Literature reviews are in excellent request in most scientific fields. Their need stems from the ever-increasing output of scientific publications [1]. For example, compared to 1991, in 2008 three, eight, and forty times more papers were indexed in Web of Science on malaria, obesity, and biodiversity, respectively [Two]. Given such mountains of papers, scientists cannot be expected to examine in detail every single fresh paper relevant to their interests [Three]. Thus, it is both advantageous and necessary to rely on regular summaries of the latest literature. Albeit recognition for scientists mainly comes from primary research, timely literature reviews can lead to fresh synthetic insights and are often widely read [Four]. For such summaries to be useful, however, they need to be compiled in a professional way [Five] .

When beginning from scrape, reviewing the literature can require a titanic amount of work. That is why researchers who have spent their career working on a certain research issue are in a ideal position to review that literature. Some graduate schools are now suggesting courses in reviewing the literature, given that most research students embark their project by producing an overview of what has already been done on their research issue [6]. However, it is likely that most scientists have not thought in detail about how to treatment and carry out a literature review.

Reviewing the literature requires the capability to bounce numerous tasks, from finding and evaluating relevant material to synthesising information from various sources, from critical thinking to paraphrasing, evaluating, and citation abilities [7]. In this contribution, I share ten plain rules I learned working on about 25 literature reviews as a PhD and postdoctoral student. Ideas and insights also come from discussions with coauthors and colleagues, as well as feedback from reviewers and editors.

Rule 1: Define a Topic and Audience

How to choose which topic to review? There are so many issues in contemporary science that you could spend a lifetime of attending conferences and reading the literature just pondering what to review. On the one arm, if you take several years to choose, several other people may have had the same idea in the meantime. On the other forearm, only a well-considered topic is likely to lead to a brilliant literature review [8]. The topic must at least be:

interesting to you (ideally, you should have come across a series of latest papers related to your line of work that call for a critical summary),

an significant aspect of the field (so that many readers will be interested in the review and there will be enough material to write it), and

a well-defined issue (otherwise you could potentially include thousands of publications, which would make the review unhelpful).

Ideas for potential reviews may come from papers providing lists of key research questions to be answered [9]. but also from serendipitous moments during desultory reading and discussions. In addition to choosing your topic, you should also select a target audience. In many cases, the topic (e.g. web services in computational biology) will automatically define an audience (e.g. computational biologists), but that same topic may also be of interest to neighbouring fields (e.g. computer science, biology, etc.).

Rule Two: Search and Re-search the Literature

After having chosen your topic and audience, commence by checking the literature and downloading relevant papers. Five chunks of advice here:

keep track of the search items you use (so that your search can be replicated [Ten] ),

keep a list of papers whose pdfs you cannot access instantaneously (so as to retrieve them later with alternative strategies),

use a paper management system (e.g. Mendeley, Papers, Qiqqa, Sente),

define early in the process some criteria for exclusion of irrelevant papers (these criteria can then be described in the review to help define its scope), and

do not just look for research papers in the area you wish to review, but also seek previous reviews.

The chances are high that someone will already have published a literature review ( Figure 1 ), if not exactly on the issue you are planning to tackle, at least on a related topic. If there are already a few or several reviews of the literature on your issue, my advice is not to give up, but to carry on with your own literature review,

A conceptual diagram of the need for different types of literature reviews depending on the amount of published research papers and literature reviews.

discussing in your review the approaches, limitations, and conclusions of past reviews,

attempting to find a fresh angle that has not been covered adequately in the previous reviews, and

incorporating fresh material that has inevitably accumulated since their appearance.

When searching the literature for pertinent papers and reviews, the usual rules apply:

use different keywords and database sources (e.g. DBLP, Google Scholar, ISI Proceedings, JSTOR Search, Medline, Scopus, Web of Science), and

look at who has cited past relevant papers and book chapters.

