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+ Sociology: Literature Review

This is a guide to resources for sociology research. It will lead you to databases with helpful journal articles and books, as well as websites, and other resources.

Methods for Synthesizing Qualitative Reviews

Ruth Garside, PhD, Senior Lecturer in Evidence Synthesis at the Medical School, University of Exeter

Check out PRISMA to guide your review: especially the checklist for your review and the flow diagram to develop your protocol.

The PRISMA Statement:

Anybody writing a systematic literature review should be familiar with the PRISMA statement. The PRISMA Statement is a document that consists of a 27-item checklist and a flow diagram and aims to guide authors on how to develop a systematic review protocol and what to include when writing the review.

A protocol ideally includes the following:

  • Databases to be searched and additional sources (particularly for grey literature)

  • Keywords to be used in the search strategy

  • Limits applied to the search.

  • Screening process

  • Data to be extracted

  • Summary of data to be reported

From Majumbder, K. (2015). A young researcher's guide to a systematic review. Editage Insights. Retrieved from

Systematic Literature Review

Here are a couple of articles found in Sage Research Methods Online which give good definitions of what a Systematic Literature Review is and how to do one:

Dempster, M. (2003). Systematic review. In Robert L. Miller, & John D. Brewer

      (Eds.), The A-Z of Social Research. (pp. 312-317). London, England: SAGE

      Publications, Ltd. doi:

​Crisp, B.R. (2015). Systematic reviews: a social work perspective. Australian

      Social Work, 68 (3): 284-295.

Schick-Makaroff, K., MacDonald, M. Plummer, M., Burgess, J., & Neander, W. (2016).

      What Synthesis Methodology Should I Use? A Review and Analysis of Approaches to

      Research SynthesisAIMS Public Health, 3(1). 172-215.

      doi: 10.3934/publichealth.2016.1.172

Inclusion/Exclusion Criteria

Support for Systematic Reviews

Examples of Systematic Reviews

Prospero: International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews

This web site collects systematic reviews in process.  By reviewing them, you can see what is included in a systematic review.

Campbell Systematic Reviews

This Monograph series is an open access collection of peer-reviewed systematic reviews.  "Campbell systematic reviews follow structured guidelines and standards for summarizing the international research evidence on the effects of interventions in crime and justice, education, international development, and social welfare." Registration and protocols are available from the Campbell Collaboration Library of Systematic Reviews.