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Evaluating Scholarly and Peer Reviewed Sources: Putting scholarly writing into context

Literature reviews, meta-analyses, historiography and writing that summarizes research in a field

Literature Review

The literature review is used to convey to your audience the knowledge and ideas which have already been established on a topic. Literature reviews also describe the methodologies, participants, findings/conclusions, etc., of previous works. Writers of literature reviews often discuss the gaps in current knowledge or present information on emerging theoretical issues.

(from Literature Review Tip Sheet)

Meta-Analysis

Studies using a quantitative method of combining the results of independent studies (usually drawn from the published literature) and synthesizing summaries and conclusions which may be used to evaluate therapeutic effectiveness, plan new studies, etc. In health science it is often an overview of clinical trials. (adapted from the National Library of Medicine)

Learn more in "Meta-analysis: Theory" from the International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences

Systematic Review

A review of primary literature in social and health sciences that attempts to identify, appraise, and synthesize all the empirical evidence that meets specified eligibility criteria to answer a given research question. Methods aim to minimize bias in order to produce more reliable findings regarding the effects of interventions for prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation that can be used to inform decision making. (adapted from the National Library of Medicine)

Learn more in "Systematic Reviewing and Meta-Analysis" from the International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences

Historiography

The history of histories. You can think of this as a narrative description of the web of scholars writing on the same or similar topics. A historiography traces how scholars' understanding of historical events has evolved and how scholars are in conversation with each other, both building on and disputing previous works. The process is similar to that used for creating literature reviews in other disciplines.

(from "Developing a Historiography: Evaluating Sources")

Bibliographic Essay

An essay summarizing and sometimes analyzing publications on a particular topic within a defined time period. Most commonly used in humanities fields, especially literature. 

Discipline matters! (discipline specific conventions exist)

(from Purdue OWL's "Writing is Discipline Specific")

Need help? Librarians by discipline

Grace Elliott
Conservatory Library

grace.elliott@oberlin.edu

Alonson Avila

Alonso Avila
Terrell Main Library
alonso.avila@oberlin.edu

Eboni Johnson

Eboni Johnson
Science Library
eboni.johnson@oberlin.edu

Megan Mitchell

Megan Mitchell
Terrell Main Library

megan.mitchell@oberlin.edu

Barb Prior

Barb Prior
Art Library

barbara.prior@oberlin.edu
 

Alison Ricker

Alison Ricker
Science Library

alison.ricker@oberlin.edu

Elizabeth Sullivan

Elizabeth Sullivan
Terrell Main Library

elizabeth.sullivan@oberlin.edu

Runxiao Zhu

Runxiao Zhu
Terrell Main Library

runxiao.zhu@oberlin.edu

 

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