Rule Trio: Take Notes While Reading

If you read the papers very first, and only afterwards commence writing the review, you will need a very good memory to reminisce who wrote what, and what your impressions and associations were while reading each single paper. My advice is, while reading, to begin writing down interesting chunks of information, insights about how to organize the review, and thoughts on what to write. This way, by the time you have read the literature you selected, you will already have a rough draft of the review.

Of course, this draft will still need much rewriting, restructuring, and rethinking to obtain a text with a coherent argument [11]. but you will have avoided the danger posed by staring at a blank document. Be careful when taking notes to use quotation marks if you are provisionally copying verbatim from the literature. It is advisable then to reformulate such quotes with your own words in the final draft. It is significant to be careful in noting the references already at this stage, so as to avoid misattributions. Using referencing software from the very beginning of your endeavour will save you time.

Rule Four: Choose the Type of Review You Wish to Write

After having taken notes while reading the literature, you will have a rough idea of the amount of material available for the review. This is very likely a good time to determine whether to go for a mini- or a utter review. Some journals are now favouring the publication of rather brief reviews focusing on the last few years, with a limit on the number of words and citations. A mini-review is not necessarily a minor review: it may well attract more attention from busy readers, albeit it will inevitably simplify some issues and leave out some relevant material due to space limitations. A total review will have the advantage of more freedom to cover in detail the complexities of a particular scientific development, but may then be left in the pile of the very significant papers “to be read” by readers with little time to spare for major monographs.

There is most likely a continuum inbetween mini- and utter reviews. The same point applies to the dichotomy of descriptive vs. integrative reviews. While descriptive reviews concentrate on the methodology, findings, and interpretation of each reviewed probe, integrative reviews attempt to find common ideas and concepts from the reviewed material [12]. A similar distinction exists inbetween narrative and systematic reviews: while narrative reviews are qualitative, systematic reviews attempt to test a hypothesis based on the published evidence, which is gathered using a predefined protocol to reduce bias [13]. [14]. When systematic reviews analyse quantitative results in a quantitative way, they become meta-analyses. The choice inbetween different review types will have to be made on a case-by-case basis, depending not just on the nature of the material found and the preferences of the target journal(s), but also on the time available to write the review and the number of coauthors [15] .

Rule Five: Keep the Review Focused, but Make It of Broad Interest

Whether your plan is to write a mini- or a total review, it is good advice to keep it focused 16 ,17. Including material just for the sake of it can lightly lead to reviews that are attempting to do too many things at once. The need to keep a review focused can be problematic for interdisciplinary reviews, where the aim is to bridge the gap inbetween fields [Legal]. If you are writing a review on, for example, how epidemiological approaches are used in modelling the spread of ideas, you may be inclined to include material from both parent fields, epidemiology and the probe of cultural diffusion. This may be necessary to some extent, but in this case a focused review would only deal in detail with those studies at the interface inbetween epidemiology and the spread of ideas.

While concentrate is an significant feature of a successful review, this requirement has to be balanced with the need to make the review relevant to a broad audience. This square may be circled by discussing the broader implications of the reviewed topic for other disciplines.

Rule 6: Be Critical and Consistent

Reviewing the literature is not stamp collecting. A good review does not just summarize the literature, but discusses it critically, identifies methodological problems, and points out research gaps [Nineteen]. After having read a review of the literature, a reader should have a rough idea of:

the major achievements in the reviewed field,

the main areas of debate, and

the outstanding research questions.

It is challenging to achieve a successful review on all these fronts. A solution can be to involve a set of complementary coauthors: some people are excellent at mapping what has been achieved, some others are very good at identifying dark clouds on the horizon, and some have instead a knack at predicting where solutions are going to come from. If your journal club has exactly this sort of team, then you should certainly write a review of the literature! In addition to critical thinking, a literature review needs consistency, for example in the choice of passive vs. active voice and present vs. past tense.

