What is Literature Review?
A literature review is done for almost every research article to see what others have published, but it is increasingly common for the entire article to be a review of the literature that already exists. The purpose being to bring it all together to draw some conclusions. Evidence based reviews, for example, try to see what the evidence says works across many articles. It started in health care as a way to identify the best way to treat something, based on evidence in research, rather than on “what we have always done”. There are many different types of these articles: systematic reviews, metasynthesis reviews, metanarrative reviews, and more.
"A literature review is a critical analysis of published sources, or literature, on a particular topic. It is an assessment of the literature and provides a summary, classification, comparison and evaluation. At postgraduate level literature reviews can be incorporated into an article, a research report or thesis."
-Queensland University of Technology website