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How to Conduct a Literature Review (Health Sciences and Beyond)

Overview of how to get started writing a health sciences literature review.

Review Matrix

Using a spreadsheet or table to organize the key elements (e.g. subjects, methodologies, results) of articles/books you plan to use in your literature review can be helpful. This is called a review matrix.

When you create a review matrix, the first few columns should include (1) the authors, title, journal, (2) publication year, and (3) purpose of the paper. The remaining columns should identify important aspects of each study such as methodology and findings.

Click on the image below to view a sample review matrix.

Sample health sciences review matrix

You can also download this template as a Microsoft Excel file.


The information on this page is from the book below. The 5th edition is available online through VCU Libraries.