An analysis of current practices in undertaking literature reviews in nursing: Findings from a Focused Mapping Review and Synthesis

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@article{bf3a6004ccd24711a5ffe457e956e75b,
title = "An analysis of current practices in undertaking literature reviews in nursing: Findings from a Focused Mapping Review and Synthesis",
abstract = "BackgroundIn this paper we discuss the emergence of many different methods for doing a literature review. Referring back to the early days, when there were essentially two types of review; a Cochrane systematic review and a narrative review, we identify how the term systematic review is now widely used to describe a variety of review types and how the number of available methods for doing a literature review has increased dramatically. This led us to undertake a review of current practice of those doing a literature review and the terms used to describe them.MethodWe undertook a focused mapping review and synthesis. Literature reviews; defined as papers with the terms review or synthesis in the title, published in five nursing journals between January 2017–June 2018 were identified. We recorded the type of review and how these were undertaken.ResultsWe identified more than 35 terms used to describe a literature review. Some terms reflected established methods for doing a review whilst others could not be traced to established methods and/or the description of method in the paper was limited. We also found inconsistency in how the terms were used.ConclusionWe have identified a proliferation of terms used to describe doing a literature review; although it is not clear how many distinct methods are being used. Our review indicates a move from an era when the term narrative review was used to describe all {\textquoteleft}non Cochrane{\textquoteright} reviews; to a time of expansion when alternative systematic approaches were developed to enhance rigour of such narrative reviews; to the current situation in which these approaches have proliferated to the extent so that the academic discipline of doing a literature review has become muddled and confusing. We argue that an {\textquoteleft}era of consolidation{\textquoteright} is needed in which those undertaking reviews are explicit about the method used and ensure that their processes can be traced back to a well described, original primary source.",
author = "Caroline Bradbury-Jones and Helen Aveyard",
year = "2019",
month = may,
day = "16",
doi = "10.1186/s12874-019-0751-7",
language = "English",
volume = "19",
journal = "BMC Medical Research Methodology",
issn = "1471-2288",
publisher = "Springer",
number = "1",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - An analysis of current practices in undertaking literature reviews in nursing: Findings from a Focused Mapping Review and Synthesis

AU - Bradbury-Jones, Caroline

AU - Aveyard, Helen

PY - 2019/5/16

Y1 - 2019/5/16

N2 - BackgroundIn this paper we discuss the emergence of many different methods for doing a literature review. Referring back to the early days, when there were essentially two types of review; a Cochrane systematic review and a narrative review, we identify how the term systematic review is now widely used to describe a variety of review types and how the number of available methods for doing a literature review has increased dramatically. This led us to undertake a review of current practice of those doing a literature review and the terms used to describe them.MethodWe undertook a focused mapping review and synthesis. Literature reviews; defined as papers with the terms review or synthesis in the title, published in five nursing journals between January 2017–June 2018 were identified. We recorded the type of review and how these were undertaken.ResultsWe identified more than 35 terms used to describe a literature review. Some terms reflected established methods for doing a review whilst others could not be traced to established methods and/or the description of method in the paper was limited. We also found inconsistency in how the terms were used.ConclusionWe have identified a proliferation of terms used to describe doing a literature review; although it is not clear how many distinct methods are being used. Our review indicates a move from an era when the term narrative review was used to describe all ‘non Cochrane’ reviews; to a time of expansion when alternative systematic approaches were developed to enhance rigour of such narrative reviews; to the current situation in which these approaches have proliferated to the extent so that the academic discipline of doing a literature review has become muddled and confusing. We argue that an ‘era of consolidation’ is needed in which those undertaking reviews are explicit about the method used and ensure that their processes can be traced back to a well described, original primary source.

AB - BackgroundIn this paper we discuss the emergence of many different methods for doing a literature review. Referring back to the early days, when there were essentially two types of review; a Cochrane systematic review and a narrative review, we identify how the term systematic review is now widely used to describe a variety of review types and how the number of available methods for doing a literature review has increased dramatically. This led us to undertake a review of current practice of those doing a literature review and the terms used to describe them.MethodWe undertook a focused mapping review and synthesis. Literature reviews; defined as papers with the terms review or synthesis in the title, published in five nursing journals between January 2017–June 2018 were identified. We recorded the type of review and how these were undertaken.ResultsWe identified more than 35 terms used to describe a literature review. Some terms reflected established methods for doing a review whilst others could not be traced to established methods and/or the description of method in the paper was limited. We also found inconsistency in how the terms were used.ConclusionWe have identified a proliferation of terms used to describe doing a literature review; although it is not clear how many distinct methods are being used. Our review indicates a move from an era when the term narrative review was used to describe all ‘non Cochrane’ reviews; to a time of expansion when alternative systematic approaches were developed to enhance rigour of such narrative reviews; to the current situation in which these approaches have proliferated to the extent so that the academic discipline of doing a literature review has become muddled and confusing. We argue that an ‘era of consolidation’ is needed in which those undertaking reviews are explicit about the method used and ensure that their processes can be traced back to a well described, original primary source.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85065871352&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1186/s12874-019-0751-7

DO - 10.1186/s12874-019-0751-7

M3 - Article

C2 - 31096917

VL - 19

JO - BMC Medical Research Methodology

JF - BMC Medical Research Methodology

SN - 1471-2288

IS - 1

M1 - 105

ER -