Friday, June 11, 2010

A review by another other name......

Review articles are useful pieces of work, which are often percieved as being relatively straightforward to do - desk based research, not requiring ethical approval, etc.

But what is a review?

According to a paper out today, it could be any one of 14 different things.

Health Info Libr J. 2009 Jun;26(2):91-108.

A typology of reviews: an analysis of 14 review types and associated methodologies.
Grant MJ, Booth A.

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: The expansion of evidence-based practice across sectors has lead to an increasing variety of review types. However, the diversity of terminology used means that the full potential of these review types may be lost amongst a confusion of indistinct and misapplied terms. The objective of this study is to provide descriptive insight into the most common types of reviews, with illustrative examples from health and health information domains.
METHODS: Following scoping searches, an examination was made of the vocabulary associated with the literature of review and synthesis (literary warrant). A simple analytical framework -- Search, AppraisaL, Synthesis and Analysis (SALSA) -- was used to examine the main review types.
RESULTS: Fourteen review types and associated methodologies were analysed against the SALSA framework, illustrating the inputs and processes of each review type. A description of the key characteristics is given, together with perceived strengths and weaknesses. A limited number of review types are currently utilized within the health information domain.
CONCLUSIONS: Few review types possess prescribed and explicit methodologies and many fall short of being mutually exclusive. Notwithstanding such limitations, this typology provides a valuable reference point for those commissioning, conducting, supporting or interpreting reviews, both within health information and the wider health care domain.

PubMed ID  : 19490148

(paper available in full-text on University computers, or using University RAVEN login)

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