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The conclusions may also be biased by the prejudices of the researcher-interviewer. Quantitative data collection is more objective, but for some projects it could miss important issues that would surface in an interview.

A combination of qualitative methods for pilot work and quantitative methods for a larger study should therefore produce valuable conclusions, depending, of course, on the design. You will probably find that your topic has been dealt with to some extent in earlier reviews. Cite the reviews and indicate the extent to which you have based your review on them.

Make sure you look at the key original papers cited in any earlier reviews, to judge for yourself whether the conclusions of the reviewers are justified. Reviews, like original research, vary in quality. Problems with reviews include poor organization of the material and lack of critical thought. Some of the better reviews attempt to pull together the results of many papers using the statistical technique of meta-analysis.

The outcomes in such reviews are usually expressed as relative risk, variance explained, or effect size , terms that you will have to understand and interpret in your review if you meet them. See my statistics pages for explanations of these concepts Hopkins, b.

You cannot assess quantitative research without a good understanding of the terms effects, confidence limits of effects, and statistical significance of effects. An effect is simply an observed relationship between variables in a sample of subjects.

An effect is also known as an outcome. Confidence limits and statistical significance are involved in generalizing from the observed value of an effect to the true value of the effect. The true value of the effect is the average value of the effect in the whole population, or the value of the effect you would get if you sampled the whole population.

The confidence limits of an effect define the likely range of the true value of the effect: An effect is statistically significant if the likely range of the true value of the effect is unlikely to include the zero or null effect.

Roughly speaking, statistically significant effects are unlikely to be zero, but such a rough interpretation is misleading: Statistical significance is notoriously difficult to understand, whereas confidence limits are at once more simple and more informative.

Confidence limits are appearing more frequently in publications, but most authors still use statistical significance. As a reviewer you therefore have to come to terms with statistical significance.

Here are a few suggestions on how to cope. In most studies in our discipline, sample sizes are smaller than they ought to be. So if a result is statistically significant, it will probably have widely separated confidence limits. Check to make sure the observed value of the effect is substantial whatever that means--more about that in a moment.

If it is, then you can conclude safely that the true value of the effect is likely to be a substantial. If the observed effect is not substantial--a rare occurrence for a statistically significant effect, because it means the sample size was too large--you can actually conclude that the true value of the effect is likely to be trivial, even though it was statistically significant!

Problems of interpretation arise when researchers get a statistically non -significant effect. If the sample size is too small--as in almost all studies in sport and exercise science--you can get a statistically non-significant effect even when there is a substantial effect in the population.

Authors of small-scale studies who do not understand this point will interpret a statistically non-significant effect incorrectly as evidence for no effect. So whenever you see a result that is not statistically significant, ignore what the author concludes and look at the size of the effect in question: But in either case, a bigger sample is required to be sure about what is going on.

Sometimes the research may have been done: How big is a moderate effect anyway? And what about large effects, small effects, and trivial effects? Make sure you look closely at the effects and interpret their magnitudes, regardless of whether they are statistically significant; the authors often don't. There are two approaches: In the statistical approach, effects or outcomes are expressed as statistics that are independent of the units of measurement of the original variables.

These statistics are the same ones referred to in the previous subsection: Statisticians have come up with rules of thumb for deciding whether the magnitude of the effect is to be considered trivial, small, moderate, or large. For example, Cohen claims that an effect size of 0. I have extended Cohen's scale to effects of any magnitude, and I have made adjustments to his scale Hopkins, b. In the practical approach, you look at the size of the effect and try to decide whether, for example, it would make any difference to an athlete's position in a competition.

This approach is the better one for most studies of athletes. Please, enter email address. List of Popular Literature Review Topics. Should I provide you with topic of literature review? Does your service include only literature review help? Is your service encrypted? Can it be traced? Please accept our Terms. Your message has been successfully sent! We will get back to you soon.

Comprehensive access to misc online databases Critical in-depth analysis of literature We provide original plagiarism report Double manual proofreading for a flawless paper.

Professional writers Always custom research Access to online libraries Referenced lit reviews Annotated bibliography help Free proofreading Free bibliography. Thorough topical research Analytical and critical reviews Professional writing Copies of all references Free Plagiarism reports. Most Popular Literature Review Topics: Remember me next time. The following guidelines will aid your literature review writing and research: Be clear as to exactly what your specific research question, problem or thesis is that you are going to research Identify the types of literature that you are going to research; papers, journals, published literature, government reports etc.

Identify the specific literature you wish to review; are there highly recognized studies in your area of research? Identify strengths and weaknesses of the different points of views Have you found enough relevant and significant material for your research Have you excluded irrelevant information Have you included research that looks at views opposed to your research Is everything that you have looked at useful and relevant? Choosing Literature Review Topics For many students, the most difficult aspect of the literature review is choosing its topic.

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