What is the difference between literature reviews and systematic reviews?
A literature review examines the literature on a given topic to frame new research in the context of what is already known and justify why new research is needed.
A systematic review is a more formal and rigorous approach where the search itself is the research. Systematic reviews start with a research question and exclusion/inclusion criteria, and then go through the existing literature to find studies that match those criteria to answer the research question.
A meta-analysis is when statistical analysis is used on the data gathered from multiple independent studies to see if there is significance to a particular intervention. While similar to systematic reviews, they can be conducted independently of one another.
Grant and Booth (2009) define 14 types of reviews.
Cornell University developed a decision tree to help researchers identify what type of review is best for them.
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