Int J Endocrinol Metab. 2022 Aug 12;20(3):e128701. doi: 10.5812/ijem-128701. eCollection 2022 Jul.
The literature review is an integral part of the research process, from developing research ideas to disseminating findings. It involves explaining, interpreting, and summarizing published materials around a topic to elaborate a research hypothesis/question, synthesize new concepts, identify knowledge gaps, develop new theories, and identify new research directions. Effective reading and processing of the literature (i.e., analyzing and synthesizing) and actual writing of the literature (verbal or non-verbal output, e.g., tables and figures) are essential stages of an effective literature review. This article provides a practical guide to conducting an effective literature review. In addition, literature search and evaluation are also briefly discussed.