Research Literature Review
A Guide for Information Systems Research
Figure 1. A systematic guide to literature review development
An Eight-Step Guide to Conducting a Systematic Literature Review
Okoli & Schabram (2010) present here has eight major steps, each of which is required for a
systematic literature review. Indeed, these steps are very valuable for any kind of literature
review; however, for a review to be scientifically rigorous, all of the following steps are
- Purpose of the literature review: The first step in any review requires the reviewer to clearly identify the purpose and intended goals of the review. This is necessary for the review to be explicit to its readers.
- Protocol and training: For any review that employs more than one reviewer, it is critical that the reviewers be completely clear and in agreement about the detailed procedure to be followed. This requires both a written, detailed protocol document, and training for all reviewers to ensure consistency in the execution of the review.
- Searching for the literature: The reviewer needs to be explicit in describing the details of the literature search, and needs to explain and justify how the comprehensiveness of the search was assured.
- Practical screen: Also known as screening for inclusion, this step requires that the reviewer be explicit about what studies were considered for review, and which ones were eliminated without further examination (a very necessary part of any literature review). For excluded studies, the reviewer must state what the practical reasons were for their non-consideration, and justify how the resulting review can still be comprehensive given the practical exclusion criteria.
- Quality appraisal: Also known as screening for exclusion, the reviewer needs to explicitly spell out the criteria for judging which articles are of insufficient quality to be included in the review synthesis. All included articles need be scored for their quality, depending on the research methodologies employed by the articles.
- Data extraction: After all the studies that should be included in the review have been identified, the reviewers need to systematically extract the applicable information from each study.
- Synthesis of studies: Also known as analysis, this step involves combining the facts extracted from the studies using appropriate techniques, whether quantitative, qualitative, or both.
- Writing the review: In addition to the standard principles to be followed in writing research articles, the process of a systematic literature review needs to be reported in sufficient detail that the results of the review can be independently reproduced.
Webster & Watson (2002) recommend a structured approach to determine the source material for the review:
- The major contributions are likely to be in the leading journals.
- Go backward by reviewing the citations for the articles identified in step 1 to determine prior articles you should consider.
- Go forward by using the Web of Science (the electronic version of the Social Sciences Citation Index) to identify articles citing the key articles identified in the previous steps. Determine which of these articles should be included in the review.
Abdillah, L. A. (2014). Research Methods. Retrieved from http://blog.binadarma.ac.id/mleonaa/teaching/research-methods-metode-penelitian/
Hasibuan, Z. A. (2007). Metodologi Penelitian pada Bidang Ilmu Komputer dan Teknologi Informasi (Konsep, Teknik, dan Aplikasi)
Okoli, C., & Schabram, K. (2010). A guide to conducting a systematic literature review of information systems research. Sprouts: Working Papers on Information Systems Research and Behavioral Science, 10
Webster, J., & Watson, R. T. (2002). Analyzing the past to prepare for the future: Writing a literature review. Management Information Systems Quarterly, 26(2), 3.