A systematic literature review is a review that identifies, evaluates, and synthesizes the existing data on a particular research question or topic. It entails identifying, assessing, and synthesizing all available information on a case to answer a specific research question in an organized and exhaustive manner. The objective of a systematic literature review is to give a thorough and objective summary of the current state of knowledge on a certain issue. It is frequently used to inform decision-making or as a basis for additional study. Systematic literature reviews are essential to the research process because they enable researchers to objectively evaluate the current data on a topic and identify research gaps. Following are the steps to writing a systematic literature review:
- Defining your research question is the first step in writing a comprehensive literature review. Your research question should be focused, specific, and based on an existing gap in the literature.
- After you have defined your research question, the next stage is to conduct an exhaustive search of the literature. It would help if you used keywords and Boolean operators to search numerous databases, such as PubMed, Google Scholar, and Scopus, to enhance your search results.
- Assess the quality of the research: After identifying relevant studies, the next stage is to assess their quality. When evaluating the quality of the studies, consider study design, sample size, and statistical analysis.
- After identifying and evaluating the pertinent studies, the next step is to extract and synthesize the data. Create tables or figures to summarize the important findings of the studies and use them to detect patterns and trends in the data.
- The final step in conducting a systematic literature review is to compose the review itself. Your review should begin with an introduction explaining your research issue’s background and context. It should conclude with a conclusion that summarizes the study’s key findings and implications. Remember to adhere to the journal’s formatting standards and guidelines.