Look at the 'check your progress' box at the bottom of this page to make sure you have completed all the steps for this stage of your search
No search strategy is perfect, so you will need to eliminate articles based on exclusion and inclusion criteria. You need to be transparent with these criteria and list them in your methodology.
These criteria might be geographical location, economic characteristics, similar healthcare systems, type of studies (quantitative or qualitative)...etc.
You can apply these criteria at the title and abstract screening stage (you're likely to eliminate quite a lot of articles during this stage) or at the full-text stage (you might notice that the focus of an article is not relevant to your topic after reading it in full).
The number of titles you exclude and include must be reported using the PRISMA flowchart.
At the bottom of the page you will find a blank Word document for you to use to record your inclusion / Exclusion Criteria
In your literature review you will be asked to critically evaluate primary research papers from peer reviewed journals.
Open the sections below on primary and secondary research for some help spotting the difference, and finding your primary research papers.
Primary research is when someone has done something to test a hypothesis for example testing whether a drug improves outcomes for a set of patients, or asking people about their experiences in particular field of healthcare.
Primary Sources include:
You may need to open the paper and read a little to see if it is a primary source. Look in the abstract and (if it has one), the methods or methodology section to see if there is an explanation of what research was done.
Literature reviews are not primary research, but a primary source may contain a literature review as one section - just check to make sure that it is about some primary research before including it in your papers.
A secondary source gives an overview of other peoples' research to draw conclusions, or present the current situation in an area of research.
Secondary Sources include:
|Stage of your search||Things to remember|
|Start to document the number of articles retrieved||
|Have you developed inclusion/exclusion criteria you can now apply?||
|Assess your articles for relevance looking at the title & abstract||
|Assess your articles for relevance looking at the full-text||