Literature Review—The Springboard for Research
30 June 2019 (eFirst)
“What do researchers know? What do they not know? What has been researched and what has not been researched? Is the research reliable and trustworthy? Where are the gaps in the knowledge? When you compile all that together, you have yourself a literature review.”
—Jim Ollhoff, How to Write a Literature Review
Literally speaking, the springboard is a flexible platform used by divers and gymnasts to gain added impetus when performing a dive, jump higher or do gymnastics. In research, the literature review is comparable to the springboard which denotes the beginning from which an enterprise, activity or research is launched. It is the flexibility of the springboard which launches the person higher, and in research, the literature review broadens the perspective of the researcher giving more clarity to direction he/she should be working upon. Reviewing the literature is a time-consuming preparatory home work which acts as a catalyst for future research. It may be an end in itself if it is analysed and published as a review, or it can be used as a prerequisite to formulate a research problem. It provides foundation of knowledge on the topic and gives you the confidence to place your research work within the context of existing research.
- 1 http://libguides.usc.edu/writingguide/researchproblem
- 2 www.engageinresearch.ac.uk
- 3 Boote DN, Beile P. Scholars before researchers: on the centrality of the dissertation literature review in research preparation. Educational Researcher 2005; 34 (06) 3-15