Effective Selection of Quality Literature During a Systematic Literature Review

Holger Schumann, Axel Berres, Tilman Stehr, Dominik Engelhardt
Informing Science: The International Journal of an Emerging Transdiscipline  •  Volume 23  •  2020  •  pp. 077-087

Although a literature review is the fundamental base for any research, it is often considered tedious and conducted with a lack of methodology and rigor. The paper presents a method for systematically searching and screening literature using modern search technologies. The method focuses on minimizing the amount of manual screening by employing the references among papers.

A method to select quality literature effectively using modern search technologies is presented and evaluated.

The method starts with a keywords search in which the most suitable keywords are identified. In the backward search, promising resources are collected based on the keywords and their reference sections are searched for duplicates to find often cited basic literature. Then, the forward search identifies current literature that cites the basic sources.

Modern search technologies have the potential to improve the effectiveness of the use of information channels significantly and thus of traditional literature searches.

The selection method was applied to the field of literature review itself and to the field of functional modelling. In both cases, relevant literature was identified within a surprisingly short time.

Literature reviews should be done systematically by using modern search technologies.

The presented method may be adapted according to the evolution of search technologies. The tool support for the automated extraction of references should be improved and a quantitative evaluation of the method in comparison to traditional reviews may foster the findings.

literature review, systematic literature review, review guide, research review, education research, information systems literature
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