Rule 7: Find a Logical Structure

Like a well-baked cake, a good review has a number of telling features: it is worth the reader’s time, timely, systematic, well written, focused, and critical. It also needs a good structure. With reviews, the usual subdivision of research papers into introduction, methods, results, and discussion does not work or is uncommonly used. However, a general introduction of the context and, toward the end, a recapitulation of the main points covered and take-home messages make sense also in the case of reviews. For systematic reviews, there is a trend towards including information about how the literature was searched (database, keywords, time boundaries) [20] .

How can you organize the flow of the main bod of the review so that the reader will be drawn into and guided through it? It is generally helpful to draw a conceptual scheme of the review, e.g. with mind-mapping technologies. Such diagrams can help recognize a logical way to order and link the various sections of a review [21]. This is the case not just at the writing stage, but also for readers if the diagram is included in the review as a figure. A careful selection of diagrams and figures relevant to the reviewed topic can be very helpful to structure the text too [22] .

Rule 8: Make Use of Feedback

Reviews of the literature are normally peer-reviewed in the same way as research papers, and rightly so [23]. As a rule, incorporating feedback from reviewers greatly helps improve a review draft. Having read the review with a fresh mind, reviewers may spot inaccuracies, inconsistencies, and ambiguities that had not been noticed by the writers due to rereading the typescript too many times. It is however advisable to reread the draft one more time before subjugation, as a last-minute correction of typos, leaps, and muddled sentences may enable the reviewers to concentrate on providing advice on the content rather than the form.

Feedback is vital to writing a good review, and should be sought from a diversity of colleagues, so as to obtain a diversity of views on the draft. This may lead in some cases to conflicting views on the merits of the paper, and on how to improve it, but such a situation is better than the absence of feedback. A diversity of feedback perspectives on a literature review can help identify where the consensus view stands in the landscape of the current scientific understanding of an issue [24] .

Rule 9: Include Your Own Relevant Research, but Be Objective

In many cases, reviewers of the literature will have published studies relevant to the review they are writing. This could create a conflict of interest: how can reviewers report objectively on their own work [25]. Some scientists may be overly enthusiastic about what they have published, and thus risk providing too much importance to their own findings in the review. However, bias could also occur in the other direction: some scientists may be unduly dismissive of their own achievements, so that they will tend to downplay their contribution (if any) to a field when reviewing it.

In general, a review of the literature should neither be a public relations brochure nor an exercise in competitive self-denial. If a reviewer is up to the job of producing a well-organized and methodical review, which flows well and provides a service to the readership, then it should be possible to be objective in reviewing one’s own relevant findings. In reviews written by numerous authors, this may be achieved by assigning the review of the results of a coauthor to different coauthors.

Rule Ten: Be Up-to-Date, but Do Not Leave behind Older Studies

Given the progressive acceleration in the publication of scientific papers, today’s reviews of the literature need awareness not just of the overall direction and achievements of a field of inquiry, but also of the latest studies, so as not to become out-of-date before they have been published. Ideally, a literature review should not identify as a major research gap an issue that has just been addressed in a series of papers in press (the same applies, of course, to older, overlooked studies (“sleeping beauties” [26] )). This implies that literature reviewers would do well to keep an eye on electronic lists of papers in press, given that it can take months before these emerge in scientific databases. Some reviews announce that they have scanned the literature up to a certain point in time, but given that peer review can be a rather lengthy process, a utter search for freshly appeared literature at the revision stage may be worthwhile. Assessing the contribution of papers that have just appeared is particularly challenging, because there is little perspective with which to gauge their significance and influence on further research and society.

Inevitably, fresh papers on the reviewed topic (including independently written literature reviews) will emerge from all quarters after the review has been published, so that there may soon be the need for an updated review. But this is the nature of science [27] –[32]. I wish everybody good luck with writing a review of the literature.

Acknowledgments

Many thanks to M. Barbosa, K. Dehnen-Schmutz, T. Döring, D. Fontaneto, M. Garbelotto, O. Holdenrieder, M. Jeger, D. Lonsdale, A. MacLeod, P. Mills, M. Moslonka-Lefebvre, G. Stancanelli, P. Weisberg, and X. Xu for insights and discussions, and to P. Bourne, T. Matoni, and D. Smith for helpful comments on a previous draft.

