What’s the difference between a systematic review and a literature review?

In this post, Sue Stevens, a Research Skills Advisor in Library Services, talks about systematic literature reviews.

This is a question that I’m often asked, or I have a request to help someone with a systematic review, only to find that what they really need help with is a systematic search of the literature for a literature review.  So what is the difference? Continue reading “What’s the difference between a systematic review and a literature review?”

Spotlight on the RDF: “Synthesising”

In one of our occasional series of spotlights, we take a closer look at a specific descriptor from the RDF.

In this series of “Spotlight on…” posts, we’ll be delving into the detail of the descriptors in Vitae‘s Researcher Development Framework (RDF).  Each one of the sixty-three descriptors is a characteristic of an excellent researcher, and we’ll be looking at how UoB PGRs can develop these characteristics.

Image credit: National Eye Institute

Synthesis has a number of meanings in the OED, but the one that is relevant here is “the putting together of parts or elements so as to make up a complex whole” [1] and being able to put together parts and elements from the research literature and create a complex whole is a critical skill in literature review.  It’s relatively straight-forward to write a summary of the literature in your research area, but a proper literature review goes further and uses the existing literature to create a “complex whole” where new knowledge or understanding has been created.   Continue reading “Spotlight on the RDF: “Synthesising””