Literature Review And Meta-Analysis – Importance And Difference


Completed the introductory pages of your dissertation? Congratulations, now you must look forward to conducting a literature review and finding the method of analysis to extract useful conclusions. The above line you just read has a clue hinting at the main difference between a literature review and a meta-analysis. In more clear words, the literature review is the part of the dissertation that must be placed right after chapter no. 1, which is the introduction and background. In contrast to it, the meta-analysis, if selected for your research, cannot be replaced by the literature review; rather, it is the method of analyzing data to reach a final conclusion. This is only one major difference; however, the article has provided descriptions of many more. Let’s set the stage by defining literature review and Meta-Analysis:

Literature review: Introduction and importance:

A literature review is simply a type of academic writing that allows researchers to collect all relevant information about a matter of discussion published in the last ten years. It helps the researcher to take a step forward by reviewing all previously explored trends. With some exceptions, a few writers conduct a review of literature by only summarising previous information, and others critically evaluate the information before making it a part of their dissertation. In either case, searching by entering good quality keywords, adopting a reliable search strategy, and counting the number of hits can help you conduct a good quality review.

Literature view can include the background of problems, who and when a situation was noticed by the public, and how others solved similar problems in the past. In this way, it is important for researchers, especially who are new to a particular research field. All in all, a review of literature is the only part of a dissertation that can stand alone and helps the researcher to solve a scientific problem in light of the facts, figures, and theories published in the existing literature.

Meta-analysis: Introduction and importance:

Meta-analysis is one of the statistical analysis methods that works by combining information from different sources in more or less similar contexts. For the meta-analysis, you have to find the overarching points in all studies. The main purpose of this type of analysis is to establish statistical significance between the studies that reported contrasting results. This statistical significance aims to reveal a correct analysis of the situation.

The meta-analysis is important as it can improve the precision of answers to questions found by synthesizing the information in all relevant sources. In this way, the biasness associated with answers of research can be eliminated. Additionally, by reviewing different studies conducted in different regions of the world, meta-analysis strives to increase the generalizability of the research.

If you are drafting a Ph.D. dissertation, then you must remain more conscious while conducting meta-analysis. The reason for this is that a Ph.D. dissertation must be drafted on some critical topic of interest, and if you fail to state the statistical significance between the contrasting results, the whole population or community can be affected by fake results representation.  So, you must need step by step guide or professional Ph.D. dissertation help. For this, you can use your electronic devices to contact with such service providers in your countryside.

Differences between the literature review and meta-analysis:

It is clear from the above discussions that literature review is an entirely different method than meta-analysis, even though a few similarities between the systematic review and meta-analysis can be witnessed. A literature review is a way of compiling all similar studies that can warrant the issues discussed in the research questions. It is not a method of analysis, but meta-analysis, as the name signifies, is a statistical method of analysis that can be categorized as secondary- quantitative data analysis. Additionally, the results of the systematic literature review or meta-analysis are considered to be of higher quality than a review of the literature.

Bottom Lines:

All in all, both review of literature and meta-analysis have their own place, pros and cons, and methods to follow. As far as the importance of these methods are taken into consideration, one help researchers to develop an in-depth understanding of a topic, and the other help researcher to extract the results to reach some logical inferences. In the end, you can use both of these methods in your research or dissertation. One can be placed under the head of chapter 2, while the other will be part of chapter four of your Ph.D. dissertation.