Funding Statement

This work was funded by the French Foundation for Research on Biodiversity (FRB) through its Centre for Synthesis and Analysis of Biodiversity data (CESAB), as part of the NETSEED research project. The funders had no role in the prep of the manuscript.

References

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Two. Pautasso M (2010) Worsening file-drawer problem in the abstracts of natural, medical and social science databases. Scientometrics 85. 193–202 doi:Ten.1007/s11192-010-0233-5

Three. Erren TC, Cullen P, Erren M (2009) How to surf today’s information tsunami: on the craft of effective reading. Med Hypotheses 73. 278–279 doi:Ten.1016/j.mehy.2009.05.002 [PubMed ]

Four. Hampton SE, Parker JN (2011) Collaboration and productivity in scientific synthesis. Bioscience 61. 900–910 doi:Ten.1525/bio.2011.61.11.9

Five. Ketcham CM, Crawford JM (2007) The influence of review articles. Lab Invest 87. 1174–1185 doi:Ten.1038/labinvest.3700688 [PubMed ]

6. Boote DN, Beile P (2005) Scholars before researchers: on the centrality of the dissertation literature review in research prep. Educ Res 34. Three–15 doi:Ten.3102/0013189X034006003

7. Budgen D, Brereton P (2006) Performing systematic literature reviews in software engineering. Proc 28th Int Conf Software Engineering, ACM Fresh York, NY, USA, pp. 1051–1052. doi:Ten.1145/1134285.1134500.

8. Maier HR (2013) What constitutes a good literature review and why does its quality matter? Environ Model Softw 43. Trio–Four doi:Ten.1016/j.envsoft.2013.02.004

9. Sutherland WJ, Fleishman E, Mascia MB, Pretty J, Rudd MA (2011) Methods for collaboratively identifying research priorities and emerging issues in science and policy. Methods Ecol Evol Two. 238–247 doi:Ten.1111/j.2041-210X.2010.00083.x

Ten. Maggio LA, Tannery NH, Kanter SL (2011) Reproducibility of literature search reporting in medical education reviews. Acad Med 86. 1049–1054 doi:Ten.1097/ACM.0b013e31822221e7 [PubMed ]

11. Torraco RJ (2005) Writing integrative literature reviews: guidelines and examples. Human Res Develop Rev Four. 356–367 doi:Ten.1177/1534484305278283

12. Khoo CSG, Na JC, Jaidka K (2011) Analysis of the macro-level discourse structure of literature reviews. Online Info Rev 35. 255–271 doi:Ten.1108/14684521111128032

13. Rosenfeld RM (1996) How to systematically review the medical literature. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 115. 53–63 doi:Ten.1016/S0194-5998(96)70137-7 [PubMed ]

14. Cook DA, West CP (2012) Conducting systematic reviews in medical education: a stepwise treatment. Med Educ 46. 943–952 doi:Ten.1111/j.1365-2923.2012.04328.x [PubMed ]

15. Dijkers M (2009) The Task Force on Systematic Reviews and Guidelines (2009) The value of “traditional” reviews in the era of systematic reviewing. Am J Phys Med Rehabil 88. 423–430 doi:Ten.1097/PHM.0b013e31819c59c6 [PubMed ]

16. Eco U (1977) Come si fa una tesi di laurea. Milan: Bompiani.

17. Hart C (1998) Doing a literature review: releasing the social science research imagination. London: SAGE.

Eighteen. Wagner CS, Roessner JD, Bobb K, Klein JT, Boyack KW, et al. (2011) Approaches to understanding and measuring interdisciplinary scientific research (IDR): a review of the literature. J Informetr Five. 14–26 doi:Ten.1016/j.joi.2010.06.004

