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Literature Reviews

Determine inclusion and exclusion criteria

Determine inclusion and exclusion criteria

Once you have a clearly defined research question, make sure you are getting precisely the right search results from searching the databases by making decisions about these items:

  1. Select a time frame for relevant search results.
    • Would the most recent five years be appropriate?
    • Is your research from a more historical perspective?
  2. Select a geography (and language)
    • Where has this type of research taken place?
    • Will you confine your results to the United States?
    • To English speaking countries?
    • Will you translate works if needed?
  3. Choose research constraints
    • Is there a particular methodology, or population that you are focused on?
  4. Consider inter-disciplinary fields
    • Are there adjacent fields in which this type of research has been conducted that you would like to include?
  5. Consider the organizing structure for your review
    • Is there a controversy or debate in your research field that you want to highlight
    • Are you creating a historical overview? Is this background reading for your research?
    • Is there new technology that can shed light on an old problem or an old technology that can be used in a new way?

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