Systematic Literature Review (or Systematic Review) Introduction

This is my summary of chapter 1, 2, and 4 of the Guidelines for performing Systematic Review version 2.3, written in 2007 by Software Engineering Group from Keele University in UK.


Systematic Literature Review or Systematic Review is a method to identify, evaluate and interpret all available research document to a particular research question, topic area, or just a phenomenon of interest. Every single research that is used in a systematic review are called primary studies, while the systematic review itself is a form of secondary study.

Reasons to do this systematic review:
1. Summarise a particular technology
2. Identify gaps in research
3. Provide a framework / background to position new research activities
In addition, this could also examine to which empirical evidence support / contradict theoretical hypotheses, or even to assist to create new hypotheses.

Importance of systematic reviews is to identify all research which support and not supporting his/her own research, in order to get broader view while conducting our research.

Features of systematic review are:
* Starting by defining a review protocol that specifies the research question.
* Based on defined search strategy that aims to detect research as much as possible
* Document their literature search strategy so anyone could try out those
* Require inclusion and exclusion criteria to access potential primary study
* Specify information to be obtained from primary study, including quality criteria

Other than systematic review, they are two more type of review that could be conducted to support. When it is discovered that research in a topic area is unlikely to exist, or there are too broad, a systematic mapping studies could be more appropriate to identify a more suitable topic area. In other situation, when they are already several systematic review available for one topic, we could do a tertiary reviews, a systematic review of systematic reviews.

Systematic review processes are:
1. Planning the review
* Identify the need of review
* Specify the research question
* Define the research protocol

2. Conducting the review
* Identification of research
* Select the primary study
* Quality assessment for selecting study is defined
* Performed data extraction and monitoring
* Synthesised the obtained data

3. Reporting the review
* Specify the dissemination mechanism
* Presenting the review report

Must be noted that many stages involve iteration, e.g: selection of primary studies is governed by inclusion and exclusion criteria, which can be refined in later stage. “


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