At its most basic, narrative reviews are most useful for obtaining a broad perspective on a topic and are often more comparable to a textbook chapter including sections on the physiology and/or epidemiology of a topic. When reading and evaluating a narrative review, keep in mind that author’s bias may or may not be present. The labels Narrative Review and Literature Review are often describing the same type of review. For scientific purposes, the term Literature Review is the one used most often. For more information on the Literature Review, click on that link under the Review By Type tab.
The difference between a Systematic Review and a Narrative Review can be summarized as follows:
Also take a look at any literature reviews you find as you search for articles – in addition to content and further references they’ll also provide helpful structural hints.
A literature review is a very practical part of the research process. It’s how you build on other research in the field – identify best practices and tools and learn what doesn’t work. The resources on the page are here to help you structure you literature review so it’s as useful as possible.