Literature reviews (structured or systematic)
Aim: To identify, read, and summarize the current academic and/or regulatory literature on a specified topic.
Application: To provide you with an easy way to access overview of the market landscape
Identifies: Data gaps, unmet needs, potential threats, potential avenues of research
Informs: Decisions on market potential, product development, product acquisition, and future studies.
Literature reviews summarize the information on a topic over a specified time period. The report draws common themes together and provides insight into the longitudinal trends where possible. The key to an informative literature review is identifying (all) the relevant literature. This is done via structured searches of bibliographic databases, making the literature identified transparent and reproducible. A structured search generally returns many more ‘hits’ than can be extensively reviewed, and many may not be pertinent to the research question. For this reason, only a limited set of the hits are read in full and summarized. Those selected for full-text review are identified via screening, in which the title and abstract of each hit is compared against pre-defined inclusion and exclusion criteria.
Unlike a research manuscript, a literature review does not develop new arguments, but considers the arguments of all authors/papers included in the review. They can, however, be published if the review leads to novel insights, or identifies important data gaps. If for publication, the literature review generally needs to be systematic. A systematic review is a type of literature review that collects and critically analyzes multiple research studies and is considered to be some one of the highest levels of evidence to inform healthcare decision making. Systematic reviews of randomized controlled trials can be found at the Cochrane library. Coreva Scientific performs both structured and systematic literature reviews, these options are compared below:
|Literature identified via||Structured searches of bibliographic databases||Structured searches of bibliographic databases|
|Search is reproducible||Yes||Yes|
|Title and abstract screening||Yes, by one person||Yes, by two people working independently|
|Pre-defined inclusion and exclusion criteria||Yes||Yes|
|Agreement of articles to be included||No||Yes|
|Data extraction||As required||Yes, in a structured way by two people working independently|
|Study quality assessment||As required||Yes, in a structured way by two people working independently|
|Comparison of extracted data||No||Yes|
|Likelihood of publication||Low||Good|