Biomedical Engineering and Design
"Literature review," "systematic literature review," "integrative literature review" -- these are terms used in different disciplines for basically the same thing -- a rigorous examination of the scholarly literature about a topic (at different levels of rigor, and with some different emphases).
1. Our library's guide to Writing a Literature Review
2. Other helpful sites
- Writing Center at UNC (Chapel Hill) -- A very good guide about lit reviews and how to write them
- Literature Review: Synthesizing Multiple Sources (LSU, June 2011 but good; PDF) -- Planning, writing, and tips for revising your paper
3. Welch Library's list of the types of expert reviews
Doing a good job of organizing your information makes writing about it a lot easier.
You can organize your sources using a citation manager, such as RefWorks, or use a matrix (if you only have a few references):
- Use Google Sheets, Word, Excel, or whatever you prefer to create a table
- The column headings should include the citation information, and the main points that you want to track, as shown
- More pointers about using a matrix from Duquesne University
[Attribution: This document was created by NC State University Writing and Speaking Tutorial Service Tutors during Fall 2006. Contributors were Laura Ingram, James Hussey, Michelle Tigani, and Mary Hemmelgarn. Special thanks to Stephanie Huneycutt for providing the sample matrix and paragraph.]
Synthesizing your information is not just summarizing it. Here are processes and examples about how to combine your sources into a good piece of writing:
An "annotation" is a note or comment.
An "annotated bibliography" is a "list of citations to books, articles, and [other items]. Each citation is followed by a brief...descriptive and evaluative paragraph, [whose purpose is] to inform the reader of the relevance, accuracy, and quality of the sources cited."*
- Sage Research Methods (database) --> Empirical Research and Writing (ebook) -- Chapter 3: Doing Pre-research
- Purdue's OWL (Online Writing Lab) includes definitions and samples of annotations
- Cornell's guide* to writing annotated bibliographies
* Thank you to Olin Library Reference, Research & Learning Services, Cornell University Library, Ithaca, NY, USA
Is this paper peer-reviewed? Ulrichsweb will tell you.
1) On the library home page , choose "Articles and Databases" --> "Databases" --> Ulrichsweb
2) Put in the title of the JOURNAL (not the article), in quotation marks so all the words are next to each other
3) Mouse over the black icon, and you'll see that it means "refereed" (which means peer-reviewed, because it's been looked at by referees or reviewers). This journal is not peer-reviewed, because none of the formats have a black icon next to it: