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How-To: Identify Types of Scientific Journal Articles

This guide will allow you to identify scholarly journal articles.

Literature Reviews


These articles critically evaluate previously published material. The organization, combination of the previously published material, and evaluation of this material provide an understanding of the progress of research in clarifying a problem.  Literature reviews then: 

  • provide a definition and clarification of the problem
  • provides a summary of earlier research to inform the reader of what the research status is
  • identifies relationships, contradictions, gaps and inconsistencies in the material
  • makes suggestions in the next step to solving the problem.

A literature review abstract contains the following: (p. 26-27).

  1. a summary of the problem being investigated
  2. the types of participants who are featured in the primary studies
  3. a summary of the main results
  4. the conclusions
  5. implications for theory, policy or practice.


Werner, J., & Werner, M. (2008). Child sexual abuse in clinical and forensic psychiatry: A review of recent literature. Current Opinion

          in Psychiatry, 21(5), 499-504. doi: 10.1097/YCO.0b13e328305e4b0.