Nineteen. Carnwell R, Daly W (2001) Strategies for the construction of a critical review of the literature. Nurse Educ Pract 1. 57–63 doi:Ten.1054/nepr.2001.0008 [PubMed ]

20. Roberts PD, Stewart GB, Pullin AS (2006) Are review articles a reliable source of evidence to support conservation and environmental management? A comparison with medicine. Biol Conserv 132. 409–423 doi:Ten.1016/j.biocon.2006.04.034

21. Ridley D (2008) The literature review: a step-by-step guide for students. London: SAGE.

22. Kelleher C, Wagener T (2011) Ten guidelines for effective data visualization in scientific publications. Environ Model Softw 26. 822–827 doi:Ten.1016/j.envsoft.2010.12.006

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Articles from PLoS Computational Biology are provided here courtesy of Public Library of Science

Marco Pautasso

Affiliations: Centre for Functional and Evolutionary Ecology (CEFE), CNRS, Montpellier, France, Centre for Biodiversity Synthesis and Analysis (CESAB), FRB, Aix-en-Provence, France

Citation: Pautasso M (2013) Ten Plain Rules for Writing a Literature Review. PLoS Comput Biol 9(7): e1003149. doi:Ten.1371/journal.pcbi.1003149

Editor: Philip E. Bourne, University of California San Diego, United States of America

Published: July Legitimate, 2013

Copyright: © 2013 Marco Pautasso. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Funding: This work was funded by the French Foundation for Research on Biodiversity (FRB) through its Centre for Synthesis and Analysis of Biodiversity data (CESAB), as part of the NETSEED research project. The funders had no role in the prep of the manuscript.

Rivaling interests: The author has announced that no rivaling interests exist.

Literature reviews are in good request in most scientific fields. Their need stems from the ever-increasing output of scientific publications [1]. For example, compared to 1991, in 2008 three, eight, and forty times more papers were indexed in Web of Science on malaria, obesity, and biodiversity, respectively [Two]. Given such mountains of papers, scientists cannot be expected to examine in detail every single fresh paper relevant to their interests [Three]. Thus, it is both advantageous and necessary to rely on regular summaries of the latest literature. Albeit recognition for scientists mainly comes from primary research, timely literature reviews can lead to fresh synthetic insights and are often widely read [Four]. For such summaries to be useful, however, they need to be compiled in a professional way [Five] .

Rule 1: Define a Topic and Audience

  1. interesting to you (ideally, you should have come across a series of latest papers related to your line of work that call for a critical summary),
  2. an significant aspect of the field (so that many readers will be interested in the review and there will be enough material to write it), and
  3. a well-defined issue (otherwise you could potentially include thousands of publications, which would make the review unhelpful).

Rule Two: Search and Re-search the Literature

  • keep track of the search items you use (so that your search can be replicated [Ten] ),
  • keep a list of papers whose pdfs you cannot access instantly (so as to retrieve them later with alternative strategies),
  • use a paper management system (e.g. Mendeley, Papers, Qiqqa, Sente),
  • define early in the process some criteria for exclusion of irrelevant papers (these criteria can then be described in the review to help define its scope), and
  • do not just look for research papers in the area you wish to review, but also seek previous reviews.
  • The chances are high that someone will already have published a literature review (Figure 1 ), if not exactly on the issue you are planning to tackle, at least on a related topic. If there are already a few or several reviews of the literature on your issue, my advice is not to give up, but to carry on with your own literature review,

    Expand Figure 1. A conceptual diagram of the need for different types of literature reviews depending on the amount of published research papers and literature reviews.

    The bottom-right situation (many literature reviews but few research papers) is not just a theoretical situation; it applies, for example, to the probe of the impacts of climate switch on plant diseases, where there emerge to be more literature reviews than research studies [33] .

