessment
9 Analysis and synthesis
10 Writing up, editing and disseminating

This project focuses on 9; analysis and synthesis, while providing an output useable by 10, with particular integration with Liquid | Author.

The work-process of 1-9 will be integrated to help the user search (3) from with the View when desired and read the articles (6) with full meta-information attached.

Twofold Aim

The SAGE Study Skill’s “The Literature Review” makes clear there are two separate aims of a LR: The production of a LR document– the ‘Product’–and the ‘Process’ of enriching the student’s understanding of the knowledge space in question.

The Process : The Mental Aim

The mental aim of a literature review is for the student to demonstrate that they are aware of, and can interpret what is already known and where gaps and contradictions in the knowledge (Jesson, Matheson, Lacey, 2011). The process is defined by Fink as a systematic, explicit, and reproducible method for identifying, evaluating and synthesizing the existing body of completed and recorded work by researchers, scholars and practitioners (2013). It is important because a high quality research synthesis can give us the most trustworthy answers to specific review questions, and it can identify gaps in our knowledge that require further research (Booth, Sutton, Papaioannou, 2016).

Intellectual Archeology

The process of doing a literature review is analogous to unearthing artifacts, some of which have a more obvious use a connection to the rest and others less so. In physical archeology, building a picture of the finds involves not only excavating the artifacts themselves but also recording and analysing their features and contexts. The extraction of information takes place both through manual operations and remote sensing. These ways of looking at the process can inform the student’s literature review process by inspiring how the student can add their academic document artifacts to an increasing diagram which they can interact with to develop deeper insights. This notion of actively gathering is reflected in the hypertext literature by Jim Rosenberg in The Structure of Hypertext Activity (1996).

Specific Questions & Speak Points to Support

While doing a LR the student will ask general questions about the field and specific questions based on documents, authors or concept discovered, based on general thoughts and something which sparks their curiosity. These are the interactions the View system will primarily need to support, not just general layouts of nodes. Initial questions can include the following:

Author Centric

Who cited this document?
What else did this author write?
Who did this author collaborate with?

Document Centric

What document cited this document?
What does this document cite?

Concept Centric

Where does a specific concept appear in this document?
Where does a specific concept appear in these documents?

Once questions like these can be quickly and easily posed by the user, the focus will be on how the views can then be modified to answer further questions.

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Les Carr Advisory Meeting

Les Carr pointed out another way in which to view the literature review, essentially saying that imagine you are at a party talking about your project and someone asks you if you know of a specific school of thought/academic paper/person etc. which would be a relevance. You need to be able to say yes to this, to be able to have gone from (Les’s famous saying) “I rekcon to I know”, in terms of what the academic world is doing with this problem, rather than flailing about in the dark.

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Lit: Literary Review Visual Style

I have been bothered by how much easier I find reading online in Author (and other similar layout programs) than the PDFs so I put up an album on Facebook to see what my friends think, if they think it’s no big deal or interesting:

https://www.facebook.com/frode.hegland/media_set?set=a.10154493299125189.1073742072.691310188&type=3

Conclusion seems to be a preference for single column without clutter which should not be too wide but should also not waste space so multiple windows work for some and full frame for others, while in concentration mode.

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