Literature Reviews - a summary of the literature, discussing what is known and is not known about a particular topic. The literature may include journal articles, books, government documents etc.
The Literature Review: A Few Tips On Conducting It | Writing Advice. (n.d.). University of Toronto.
Scoping Reviews - an account of the scope of the literature on a broad topic using rigorous methods. They don't necessarily appraise the quality of the studies found.
Scoping reviews: What they are and how you can do them. (n.d.). Cochrane Training.
Rapid reviews - a form of knowledge synthesis in which components of the systematic review process are simplified or omitted to produce information in a timely manner.
Tricco, A. C., Langlois, Etienne. V., Straus, S. E., Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research, & World Health Organization. (2017). Rapid reviews to strengthen health policy and systems: A practical guide. World Health Organization.
For more information about Rapid Reviews, please click here.
Umbrella Reviews - a review of reviews. It helps researchers get a clear view of the topic.
Fusar-Poli, P., & Radua, J. (2018). Ten simple rules for conducting umbrella reviews. Evidence Based Mental Health, 21(3), 95–100.
Still not sure which type of review is most appropriate for your research? Cornell University Library has produced an excellent guide to help you decide.
What type of review is right for you? (n.d.). Cornell University Library.
A Systematic Reviews is:
A collation of all relevant research studies in order to answer a specific research question. It uses explicit, systematic methods that are selected with a view to minimizing bias, thus providing more reliable findings from which conclusions can be drawn and decisions made.
They are systematic because they use explicit, systematic methods.
Why are systematic reviews important?
Taken from: The NCCMT. (2016, July 4). NCCMT - URE - Types of Reviews—What kind of review do we need. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ep3BRgRJ2N4
The Research Pyramid
The gold standard of evidence is a systematic review: an article which examines, appraises and consolidates findings of all of the primary research for a medical question. Clinical research (filtered) constitutes content that is vetted and verified such as clinically appraised topics and clinically appraised articles.
When evidence from filtered resources is not available, you may need to search the primary literature for unfiltered and/or unverified sources, such as single studies.
The bottom level of information in the pyramid is opinion and background information, the kind of information that may be found in a textbook or encyclopedia.