    More »

  • discussing in your review the approaches, limitations, and conclusions of past reviews,
  • attempting to find a fresh angle that has not been covered adequately in the previous reviews, and
  • incorporating fresh material that has inevitably accumulated since their appearance.
  • be thorough,
  • use different keywords and database sources (e.g. DBLP, Google Scholar, ISI Proceedings, JSTOR Search, Medline, Scopus, Web of Science), and
  • look at who has cited past relevant papers and book chapters.
  • Rule Trio: Take Notes While Reading

    Rule Four: Choose the Type of Review You Wish to Write

    After having taken notes while reading the literature, you will have a rough idea of the amount of material available for the review. This is most likely a good time to determine whether to go for a mini- or a utter review. Some journals are now favouring the publication of rather brief reviews focusing on the last few years, with a limit on the number of words and citations. A mini-review is not necessarily a minor review: it may well attract more attention from busy readers, albeit it will inevitably simplify some issues and leave out some relevant material due to space limitations. A total review will have the advantage of more freedom to cover in detail the complexities of a particular scientific development, but may then be left in the pile of the very significant papers “to be read” by readers with little time to spare for major monographs.

    Rule Five: Keep the Review Focused, but Make It of Broad Interest

    Rule 6: Be Critical and Consistent

  • the major achievements in the reviewed field,
  • the main areas of debate, and
  • the outstanding research questions.
  • Rule 7: Find a Logical Structure

    Rule 8: Make Use of Feedback

    Rule 9: Include Your Own Relevant Research, but Be Objective

    Rule Ten: Be Up-to-Date, but Do Not Leave behind Older Studies

    Given the progressive acceleration in the publication of scientific papers, today’s reviews of the literature need awareness not just of the overall direction and achievements of a field of inquiry, but also of the latest studies, so as not to become out-of-date before they have been published. Ideally, a literature review should not identify as a major research gap an issue that has just been addressed in a series of papers in press (the same applies, of course, to older, overlooked studies (“sleeping beauties” [26] )). This implies that literature reviewers would do well to keep an eye on electronic lists of papers in press, given that it can take months before these show up in scientific databases. Some reviews announce that they have scanned the literature up to a certain point in time, but given that peer review can be a rather lengthy process, a utter search for freshly appeared literature at the revision stage may be worthwhile. Assessing the contribution of papers that have just appeared is particularly challenging, because there is little perspective with which to gauge their significance and influence on further research and society.

    Inevitably, fresh papers on the reviewed topic (including independently written literature reviews) will emerge from all quarters after the review has been published, so that there may soon be the need for an updated review. But this is the nature of science [27] –[32]. I wish everybody good luck with writing a review of the literature.

    Acknowledgments

    Many thanks to M. Barbosa, K. Dehnen-Schmutz, T. Doring, D. Fontaneto, M. Garbelotto, O. Holdenrieder, M. Jeger, D. Lonsdale, A. MacLeod, P. Mills, M. Moslonka-Lefebvre, G. Stancanelli, P. Weisberg, and X. Xu for insights and discussions, and to P. Bourne, T. Matoni, and D. Smith for helpful comments on a previous draft.

