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Social Work

What to read before you start

Distinguishing between common review types

Literature review:

  • can be single-authored
  • can be a broad topic or a specific question
  • does not specify source of literature (i.e., databases searched)
  • does not include reproducible search strategies
  • does not have specific study selection criteria
  • does not formally assess study quality
  • may be influenced by the reviewer's theories, needs, and beliefs
  • is narrative

Rapid review:

  • is conducted with time constraints
  • uses simplified systematic review methods
  • includes time-limited formal assessment of study quality
  • is narrative and tabular

Scoping review:

  • assesses size and scope of available literature on certain topic
  • limits literature searching by time and scope constraints
  • does not formally assess study quality

Umbrella review:

  • is a review of reviews
  • compiles evidence from multiple reviews into one document

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WSU affiliates have free, unlimited access to Covidence software, which streamlines record de-duplication, title/abstract screening, and full-text screening. Request an invitation to join WSU's Covidence account, and see how to get started using Covidence!