    References

  • 1. Rapple C (2011) The role of the critical review article in alleviating information overcharge. Annual Reviews White Paper. Available: http://www.annualreviews.org/userimages/ContentEditor/1300384004941/Annual_Reviews_WhitePaper_Web_2011.pdf. Accessed May 2013.
  • Two. Pautasso M (2010) Worsening file-drawer problem in the abstracts of natural, medical and social science databases. Scientometrics 85: 193–202 doi:Ten.1007/s11192-010-0233-5.
  • Trio. Erren TC, Cullen P, Erren M (2009) How to surf today’s information tsunami: on the craft of effective reading. Med Hypotheses 73: 278–279 doi:Ten.1016/j.mehy.2009.05.002.
  • Four. Hampton SE, Parker JN (2011) Collaboration and productivity in scientific synthesis. Bioscience 61: 900–910 doi:Ten.1525/bio.2011.61.11.9.
  • Five. Ketcham CM, Crawford JM (2007) The influence of review articles. Lab Invest 87: 1174–1185 doi:Ten.1038/labinvest.3700688.
  • 6. Boote DN, Beile P (2005) Scholars before researchers: on the centrality of the dissertation literature review in research prep. Educ Res 34: 3–15 doi:Ten.3102/0013189X034006003.
  • 7. Budgen D, Brereton P (2006) Performing systematic literature reviews in software engineering. Proc 28th Int Conf Software Engineering, ACM Fresh York, NY, USA, pp. 1051–1052. doi:Ten.1145/1134285.1134500.
  • 8. Maier HR (2013) What constitutes a good literature review and why does its quality matter? Environ Model Softw 43: 3–4 doi:Ten.1016/j.envsoft.2013.02.004.
  • 9. Sutherland WJ, Fleishman E, Mascia MB, Pretty J, Rudd MA (2011) Methods for collaboratively identifying research priorities and emerging issues in science and policy. Methods Ecol Evol Two: 238–247 doi:Ten.1111/j.2041-210X.2010.00083.x.
  • Ten. Maggio LA, Tannery NH, Kanter SL (2011) Reproducibility of literature search reporting in medical education reviews. Acad Med 86: 1049–1054 doi:Ten.1097/ACM.0b013e31822221e7.
  • 11. Torraco RJ (2005) Writing integrative literature reviews: guidelines and examples. Human Res Develop Rev Four: 356–367 doi:Ten.1177/1534484305278283.
  • 12. Khoo CSG, Na JC, Jaidka K (2011) Analysis of the macro-level discourse structure of literature reviews. Online Info Rev 35: 255–271 doi:Ten.1108/14684521111128032.
  • 13. Rosenfeld RM (1996) How to systematically review the medical literature. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 115: 53–63 doi:Ten.1016/S0194-5998(96)70137-7.
  • 14. Cook DA, West CP (2012) Conducting systematic reviews in medical education: a stepwise treatment. Med Educ 46: 943–952 doi:Ten.1111/j.1365-2923.2012.04328.x.
  • 15. Dijkers M (2009) The Task Force on Systematic Reviews and Guidelines (2009) The value of “traditional” reviews in the era of systematic reviewing. Am J Phys Med Rehabil 88: 423–430 doi:Ten.1097/PHM.0b013e31819c59c6.
  • 16. Eco U (1977) Come si fa una tesi di laurea. Milan: Bompiani.
  • 17. Hart C (1998) Doing a literature review: releasing the social science research imagination. London: SAGE.
  • Legitimate. Wagner CS, Roessner JD, Bobb K, Klein JT, Boyack KW, et al. (2011) Approaches to understanding and measuring interdisciplinary scientific research (IDR): a review of the literature. J Informetr Five: 14–26 doi:Ten.1016/j.joi.2010.06.004.
  • Nineteen. Carnwell R, Daly W (2001) Strategies for the construction of a critical review of the literature. Nurse Educ Pract 1: 57–63 doi:Ten.1054/nepr.2001.0008.
  • 20. Roberts PD, Stewart GB, Pullin AS (2006) Are review articles a reliable source of evidence to support conservation and environmental management? A comparison with medicine. Biol Conserv 132: 409–423 doi:Ten.1016/j.biocon.2006.04.034.
  • 21. Ridley D (2008) The literature review: a step-by-step guide for students. London: SAGE.
  • 22. Kelleher C, Wagener T (2011) Ten guidelines for effective data visualization in scientific publications. Environ Model Softw 26: 822–827 doi:Ten.1016/j.envsoft.2010.12.006.
  • 23. Oxman AD, Guyatt GH (1988) Guidelines for reading literature reviews. CMAJ 138: 697–703.
  • 24. May RM (2011) Science as organized scepticism. Philos Trans A Math Phys Eng Sci 369: 4685–4689 doi:Ten.1098/rsta.2011.0177.
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    Ten Plain Rules for Writing a Literature Review

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